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ENVIRONMENT AND WAY OF LIFE


Casablanca offers a pleasant climate and environment (sea, gardens) and the perfect mix of tradition and modernity. Casablanca inhabitants are famous for being welcoming. The city offers all the services one would expect from a modern, international metropolis: transportation, health, infrastructure, leisure ...



Casablanca is the capital of the Great Casablanca region, and located about 80 km on the south of Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco. The 2012 census statistics record a population of about 4 million.



Casablanca is located on the plain of Chaouia, a historically agricultural region that still remains one of the main farming centers of the country. Its position on the Atlantic coast provides Casablanca with full access to sea resources (mainly for fishing). The forest area surrounding the city is named “Bouskoura”: it was planted in the 20th century and mainly consists of eucalyptus, pine and palm trees.


Tram :

The Casablanca tramway is 31 km long, with 49 stops. Further lines are planned in the future.

Air :

Casablanca's main airport is Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco's busiest airport. Regular domestic flights serve Morocco’s largest cities. Casablanca is well served by international flights to Europe, especially French and Spanish airports, and has regular connections to North American, Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan African destinations. New York City, Paris, London and Dubai are important primary destinations.

Trains :

Casablanca is served by three principal railway stations run by the national rail service, the ONCF.Casa-Voyageurs is the main inter-city station, from which trains run south to Marrakech or El Jadida and north to Mohammedia and Rabat, and then on either to Tangier or Meknes, Fes, Taza and Oujda. Casa-Port station is the nearest station to the old town of Casablanca. The station is currently being rebuilt in a modern and enlarged configuration.

Taxis

Registered taxis in Casablanca are coloured red and known as petit taxis (small taxis), or coloured white and known as grands taxis (big taxis). As is standard Moroccan practice, petits taxis provide metered cab service in the central metropolitan areas. Grands taxis provide shared service within the city or inter-city services.


The dirham is the currency of Morocco. Its ISO code is MAD. It is subdivided into 100 centimes. There are 4 dirham banknotes (MAD 200, 100, 50 and 20) and 7 coins (MAD 10, 5, 2, 1, ½, 0.20, 0.10) dirhams, 2 dirhams, 1 dirham ½ dirham, 20 cents, 10 cents). Each banknote has a specific color. The last series feature a portrait of King Mohammed VI and the royal crown. The previous series featured King Hassan II, father of the current king and former king until his death in 1999.


Morocco's official languages are Arabic and Berber. The country's distinctive Arabic dialect is referred to as Darija.

• French is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size and large companies, international commerce with French-speaking countries, and often in international diplomacy.

• English is the first foreign language at school and Spanish is spoken by a small population in the north of the country, especially around the Spanish enclaves Melilla and Ceuta.


Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, accounting for 99% of the population. It is the official religion, but the coexistence with other religions is effective, and the practice of other revealed religions is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Jewish community consists of about 7 000 members, and the Catholic and Protestant community accounts for 25 000 members. The day is punctuated by five calls to prayer. Religious life follows the Muslim calendar. It began in 622, the year when the Prophet of Islam Muhammad left Mecca to Medina to establish where he had many more followers. The Hijri year, lunar year consists of 12 months, but is shorter than the solar year. Ramadan and the major religious holidays vary from the Gregorian calendar.

Civilian life is governed by the Gregorian calendar. Unlike other Muslim countries, the weekend includes Saturday and Sunday. Friday is not a holiday but governments and utilities extend their lunch break to allow the faithful to go to prayer.


Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is mainly Berber-Moorish, European, Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine of Morocco is essentially Berber cuisine, influenced by Sephardic cuisine.

Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients such as saffron, mint, olives, oranges and lemons are home-grown. Couscous is the most famous Moroccan dish along with pastilla, tajine, and harira. The most popular drink is "atai", green tea with mint. Moroccan pastries are very popular: kaab el ghzal ("gazelle's horns") is a pastry stuffed with almond paste and topped with sugar.

Medical care is highly developed in Casablanca: public and private hospitals, general practitioners and specialists, medical laboratories and pharmacies, radiologists, ophthalmologists and dentists. Doctors have often been educated in Europe or North America and the whole spectrum of specialties is covered and offers the most modern means. Emergency relief is of good standards and there are all current medications.


As regards sports, the city of Casablanca is proud to host a major international marathon, and to offer clubs and multi-sport complex.

The city also has a rich and diversified cultural life, with a large variety of cultural places (theaters, libraries, museums, cinemas, foundations, art galleries, etc.): Abderrahman Slaoui Foundation, Art Manufactures (erected on the former slaughterhouses), I-Max 3D Morocco Mall cinema, Anfa cultural complex, the French Institute of Casablanca, Casa Del Arte, the Twin Center Auditorium, German Cultural Center, Spanish Cervantes Institute… The city also offers various cultural programs through the year: Jazzablanca Festival, Theatre & Culture Festival, Casa Music Festival, etc.

While the city is known for its intense, cultural activity, Casablanca is also covered by green spaces: in the city center, the Arab League Public Garden is where Casablanca inhabitants go for a walk or a run in the morning. The aisles of the park are lined with palm trees, pergolas and arches that give it shade and coolness during the summer. In the middle of the park is the former Cathedral of the Sacred Heart whose architecture mixes Art Deco and Gothic art. It is no longer a place of worship today. Cafes along the park allow you to enjoy mint tea under palm trees, while the city is bustling.

On the road to the airport, a dozen kilometers away from the city center, the forest of Bouskoura can also be a place to walk close to Casablanca, along eucalyptus, acacias and pine trees, if you want to leave the hectic atmosphere of the city.

Casablanca beaches are another cool option for fresh air: along the Atlantic Ocean, the long sandy beaches are perfect places to walk, swim and practice sports.

Casablanca

Maroc GMT

20:59

     

More info

Loubna ASSABBAB
Head of International Relations


lassabbab@esca.ma