Rabat: A Unique City
If you are ever traveling to Africa, the one city you need to check out is without a doubt, Rabat. Rabat is a unique and stunning city that will delight any traveler who makes their way to it.
Rabat, which means “Fortified Place” has been inhabited for thousands of years, including by the Roman Empire. Currently, the city has a population of 650,000 people and it is the capital of Morocco, rather than Casablanca as many assume. It is also the second-largest city in the country and the capital of the Rabat Sale Zemmour Zaer region.
The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, giving it beautiful views and landscapes around it. There are several smaller bedroom communities around Rabat including Sale and Temara, which give the region a population of 1.8 million. The city used to be a very important port city, but these days it is more geared towards textile, food processing and construction. Sadly, some multinational corporations do operate sweatshops in the area.
Tourism has also become very popular in the city thanks to the many foreign embassies and the effort to get tourists to the city. Casablanca is more famous, but Rabat is working hard to get noticed.
Rabat is popular among Europeans because of its warm Mediterranean climate. It has a mile temperate climate with cool weather in the winter and warm days in the summer. Throughout the year, the nights are cold due to its proximity to the desert. When the day comes along, the temperature usually rises by about 15 degrees Celsius. The high in the winter, at its coldest days, usually reaches only 17.5 degrees Celsius.
So, what is there to do in Rabat? Well, quite a bit actually. Here are the most popular sites in the city:
- Chellah: This is the old city that was founded by the Carthaginians and conquered by the Romans, then passed to the Arabs over time. It has been abandoned and settled a great deal over time and parts of this old town are still visible.
- The Old Medina: One of the largest open air markets in the world, the old medina is a must see for anyone who is interested in seeing what Morocco is all about, and it is these stunning markets
- Kasbah of the Oudaias: This is a deserted Kasbah that was used during the reign of the Almohads back in the early part of the second millennium AD. The Kasbah was deserted following the death of Yaqqub al-Mansur in 1199 AD.
- Hassan Tower: This is an incomplete mosque that was going to be the world’s largest when construction was started in 1199. It only reached 140 feet, half the 260 feet that it was intended to be. This is a very important part of the historic and tourist aspects of the city.
So, take a trip out to Rabat and see this amazing city for yourself, you will not be disappointed.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Nov 13, 2010.
More Ahmed Dawn Articles