Marrakech Raffles scheduled to open 2009


Raffles Hotels & Resorts makes its debut in Morocco with Raffles Resort Marrakech, due to open in 2009.

The new resort will comprise 150 luxurious rooms and suites, each room elegantly designed and offering the trademarked charm and ambience of cultured luxury that Raffles hotels and resorts are renowned for. Residents will also be able to live in one of the 36 luxury villas planned for the resort.
The Marrakech resort will offer three dining options and an extensive range of cuisines. Conference and meeting facilities will also be available. The Amrita Spa is another feature at the hotel. According to an ancient Sanskrit legend, ‘Amrita’ is the gift of living well, sought by deities.
The Raffles Resort Marrakech is located one kilometre away from the old city of Medina, well-known for its monuments dating back to the 12th century. It will also have stunning views of the majestic Atlas Mountains. In addition, a golf course and the city’s entertainment district in the central business district are within five minutes drive from the new resort – it is also a short drive away from the Marrakech-Menara Airport, which is served by several international airlines.
Said Mr Mohamed Yacoubi, in charge of the hospitality division of Somed, “The name Raffles represents the highest standards of luxury and service, and we are very pleased to be working with Raffles Hotels & Resorts to develop their first property in Morocco, and to bring the mystique and legendary service standards of Raffles to Marrakech.”
Diana Ee-Tan, managing director, Raffles Hotels & Resorts added, “Morocco, with its rich cultural heritage and thousands of years of history, has been attracting visitors in increasing numbers over the years. Tourism revenues remain a top contributor to Morocco’s economy and the vision of the government is to have 10 million visitors by 2010. Raffles is delighted to be part of this dynamic tourism growth and is honoured that our entry into exciting Morocco is with an illustrious partner such as Somed.”
 Somed, whose principal shareholders are the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Moroccan Treasury, have in their portfolio seven other properties in Casablanca, Tangiers and Agadir. Formed in 1982 as an economic and strategic alliance between Morocco and United Arab Emirates (UAE), it focuses primarily on tourism, although it has grown to become an integral part of the country’s development as a whole. It has a share capital of nearly Dhs100 million, and its function is to help grow investment in Morocco from the UAE and other international partners.
A destination renowned for its mystique and romance, Marrakech has been receiving more tourists per year than any other city in Morocco. Strategically located less than a three hour flight from Paris, London and Madrid, and within 350 kilometres of the main Moroccan cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir and Fes, Marrakech is popular with European travellers.