Morocco Scales New Heights to Bring Property Investors


Casting its charm on centuries, Westerners have always had a particular fascination for Morocco. For Winston Churchill it was the sunset across the snow-capped Atlas Mountains; for boho musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stephens it had been the smoke-ringed “Marrakech Express” times; now, it is the exotic mixture of high-style property projects which have second-homers and land investors and truly smitten. Changes to regulations in 2001 allowing foreign investors to take the profits of land sales from the nation signalled a step-change from the nation’s property bundles, backed with a newly-formed authorities Promotion Unit setup to station real estate investment.

With #2 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007, the nation’s economy is in both rude health. Essential infrastructure projects including six fresh purpose-built coastal hotels (a part of a brand new beachside park which will run out of Saidia near the Algerian border down to Plage Blanche, south of Essaouira), regional airport growth and a vent in Tangiers, are integral areas of the government’s Strategy d’Azur Vision to increase tourist numbers. “Property costs per square metre on new-build have skyrocketed in the last 3 decades in hotspots such as Marrakech and Tangiers,” explains Ben Jones of Saffron Villas, “but that is to be expected music rai. More crucial to investor confidence is that the government’s measured approach to prosper times, using a safe property registration system and a working blueprint for sustainable coastal development.”

Coastal Developments
Bolstering first-growth earnings in city Meccas such as Marrakech and Tangiers, real estate investment opportunities are currently mushrooming across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, together with the very first of this Plan d’Azur improvements, Mediterranean Saidia, bringing a stable ‘foot-flow’ of clients.

Situated on a gorgeous six-mile stretch of shoreline and a yearlong weekend escape to get well-heeled Moroccans, Mediterranean Saidia will pay for seven thousand square metres in total and game three golf courses, a 750-berth marina and many five-star hotels. Drawing attention from the golf fraternity would be the completely furnished luxury apartments and fairway penthouses from the gated community of The Greens, with studios promoting for #113,000 climbing to #133,000 to get a two-bedroom penthouse with Saffron Villas. Kitted out to a high quality, units come complete with branded white products, plasma displays and fully fitted kitchens. “Residents also receive a 50 per cent decrease in golf membership for 3 classes,” adds Jones.

An appealing option with Real Estate Taxes is Villas du Soleil. Having an idyllic place, only minutes from the shore, the evolution is going to have a huge lagoon style swimming pool, tennis courts, gymnasium and indoor heated pool. The 76 Moorish layout villas with private pools begin from251,000 to get a two-bedroom unit climbing to #371,000 to get a three-bedroom unit with garden and solarium.

Ourika Valley
Arguably the nation’s most demanding residential tourism project so far is Oukaimeden ski hotel in the Atlas Mountains. Snow-sure at more than 3,250 metres, however just an hour drive from downtown Marrakech, the channel’s $2 billion “luxury” makeover by Emirates-based developer Emaar PJSC, will unite recreation, entertainment and property elements phase-built throughout the High Atlas scenic valley bowl. Scheduled to finish in 2010, Emaar’s master program maintains low-density and a lack of high tech, music to the ears of land agent and programmer Nicky Kerman of Marrakvillas. “The hotel continues to be popular with rich Moroccans for decades,” he states, “its near proximity to Marrakech and its own quality off-piste and cross-country choices draw a faithful following, but its entire potential hasn’t been exploited. The ski season is dependable running from January to March, while intends to update mountain biking, climbing and trekking amenities in the summertime will even keep steady visitor numbers during the entire year.”

Catching the tide of an ancient boom, many upscale developments are springing up at the encompassing Ourika Valley; the vineyard-speckled mountain foothills offering the very best of both worlds – close enough to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, nevertheless just a 30-minute move to the slopes. “The region has enormous potential,” adds Louise Hillcoat. “Planning guidelines, but are strict: no construction can exceed three storeys and construct density on progress can be no longer than 60 percent.”

Business manager, Peter Roberts from Ripon in Yorkshire fell in love with the region after he took his spouse Caro on a retreat into the hills to celebrate her 50th birthday. The couple now have a gorgeous four-bedroom, architect-designed house at Bab Adrar D’Atlas, a former eight-hectare farm home place back in the valley. “We love it,” adds Roberts. “It satisfies buyers that would rather be away from tourist hordes, however you are just 25 moments from Marrakech.” Three-bedroom condos at Bab Adrar begin from #555,000 climbing to #945,000 to get a five-bedroom home. No two properties are exactly the same, each sporting its own personal layout, with enormous gardens and covered outdoor living spaces. Interiors boast bespoke artisan features like sculpted plasterwork and glistening tadelakt (china clay) walls. Owners not out and about exploring the surrounding shore and Berber villages may make the most of the hotel’s hammam spa, gym and treatment rooms using a golf clinic area now being assembled. “That is unquestionably among the greatest places to develop and purchase,” adds Roberts. “A day’s ski or a leisurely stroll round Marrakech Medina, why choose when you could have?

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