Rabat is the capital of Morocco and its seventh largest city center with an urban population of approximately 580,000 and a metropolitan population of over 1.2 million.
The Moroccan capital was ranked at second place by CNN in its "Top Travel Destinations of 2013."
It is one of four Imperial cities of Morocco, and the medina of Rabat is listed as a World Heritage site.
|POPULATION :||City: 577,827 / Metro: 2,120,192|
|TIME ZONE :||GMT (UTC±0)|
|LANGUAGE :||Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French|
|RELIGION :||Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%|
|AREA :||117 km2 (45.17 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :|| 0 m (0 ft) - 135 m (443 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||34°02′N 6°50′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.35% |
• Female: 50.65%
|ETHNIC :||Arab-Berber 99%, other 1%|
|AREA CODE :||37|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+212 37|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
- Kasbah of the Oudaias.The Kasbah is the oldest part of Rabat. It has narrow streets with cute white and blue houses, the Andalucian Gardens, and the Oudaias Museum housed in a 17. century palace. And a great views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Hassan Tower and the Royal Mausoleum.
- Chellah. until 5:30 PM.. old city founded by Carthaginians, conquered by Romans and later passed under Arab rule, just to be abandoned and settled again by unbelievable numbers of birds. This breeding ground bubbles with bird life in spring, including stork nest on the top of old minaret. Also, historical layers are visible, with outstanding Roman and Moroccan parts. You can walk there from centre-ville, but it is a long walk. 10 MAD.
- National Archaeological Museum.
- The Currency Museum of the Bank Al-Maghrib, Angle Avenue Allal Ben Abdellah et Rue Al-Qahira.
- Royal Palace. It is huge, you cannot really visit it (but it is a nice walk), the armed guards might allow you walk from one entrance to another especially if you look like a tourist.
- Théatre Mohammed V. Theatre in Downtown Rabat, nothing absolutely outstanding but there are performances each month. edit
- Jazz au Chellah is a jazz festival organized each year in June by the ministry of culture, the city and the European delegation. The website might have some issues.
- Mawazine is a festival of world music that takes place annually in Rabat featuring Arab, African and international music icons during May. It is controversial as some of the country's Muslim politicians have criticised the event for "encouraging immoral behaviour". Artists such as Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Elton John or B.B. King have performed at Mawazine. There are various scenes around the city.
- Royal Golf Dar es Salaam The domain is spread over 440 hectares of trees, flowers, and water. If you have enough money, a car and are desperately looking for a quiet area to walk around or to play golf you will like it.
Rabat has a relatively modern history compared to the nearby ancient city of Salé. In 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat into a full-scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Iberia. In 1170, due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory," from which it derives its current name.
Rabat and neighboring Salé united to form the Republic of Bou Regreg in 1627. The republic was run by Barbary pirates who used the two cities as base ports for launching attacks on shipping. The pirates did not have to contend with any central authority until the Alaouite Dynasty united Morocco in 1666. The latter attempted to establish control over the pirates, but failed. European and Muslim authorities continued to attempt to control the pirates over many years, but the Republic of Bou Regreg did not collapse until 1818.
The French invaded Morocco in 1912 and established a protectorate. The French administrator of Morocco, General Hubert Lyautey decided to relocate the country's capital from Fez to Rabat. Among other factors, rebellious citizens had made Fez an unstable place. Sultan Moulay Youssef followed the decision of the French and moved his residence to Rabat. In 1913, Gen. Lyautey hired Henri Prost who designed the Ville Nouvelle (Rabat's modern quarter) as an administrative sector. When Morocco achieved independence in 1956, Mohammed V, the then King of Morocco, chose to have the capital remain at Rabat.
Following World War II, the United States established a military presence in Rabat at the former French air base. With the destabilization of French government in Morocco, and Moroccan independence in 1956, the government of Mohammed V wanted the U.S. Air Force to pull out of the SAC bases in Morocco, insisting on such action after American intervention in Lebanon in 1958. The United States agreed to leave as of December 1959, and was fully out of Morocco by 1963.
Rabat features a Mediterranean climate with Oceanic influence.
Located along the Atlantic Ocean, Rabat has a mild, temperate climate, shifting from cool in winter to warm days in the summer months.
The winter highs typically reach only 17.2 °C (63.0 °F) in December–February.
Summer daytime highs usually hover around 25 °C (77.0 °F), but may occasionally exceed 30 °C (86.0 °F), especially during heat waves. Summer nights are usually pleasant and cool, ranging between 11 °C (51.8 °F) and 19 °C (66.2 °F) and rarely exceeding 20 °C (68.0 °F).
Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country.
Rabat is served by all of the mobile companies that can be found elsewhere in Morocco. Wana, Meditel, and Maroc Telecom are the most common. Mobile phones can be bought in any of these store's stands, and most do not run on calling plans. Rather, recharge cards can be bought in corner stores that contain a number to call. When that number is called, the company adds the price of the card to your account's balance. Alternatively, more than one SIM card can be bought and changed in and out of the phone, if users need more than one phone number.
Internet cafes : Internet access is available in cyber cafes around the city (not in residential neighborhoods though). Service is usually around 1€ per hour.
Wifi : You'll find wifi access in a some places such as Bert's or Megamall food court, usually those labelled a bit "trendy". There is also free WiFi at the Rabat-Ville train station.
Mobile Internet : Phone companies offer mobile internet services that plug into the USB port of your computer (currently, there are no mac-compatible devices.) These services can be had without signing a contract, and are recharged in the same manner as a telephone.
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