29 Sep Marrakech prepares to host COP 22 from 7 to 18 November
With the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) taking place from 7 to 18 November in Marrakech, preparations in the red city are well underway to beautify the city. For travellers arriving, or residents returning from summer holidays, the city is looking a lot smarter. While we’ve always loved our city, we can’t help but think it will look its best, even if some projects are still a work in progress, as world leaders and leading organizations descend on Marrakech for the 12-day international climate change conference.
Wandering around the city, new park space is being developed and fountains repaired. This little sitting area at the entrance to the medina on Avenue Mohamed V will provide a perfect resting spot for those who choose to walk to the new city of Gueliz from Riad 72.
And in Derb Arset Awzel where Riad 72 is located, we have our own little guardian hut, staffed around the clock to ensure the ultimate security in the neighbourhood.
Even the central park in Jemaa el Fna is looking a little bit nicer. After all, the main square is one of Marrakech’s main attractions and will certainly be of interest to COP 22 participants.
Perhaps the most dramatic change is in the Mellah district, the former Jewish quarter, of the Marrakech medina where the Bahia and Badii Palaces are located. Not only has interlocked brick been laid on the road and walkways, but the shops inside the Bab Es Salaam market have had a relook along with the Place des Ferblantier. The square comes alive at night with locals, but provides a shady spot for a cheap lunch in this part of the medina.
Wanderers will soon be able to turn to the left upon existing the Bahia Palace to walk through the Mellah district directly to the Kasbah, ending up at the beautiful turquoise Kasbah Mosque (closed to non-Muslims, but impressive from the exterior).
Over in the new town, a new green space with benches lines the busy Avenue Yacoub Al Mansour across from Rue Yves Saint Laurent leading to the Majorelle Gardens.
Just beyond the famous garden, and unrelated to the COP 22, construction of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum is well underway. Scheduled to open in 2017, the museum house an important selection from the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent’s impressive collection, which comprises 5,000 items of clothing, 15,000 haute couture accessories as well as tens of thousands of sketches and assorted objects, all currently archived in Paris.
The building has been designed by the French architecture firm Studio KO. Founded by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier, the architects have completed numerous residential and public projects such as the Villa E and Villa K in Morocco, the Chiltern Firehouse in London, and the Balmain boutique in New York.
To get in on the COP 22 excitement, book your stay at Riad 72 in the heart of the Marrakech medina and just steps away from the COP 22 action!