Morocco: The Gateway to Exotic Africa
The new, forward thinking, monarch had a clear vision of what he wanted for his country which kick started a long term plan that would see Morocco develop into one the world’s top destinations. There’s no doubting its stunning climate, which boasts an average of 330 days of sunshine per year, is a major draw but the King and his Government realised that wasn’t enough, so in 2001 they launched Vision 2010 – a detailed plan on how the tourist and property sectors would be developed for the greater good of the country.
Vision 2010 set out a number of clear goals including; 10 million tourists arrivals, the number of beds should increase to 160,000, new investments should reach €8 to €9 billion, the creation of 600,000 new jobs and tourism should contribute around 20% to annual GDP by 2010. All of this is currently being achieved by developing 6 new resorts on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, encouraging foreign investment, improving infrastructure and implementing an open skies policy which allows European airlines to operate in Moroccan airports without restrictions.
All the signs indicate that the plan is working because since the launch of Vision 2010, the number of tourist arrivals has increased from 2 million to 6.5 million! There has also been a large increase in UK and Irish airlines flying to the country including; British Airways, Ryanair, Easyjet and Thomson Fly.
Increasing numbers of visitors can only be good news for investors as demand for rental property increases. The Moroccan Government has also introduced a raft of favourable incentives aimed at foreign buyers such as varying capital gains tax levels and no annual property tax for the first five years. All of this, coupled with large scale foreign investment from major corporations, current upgrading of the rail and road networks and a new airport under construction near Tangier puts Morocco at the epicentre of the international property market.
One stunning development that has already got investors excited is Apple Gardens - a fully managed 51 villa development of 3 bedroom villas just 15 minutes from the centre of Marrakech. It is built in a traditional courtyard style and each property boasts a whole host of modern conveniences, plus their own swimming pool and stunning roof terraces surrounded by secluded gardens.
Apple Gardens is an exclusive development that features spectacular views across to the Atlas Mountains. It is also close to the famous Djamaa El Fna Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It also has a bar, restaurant, well equipped gymnasium, hammam (traditional steam room) and communal pool and tennis courts. In addition, preferential green rates have been negotiated with three world famous golf courses nearby; Marrakech Royal Golf Club, Marrakech La Palmeraie Golf Club and Marrakech Amelkis Golf Club.
Prices start from €240,000 and staged mortgages are available which are backed by a bank guarantee from BMCI (Banque Marocaine du Commerce et de l'Industrie) – one of France’s leading banks.
Deborah Fox, director of Emerging Real Estate – the company selling Apple Gardens, said; ‘Over the last few years, Morocco has really caught the attention of international property investors. Marrakech is the jewel in the crown of North Africa thanks to its good infrastructure, better transport links and high number of tourists. We’ve been delighted with the response to Apple Gardens as investors realise it successfully combines contemporary living with traditional heritage.’
She concluded; ‘There’s no doubt that it’s an exciting time for Morocco and if the predictions are correct the potential returns for investors look sound.’