Redouane Bahraoui, Cruises Coordinator Morocco
What makes you a local?
Technically I’m not! I grew up in the city of Safi, but moved 200km up the coast to Casablanca in 2010 – even after seven years living here I am still discovering new things about this city, such as new cafés and restaurants, or cultural events. Before moving here, I would visit family and friends in Casablanca and was always impressed by the city’s architecture, large avenues and Sindibad Park, which for me as a child was a magical place and is now a central meeting point for locals in the city.
Tell us about where you live…
I live on the outskirts of Casablanca in Al Qods, a relatively new neighborhood with nice cafés, restaurants and close to Benslimane and Bouznika, nearby cities known for their beautiful landscape and beaches, the perfect places to relax and practice my favorite hobbies; beach kayaking & hiking.
What do you love about Casablanca?
Casablanca is cosmopolitan and dynamic city that is constantly changing, with a promising and vibrant future, but even with this knowledge there are still places that will mesmerize and make you forget the hustle and bustle of the city:
- A visit to the awe-inspiring Hassan II Mosque
- Sipping mint tea in the Habbous quarter
- Enjoying lunch with locals at the markets
- Admiring the Art Deco at the Ville Nouvelle
Do you know any local “characters”?
In the central market you can meet Mrs Latifa, the owner of a seafood stall with the best oysters and sea urchins, which are brought fresh from Oualidia, a coastal village about 150km south of Casablanca. Mrs Latifa talks to her clients as if they were old friends, which is quite unique and make you happy to take some oysters home! I also meet Mr Hassan, the master of grilled fish.
What will you smell, see and hear in Casablanca?
Casablanca is a hotbed of diverse architecture, from Islamique at Hassan II mosque, to Art Deco in Anfa district and Gothic at the Cathedral of Sacred Heart. At the central market you will smell flowers, see the brightly colored fresh vegetables, taste olives for lunch and hear Gnawa, a traditional and spiritual type of music.
What is the future?
Recently many projects were launched to make Casablanca an important financial hub in Africa, such as Casablanca Marina, the Grand Theatre and the refurbishment of city squares and areas along the coast. This is helping tourism and enabling us to create an array of new and original experiences for those visiting Casablanca and the surrounding area. We recently developed an immersive experience in Moroccan cuisine, where guests travel to a farm and with the help of locals prepare their own Tagine to enjoy with a tea mint in a typically Moroccan atmosphere.
Promoting my destination, creating innovative experiences and being part of the cruise industry is really exciting right now. I am very motivated to continue supporting cruise lines – informing them with accurate information about my destinations, exchanging ideas on experiences for different nationalities and delivering a service that really goes beyond expectations. I think it will be hard for me to ever leave the travel industry or Casablanca.
For more information on Intercruises operations in Morocco, contact Redouane at: firstname.lastname@example.org