Morocco plans Leisure Port to boost tourism in Saharan city of Dakhla

Morocco plans Leisure Port Dakhla

In a move to enhance its attractiveness for tourists and investors, and also foster its connections with the Canary Islands, the Saharan city of Dakhla, dubbed “the Pearl of Southern Morocco” will soon have its own leisure port.

Consultancy firms have been invited by l’Agence Nationale des Ports (ANP), Morocco’s ports authority, to submit feasibility study bids for building such a port that will offer diverse range of leisure and associated activities such as: recreational sailing, power boating, water sports, windsurfing, kite-surfing, etc. Furthermore, the Moroccan government has launched a number of development projects aimed at improving the infrastructure in Dakhla and boosting its tourism.

The present project comes one month after the construction works of the Dakhla Atlantic port were launched in line with the guidelines of King Mohammed VI. The new Dakhla Atlantic Port, estimated to cost about $1 billion, is expected to create 183,000 jobs by 2030 and serve as a gateway for trade with Africa and Latin America. These projects are part of the country’s socio-economic development plans for the southern provinces and the 2030 National Ports strategy.

The world’s largest small-group adventure travel company, Intrepid Travel, has lately listed Dakhla in its annual “Not Hot” list as one of the world’s most underrated destinations to visit in 2020. The Australian travel company’s “Not Hot” list aims to inform travellers about emerging lesser-known destinations.

Intrepid encourages tourists to travel to Dakhla by offering a trip that includes Marrakech and Dakhla for those seeking an adventure. Dakhla’s white sand dunes, crystal clear beaches, and renowned seafood are reasons mentioned by the travel company as to why Dakhla is a destination to consider for upcoming holidays.

The company also mentions the hospitality of the locals and the beautiful Sahara Desert. Morocco also secured a top 10 spot on Intrepid’s list of the best travel destinations. Dakhla, known by many as a paradise for kitesurfing, is progressively establishing itself as a well-known tourist destination, the company said.

The current Dakhla port is the only maritime gateway to the Dakhla Ouad Eddahab region. It is home to fishing and commercial activities (including hydrocarbons and frozen fish) and other related activities. Its 400km-sq. bay is its biggest asset, and some experts believe the port can become a major competitor and more popular tourist hub.


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