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M'hamid El Ghizlane Moroccan Oasis and tourists' paradise


15 years ago M'hamid El Ghizlane was- the last oasis in the far south east of Morocco pre-Sahara – depending mainly on agriculture, but drought forced its inhabitants to look for other means of livelihood.

Many of them sold their land. They buy what they needed to accommodate the tourists who move in-groups to this area in search of peace, serenity and tranquility away from the pressures of life in the big cities in the West.

Tourism currently represents about 80 percent of economic activity in M'hamid El Ghizlane that fills the spread on both sides of main street shops, selling the artifacts, as well as, local travel and tourism agencies, and shops offer all types of services such as car hire and tours in the desert for wealthy tourists, and others are suitable for tourists with limited budgets.

Tourist who arrives to this remote corner of Morocco takes the opportunity to indulge in the local way of life.

The value of time in M'hamid El Ghizlane is not as in the West. Pattern of life is slow, so those people do not know the rush at all. The money is not their main objective because they are satisfied with income from tourism.  Trips Organizer to desert earns 25 thousand Moroccan dirhams on average during the tourism season, which lasts five months from December to April, while the tour guide reaches 300 dirhams per day.

 An expert in the promotion of tourism, Abdul Khaliq bin says : "Tourism developed  in M'hamid El Ghizlane thanks to the presence of many monuments and antique forts in the area of Oulad Kriz . Mahamid exhibits its unique beauty of the desert and its diverse activities, such as trips by camels, tents and desert tourism which is the important investment of this hot destination. M'hamid El Ghizlane becomes a popular destination in Morocco, because whoever comes to visit Morocco, and especially to the desert has to visit M'hamid El Ghizlane, Marrakech and Essaouira. "

Tourism in M'hamid El Ghizlane meets and fulfills everyone’s requirements. The rich live in luxury hotels and ride 4x4 cars and enjoy everything as VIP does. However, most tourists who visit the Oasis accept accommodation in a small, modest hotel or in tents amid the sand where they can watch in long-sightedness the vast desert during the day, and hold stars in their hands at night. They can also relax under the palm trees or out on trips on the backs of camels or into 4X4 cars or enjoy walking beside the old forts, more than these, they can bury their bodies in the sand, or enjoy a traditional massage.

 British Nancy Patterson - who was engaged in selling works of art before she open an hotel in M'hamid El Ghizlane- seek visitors to accept to be treated as friends but not as customers who pay for accommodation. Nancy encourages her visitors to enjoy interesting conversations in the middle of magic nature in the picturesque region.

She calls to encourage artists and musicians who’re abroad to come to M'hamid El Ghizlane, especially to meet local people and pursue their interests and activities in this center of tranquility of the desert.

Nancy Patterson Says: "I want tourists to come here and bring something of their personality and explore this part of Morocco, especially music and art ... which is live here, and here is a lot..."

 A visitor named Tawfiq Yousefi lived several years in Canada and Belgium, he found inner peace in M'hamid El Ghizlane. Like many visitors to the Oasis Yousefi devotes in long hours in meditation and the search for self.

Tawfiq Yousefi said "It's a very traditional area. When we talk about tradition, we mean values. And if we found values, we found the love of humanity. It is one of popular areas in Morocco, where the principles of humanity still exist...warmth and kind hospitality."

Visitors come to M'hamid El Ghizlane from far countries, as Alaska and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and others from Europe, Canada and the United States. But, tourists from the Arab world, they are not visiting this Oasis perhaps because of deserts in most Arab countries. For this reason, Nur al-Din Bocrap the nomads’ Festival Director in M'hamid El Ghizlane called Arab tourists to come to the oasis.

He said, "Our main ambition is to open up to the Arab world in particular and to the nomadic culture for sharing the differences, also for celebrating our sameness."

The M'hamid El Ghizlane was the station where caravans stop in their way from Timbuktu in Mali and to. Now it is still a meeting place for visitors from different cultures and religions.

BOUFOUSS

BOUFOUSS is a freelance Blogger, Adventurer and a pet owner with a passion for interaction and share advices. He studied English Languistics and Computational Logic and loves cats and dogs.

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