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Rabat: Royal impulse for rehabilitation and development of Old Medina

King Mohammed VI visited, on Monday, several projects registered under the program of rehabilitation of the old medina of Rabat, one of the highlights of the integrated program “Rabat City Light, Moroccan Capital of Culture”, launched by the Sovereign in May 12, 2014.

This visit testifies to the Sovereign’s constant desire to preserve the architectural cachet of the Rabat Medina, inscribed in 2012 as World Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote its cultural and tourist influence and to improve the living and working conditions of its inhabitants.

The King visited Bab Chellah Street, which serves the Mohammed V schools, and the Grand Mosque, Souk Essabat Street and Bab El Bahr, sites that were the subject of Restoration and enhancement work as part of the rehabilitation program of the old medina of Rabat.

The Sovereign also visited the rehabilitation projects at El Melh Square and Sabbaghine Street, whose works are at a very advanced completion rate (75%).

Several operations, planned under the rehabilitation program of the old medina of Rabat, which mobilizes investments in the order of 625 million dirhams, have been completed. This is the case of the treatment projects on Lagza Street, the restoration of the walls of the Kasbah of Oudayas, the treatment of El Marsa Avenue and the development of local sports grounds at Bab Chellah (intramuros), the construction of a shopping mall and the consolidation of the El Mellah cliff.

It should be emphasized in this context that the embellishment and enhancement of the fluvial facade of the old medina of Rabat intervene in harmony with the flagship development project of the Bouregreg valley.

Other projects are under construction, including the development of public squares, the restoration of the wall from Bab Laalou to Bab El Had, the consolidation of buildings threatening ruin, the restoration of the fundus and the construction of space of the craftsman.

The implementation of this ambitious program was, moreover, supported by the launch by the Sovereign, on May 14th, of the complementary program of development of the old medina of Rabat, with a budgetary envelope of 325 millions of dirhams.

Developed in accordance with the High Royal Instructions, this new generation program aims to enhance and improve accessibility to the Medina and enhance its attractiveness, particularly through the construction of two underground car parks near “Bab El Had” and “Bab Chellah”, with a total capacity of 1,090 parking spaces and the layout of places around the Central Market and Bab El Had.

It also involves the redevelopment of the Tamejajet sports complex, the treatment of the surrounding walls of the Medina walls and their lighting, the completion of the paving of streets and alleys, the addressing of streets, alleys and small squares, as well as the installation of information terminals.

It should be noted that plans for the construction of the Bab El Had underground car park and completion of the paving of the streets and alleys of the medina are underway, while the other projects are in the study phase.

The rehabilitation program of the old medina of Rabat is part of the efforts deployed, under the impetus of King Mohammed VI, aimed at the preservation and development of ancient Medinas in several cities of the Kingdom such as Casablanca, Marrakesh , Fez, Meknes, Essaouira, Salé and Tetouan.

On this occasion, the Sovereign was greeted by representatives of the associative fabric of the old medina, before proceeding to the symbolic delivery of keys to recipients of bicycles-taxis, acquired as part of the project of tourist and ecological transport to the city of Rabat supported by the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH).

Numbering 50, these three-wheel-drive bicycles, whose acquisition required a total investment of 2.5 million dirhams, will also be used for tourist trips within the city of Rabat.

This project aims to promote clean transport at the city level, the diversification of transport and urban mobility, and the creation of an income-generating activity for young beneficiaries looking for work. The latter have also benefited from training in communication and reception techniques, civic education, management and entrepreneurship and foreign languages, supervised by the cooperative “Al Anwar” for ecological and tourist transport and the association “Espace point “(ESPOD).

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