For some, the mention of Casablanca might bring to mind thoughts of Bogart and Bergman’s doomed silver-screen romance, but Morocco’s economic capital and chief port is more than just a Hollywood reference, it is a worldly and cosmopolitan city showcasing Morocco’s traditional charm as well as its hectic modernity.
On the doorstep of Europe, the city’s French and Portuguese influences are visible in its architecture, seen in Art Deco buildings such as the Cinema Rialto, or the neo-Gothic Sacré Coeur. As a true example of Morocco’s rich and diverse history, these coexist with the Moorish and Arabic-style structures such as the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest and grandest in the world, and the Quartier Habous, often called the “new medina”, which was incidentally created by the French as an example of what an idealized medina might look like.
Besides being one of Africa’s largest financial centers, Casablanca is a commercial hub that is home to no less than 60% of Morocco’s domestic and international corporations, as well as many of its industrial facilities. The city’s urbane vibe is also reflected in its myriad restaurants, cultural institutes and events.