French daily Liberation has showered Tangier with praise in the wake of the inauguration of Al Boraq, Morocco’s first high speed train.
Mohammedia – Tangier has witnessed “spectacular transformations” in recent decades, Liberation wrote, describing the Moroccan coastal city as the linking point between different worlds and continents.
The article, which came as King Mohammed VI and French president Macron inaugurated Africa’s first high-speed train on November 15, listed the many other development projects that have sprung up in Tangier since Mohammed VI ascended to the throne.
According to Liberation, the transformation of Tangier is part of the King’s royal roadmap to transform Morocco into a continental and world-class business hub.
The newly inaugurated high speed train is the “last royal touch to the forced metamorphosis” of Tangier.
“Tangier’s appearance has changed in ten years,” Liberation wrote. Where old and dilapidated buildings once stood, the city now flaunts modern architecture, state-of-the-art seaside resorts, and surging financial districts.
Ahmed Ettalhi, Tangier’s PJD-affiliated city councilor, told the newspaper that his city’s socio-economic transformation is the result of development projects launched by the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) in 2010.
According to Ettalhi, the government, under the auspices of King Mohammed VI, is determined to give Tangier the same appearance as that of its “neighboring European cities.”
As Tangier stands just 50 kilometers from Algeciras and 160 kilometers from Malaga, the Moroccan tourist city sees itself as a legitimate competitor of its Spanish neighbors, the PJD official suggested.
While the newly inaugurated train has made sufficient headlines, there is more to Tangier’s “metamorphosis.” Since 2010, the city has grown world-class restaurants and hotels and impressive port facilities.
With its staggering transit figures in 2017 (3.3 million containers, 7 million passengers, 1 million exported cars), the Tangier-Med Port has established itself as Africa’s go-to destination in terms of port-related activities.
Tangier-Med II, an extension project set to open in January 2019, is bound to bring the city’s modernization to even higher proportions, Liberation noted.
Tangier is today Morocco’s fourth biggest tourism city, Ettalhi said. But, he explained, the city’s municipal authorities are aiming higher. They want more. “We want to outclass Casablanca. Our aim is to be on the front line.”