Morocco opens the doors of La Mamounia to the private sector

The legendary Marrakech palace has been listed in an official list of public companies that can be privatized since 2019.

Hotel La Mamounia, in Marrakech, in November 2009.
Hotel La Mamounia, in Marrakech, in November 2009.
Credits: ABDELHAK SENNA / AFP

The legendary palace La Mamounia, which since 1922 has hosted stars from all over the world in the heart of Marrakech, the tourist capital of Morocco, has been listed on Thursday 8 November in an official list of public companies that can be privatized by the 2019. The council The government approved a bill on privatizable businesses, which presents the grand hotel, according to an official statement. The text has yet to be approved in Parliament.

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Owned primarily by the National Office of Railways (ONCF), La Mamounia has hosted many celebrities since its opening: Winston Churchill (who was involved in painting), Ronald Reagan, Jacques Chirac, Orson Welles, Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton, Elton John … The famous palace, which has around 200 rooms and suites, has also been used for filming, such as The man who knew too much Alfred Hitchcock.

La Mamounia closed in 2006 for major renovations and its furniture, Art Deco, Spanish-Moorish or classic French, were sold at auction. The luxury hotel was reopened three years later.

77 companies privatized since 1993

The Moroccan Economy Minister Mohamed Benchaaboun announced a series of privatizations for 2019 at the end of October, according to which the press should lead to 10 billion dirhams (920 million euros).

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Like La Mamounia, the Tahaddart thermoelectric plant is on the list of privatized companies. With a capacity of 384 MW, this plant located near Tangier is managed by a company owned 48% by the ONEE public group, 32% by the Spanish Endesa Generación and 20% by the German Siemens Project Ventures.

Since the launch of the first privatization program in 1993, 77 companies have been sold totally or partially to the private sector, for a total amount of over 103 billion dirhams.

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