RABAT– Wessal Capital, an investment fund initiated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI and which brings together five sovereign wealth funds, announces the launch of “WessalBouregreg”, its second large-scale investment project. Focused on the cities of Rabat and Salé, the project aims to create a new cultural and leisure centre designed for local residents and tourists alike.
The framework agreements for this €775 million (DH8.7 billion) project were signed in Rabat yesterday, in the presence of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The project is part of a national plan to position Morocco as a gateway to Africa.
In conjunction with other projects that aim to enhance the region’s social and environmental development, WessalBouregreg is Wessal Capital’s second major investment project: it follows “Wessal Casa-Port”, the €530 million project launched in April to transform Casablanca’s port area. Designed for local residents and tourists alike, WessalBouregreg will enhance both the cultural and tourist attractions of the Rabat and Salé metropolitan areas. By 2020, the country’s ambition is to host 4 million tourists and create 63,000 jobs in this area.
WessalBouregreg reflects the Moroccan State’s determination to support the economic and social development of the Rabat and Salé twin cities, and Morocco in general. Morocco offers unrivalled opportunities for investors: the country is seen as politically stable and under the direction of the King, is pursuing a radical modernisation and reform programme.
Sequence II of the Bouregreg Valley development plan is the most strategic as it is located between the two most populous areas of Rabat and Salé. It also offers the greatest potential as there is much demand for housing within the area.Once completed, it will offer high quality living areas, a business centre and a tourism complex, which will incorporate several leisure facilities.
Rabat’s international prominence and accessibility are major strengths for the development of a new urban area dedicated to culture, leisure and tourism. Built on a total surface area of approximately110 hectares, WessalBouregreg encompasses several diversified projects that are designed to both rehabilitate the banks of the Bouregreg River and to create a pleasant living space for the inhabitants of Rabat and Salé. These projects include:the construction of a new marina for yachting tourism that will create a space that opens out towards the two cities which will offer a top quality infrastructure for yachting, as well as recreational services and amenities for local residents ,a 105,000 m² business centre will combine architectural originality with technological prowess,a recreational area with more than 120,000 m² of retail space around the marina will contribute to the tourist, economic and cultural development of the twin cities,the creation of public areas and green spaces will offer places to meet and socialise,ten percent of the project’s surface area will be reserved for public areas designed to host cultural and community activities and festive events. The development of promenades and events are also an integral part of the project.
Also,sightseeing tours will be developed to facilitate discovery of the area’s main attractions, monuments and historical buildings.
WessalBouregreg aims to promote the cultural development of the region and to preserve UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Bouregreg Valley has a unique and historic location, secular history and many treasures of civilisation, including the Mohammed V mausoleum, the Kasbah of the Udayas, and the 12th century Hassan Tower.
The project aims to create the most important cultural and leisure area in the region, thanks to an ambitious programme that comprises:creation of the Grand Theatre of Rabat more than 1900 seats, several other performance halls, and exterior amenities including gardens and promenades. The Grand Theatre of Rabat was designed by Zaha Hadid, one of the great international architects and winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize,creation of the Museum of Archaeology and the History of Man, built on a 25,000 m² site, which aims to become a space that is truly dedicated to Morocco’s natural history,cultural centres to host theatrical works as well as art exhibitions and workshops. Five cultural centres will be created around different themes: music, literature, dance, sculpture and painting and development of the riverbanks to create pedestrian zones devoted to relaxation and events.
The development is centred around the new iconic Grand Theatre designed by Zaha Hadid(which the Moroccan Government has already committed to fund) and it will cover an area of 110 hectares between Hassan in Rabat and the old medina of Salé.The project aims to create a link between Rabat and Salé, which will transform the valley and represents a real opportunity for integrated urban development in both cities: according to the demographic projections of the Urban Agency of Rabat-Salé, the population could reach three million by 2020.
The WessalBouregreg project represents a link between the river and the city. Particular attention has been paid to sustainable development aspects, thanks to a number of impact studies conducted. These studies cover the environmental impact of the project, taking into account the wetlands, inlets, ecological systems and the management of liquid waste as well as the energy efficiency of new buildings.