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Business or Leisure...Always a pleasureMOROCCOVenue fi nding throughout Morocco, Conferences, Conventions, Seminars, Incentive Travel, Clients Events, Team Building, Product Launches, Exhibitions, Photo Shoots, Film Production, Golf Events & Corporate Golf Breaks, Corporate Hospitality, Award Ceremonies, Charity Events, Christmas Parties, Private Parties.History and tradition blend with modernity and comfort to make Morocco an exotic and unforgettable destination.Morocco, with its natural beauty and effi cient infrastructure, is the ideal location for the organisation of incentives, conferences and of course all forms of recreational and relaxation activities.The climate is good all year round with the south warmer and more pleasant during the winter months.For further details please contact:MENARA TRAVEL LTD "DMC - Morocco Specialists"Tel: 0207 3712030Email: info@transatlasevents.com or info@menaratravel.co.ukwww.transatlasevents.com / www.menaratravel.co.uk / www.morocco4golf.comMOROCCO is closer than you think!Around three hours fl ying time from Major European cities

MoroccoISSUE 65 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 93the Imperial Borj. The city's convention centre also holds 2,000 theatre-style.Morocco missed the chaos of the Arab spring affecting neighbouring states and recession has made prices attractive.Sixteen qualifying conferences for the ICCA association rankings helped move Marrakech up to 106th among cities. Business tourism currently accounts for 12-15 per cent of the tourist market in Morocco. A US$750m motorway, the 'six-billion dirham highway', was completed last year to connect Marrakech with the resort of Agadir. It cuts the previous five-hour bumpy drive to two hours, so coastal pleasures can be easily mixed with a city conference in Marrakech. The road to Marrakech meetings has indeed become a conference express."Marrakech is an ideal destination for conferences and incentives," according to Amanda Stranack, Director of Event Management at Grass Roots. "The image Marrakech conjures up and all the creative influences; such as mosaic tiling, lattice work and Moroccan history and intrigue, lend themselves to highly effetive creative theming both pre-, during and post-event." Stranack warns cultural differences can make delivery challenging for some planners: "But using a good DMC can usually overcome these issues. We have delivered many highly successful events in Marrakech for our automotive and pharmaceutical clients." Spice of meetings lifePaUl ColSton vISItS MoroCCo'S rEd PEarl and InvEStIgatES an ExCItIng MEEtIngS StoP on thE MarrakECh ExPrESSying at the foot of the Atlas Mountains is the red pearl of Marrakech. The city has been a trading hub for a thousand years and, some claim, is the most exotic destination you can reach in a three-hour flight from Europe.While the tourism brochures will wax lyrical about the delights of spices and freshly squeezed orange juice in Marrakech's main Djemaa El Fna square, there is plenty of food for thought for the business or incentives visitor. The city is a natural stage and delegates can come after hours to meet magicians, acrobats, storytellers and get a full assault on their senses.Marrakech is not a beach resort, so the procurement department cannot level the 'holiday jolly' jibe as you pack your bags for that big event.A gateway city, standing on the road to the Atlas mountains, Marrakech offers the delights of its old town Menara Gardens, Koutoubia Mosque, the remains of the Bahia Palace and the Ali Ben Yousse Medersa. No building (not even a convention centre), in Marrakech can rise above the 75m minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque.There are botanical gardens and for the visitor that is spa savvy there is a hammam culture to try, albeit the hotels tend to go for a 'hammam-lite' version for tourist tastes. For conference space, there is The Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial, a five-star Moorish Palace near to the medina, and other venues including the Pickalbatross Hotel with its conference centre and recent extension boosting its bed stock considerably. The most famous luxury hotel in Marrakech is probably La Mamounia, which Sir Winston Churchill described as 'the most beautiful place in the world'. Sir Winston, along with General Eisenhower, was one of the famous names to have played golf at the Royal Golf Club of Marrakech, where today green fees are 500 dirhams (US$60).Other key venues include the Atlas Medina & Spa Kenzi Farah, the Kempinski Mansour Eddahbi, Le Meridien N'Fis, Royal Mirage and Business tourism makes up 12-15% of Morocco's tourism marketLMeet Marrakech: gateway to the atlas mountains and guardian city for an ancient arab culture