Friday, March 18, 2011

Moroccan Royal Palaces

The Royal Palaces of Morocco (10 and counting)

Updated with the palaces of Nador and Oujda (King's palaces abroad will be added later)

There circulates a figure of 1 million US$ per day as the cost to run and maintain the multitude of Royal Palaces owned by the King of Morocco, Mohammed 6, also known as M6. Most of them were built by his late father Hassan II, also the founder of the financial and business empire, led by Siger (mirrored Regis = Royal) and SNI (after merger with ONA), that detains 30% of the value of the Casablanca stock exchange.

In the age of the internet and Google Earth, Moroccans get for the first time to see where their money goes. I say their money because the King in Morocco has a ministry of its own, Ministere de la Maison Royale, du Protocole et de la Chancellerie, and its allocated part in the national budget is open!

I used Google Earth to trace these palaces, and I find 8 and still counting (updated to 10). Anybody can check for him/herself.

One thing that strikes me every time I zoom to them is the lush green vegetation within their compounds. It's insane how much water is needed to maintain this greenery in a semi-arid place like Morocco. There have been many catastrophical droughts in Morocco, with water rationing and dying cattle, but I doubt these Royal Gardens and Palaces ever noticed. Another facet of injustice suffered by Moroccans because of its medieval absolute monarchy without the slightest possibility of accountability.

I start with the Agadir Palace with its private beach, breakwaters, pier, and its Golf course. The area of this vast complex can be seen from around 260 Km above the earth (Check it for yourself with Google Earth's bottom right altitude indicator).

AGADIR(1)

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View 1



Notice the green area on the left contrasting to the predominantly gray area around of Agadir, except for the Golf course to the right of it. Golf courses, consuming huge amounts of precious water in an arid country, were mushrooming up around Morocco after "incitement", read coercion, of late Hassan II, father of present king Mohammed 6.


View 2

A closer view showing clearly the 2 breakwaters and pier at sea, to the left of the green Palace area, to allow the moroccan king Mohammed 6 to enjoy his favorite sport, jetskying.


View 3

A true oasis with a perimeter measuring 1300m + 1800m + 1500m + 2000m (check for yourself using the ruler from the top menu in Google Earth). That gives something like 250-300 Hectares. So much water to maintain such emerald green lushness.




View 4

First contours of the constructed area.


View 5

The right-hand part of the previous view (view 4). Geometrical symmetry of the lush gardens and the compounds. We can even get the first impression of the Arabesque ornate paved walks and open places.


View 6

The southern part of view 4. Designed artificial lakes can be seen. Agadir is not far from the World's largest desert, the Sahara. What's the evaporation rate in this place? And how much priceless water is needed to keep the Palace complex and its gardens lushly green and artificial lakes filled at all times, even when the king is not around? This is beyond absolute monarchy and kingdom, it borders to a criminal serfdom.



View 7

The main palace compound with extravagantly designed Arabesque gardens and buildings. Notice the huge swimming pool areas, we're still about 700 meters above the earth.


View 8

Everything gets clearer. This is beyond 1001 nights. We can only imagine what hides inside. This is in a country with about 50% illiteracy, and where the king was promoted as "King of the poor" after he became king in 1999. This is what is called The Moroccan Exception, an extravagantly criminal exception.


View 9

Just another view of the madness. This vast palatial complex is guarded 24/7 by police, military and other security forces, of course.
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Rabat(2)
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Wherever you see very green vast area from above in a moroccan city, expect a Palace complex with lush gardens, Arabesque designed paved walks, and high walls with an army of guards and security.





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Fes(3)
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Another city, another Palace Complex with Golf courses, etc....






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Casablanca(4)


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Marrakech(5)


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Ifrane(6)


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Tangiers(7)


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Skhirat(8)


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Nador(9) (still under construction)

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What plans for this palace? Golf course around, and artificial lakes?




A palace under construction. Probably already finished when this is written.



Notice the environmental and scenery pollution on the hill on the other side where they wrote in giant letters: Allah, The Homeland, The King (Morocco's official motto)


A closer image of the motto. Direct environmental, scenery and taste pollution.

This criminal act of scenery disgusting pollution can be seen in may parts of Morocco, the best known being the one in Agadir. The second example is from the Aoulouz dam to the east of Taroudant in the Souss region in southern Morocco. Here are some images of it (the first from Agadir, the 2 others from the Aoulouz dam:


Motto view in Agadir


Aoulouz dam


Motto view on Aoulouz dam


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Oujda(10)

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Notice the proximity to the Golf course and the unusual greenery.






Notice the wide road leading to the entrance. The whole complex is surrounded by high walls judging from the shadows.

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The king of Morocco may own other palaces I didn't know about or/and find yet.

The Royal family has many more properties spread around Morocco, including mini-palaces, sumptuous villas, ranchs and farms. Let alone what is called in Morocco "Domaines", huge ranchs with commercial/recreational aspects.

The Forbes classification doesn't have the whole story. In a country with an absolute monarchy, everything belongs to the king and his family. The rest are there to serve only. This serfdom is priceless, outside any Fortune listing.

1 comment:

  1. It's time for the Moroccan people to take back all their political powers and manage their country themselves.

    ReplyDelete