Morocco welcomes families with new development in Marrakech

Morocco is not the obvious choice for families as many developments are aimed at trendy couples but the country now has its first family friendly resort.

Al Johara aims to provide potential investors with a ready made marketing scenario that will ultimately give good rental yields from families who want to stay clear of the nightclubs, busy souks and sometimes intimidating atmosphere of the busting streets.

Award-winning architect, Elie Mouyal, has taken the need of families into account when designing the 156 acres resort just 20 minutes from the centre of the Rose City of Marrakech.

'This is a welcome new development. I have personally spoken to families, especially those with younger children, who have been put off Morocco by its youth appeal and worried about visiting souks and restaurants,' said James McGovern, a consultant based in Marakech. 'Its shows a maturity in terms of planning and fits in with the government's drive to attract more visitors and investors,' he added.

It has 11 swimming pools, including a wave pool and sandy beach, an equestrian centre offering treks in the nearby Atlas Mountains, an amphitheatre, open air cinema, computer games room, and a selection of restaurants as well as a creche, children's club and a horse carriage to take visitors to their property.

'Central Marrakech can be a little daunting for those with young children, labyrinths of noisy crowded streets, restaurants serving traditionally Moroccan dishes and no amusement park to speak of. Al Johara means that parents don't have to forgo the magic of Marrakech,' said Adam Cornwell, MD of GEM Estates, one agent offering a range of accommodation at the resort.

Other facilities include a 150-room five star with a full spa, clubhouse, gym and fitness centre and a par three 9-hole golf course with driving range and practice greens. There is tennis, beach volleyball, cycling, boules and a jogging track plus the option to dance the night away in an underground soundproofed nightclub. A business centre, Moroccan Cookery and Art & Craft school plus retail outlets from a supermarket to a banks and a patisserie are also planned.