Morocco is ticking the right boxes for investment

Morocco's plans to boost its tourism and property industry even in rural areas should lead to a property boom, according to a variety of experts.

Tourism Minister Mohamed Boussaid announced that the country is set to meet its target of attracting ten million visitors from overseas in 2012. Last year it attracted a total of 7.4 million international tourists and the figure for 2008 is expected to exceed that.

High profile investors including Richard Branson have already purchased property in Morocco adding to its overall appeal.

Former Swiss president Joseph Deiss told the first African Emerging Markets Forum in Rabat that for an emerging country, Morocco is advancing at a steady and well-managed pace. 'Morocco, which has considerable potential, including its significant human resources, is on the right track with a solid institutional framework and stability which is highly conductive to development,' he said.

Aside from the six Plan Azur coastal resorts, the Moroccan Government has various other Action Plans on the go throughout the country, Tamuda Bay being one of them.

This stretch of Tetouanaise coastline between the city of Fnideq just outside the Spanish enclave of Ceuta down to the fishing town and beach resort of M'diq is earmarked for 3.3bn Dirhams-worth of investment (over 200 million GBP) to include 5,000 hotel beds, two new 18-hole golf courses and upgrades to the existing three marinas.

Pockets of residential property are springing up along Tamuda Bay and offering some tough competition to the saturated Spanish coastline just a few kilometers across the Mediterranean.

'The Moroccan Government made the tactical move of giving this coastline an identity by dubbing it Tamuda Bay back in October 2006 and the clear intention is to provide an accessible yet affordable alternative to the Spanish Costas,' said Trevor Byrne, GEM Estates Moroccan.

Golfers and yacht owners are a prime target and planners hope to capture a share of the market from the longer established golf courses and marinas found in southern Spain and even along the French Riviera.

'Aside from the more reliable climate, price is a driving factor with Tamuda Bay undercutting its rivals on residential property, a round of golf, berths, yacht maintenance, cost of living and so on. The formula for success is spot-on,' he added.

One of the latest investment opportunities is The Views, a residential resort less than 10km from the chic 450-berth Marina which can accommodate yachts up to 60m in length and styles itself as a "port to experience, only 10 miles from the Straits".