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MOROCCO, one of the most dynamic luxury emerging markets

TANGIER Morocco

Thanks to its strategic geographical position and cheap quality workforce, Morocco has been attracting constantly growing foreign investments, especially in its industry, agriculture and tourism. Auto and textile production have been two of the most dynamic sectors, with companies such as Renault and Inditex making important investments.

Major investor countries include France, Spain, Egypt and Qatar. Qatari Diar has confirmed an investment worth over EUR 2 billion for the coming 5 years in major real estate developments and luxury hotels. Morocco’s leading tourism attraction Marrakech has attracted investments of over EUR 800 million in the past three years, with major upcoming openings including  top luxury resort hotels Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons. The second tourism destination remains Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city followed by the city ports of Tangier and Agadir. Particularly, Tangier has been attracting major investments in real estate and infrastructure, a new commercial port worth EUR 2 billion being currently under construction.

Morocco’s luxury retail market is concentrated on the major city of Casablanca, which is the business capital of Morocco. Mention should also be made that Casablanca is an important regional business hub for its less developped neighbouring countries, with many major financial institutions and multinational companies headquartered in Casablanca. The city’s international airport which is one of the busiest in North Africa and its good road infrastructure also play important parts in the development of country as a regional hub. CPP‘s latest luxury market report on Morocco issued March 2010 has revealed that over 40% of luxury goods are sold to non Moroccans, mostly from other African countries, who visit Casablanca mostly for business purposes. Over 60% of the luxury goods sales are made to locals, from all over Morocco, not only those residing in the major cities of Casablanca, Tangier and the capital of Rabat. That is why Morocco is a very promissing luxury market, luxury sales being generated by locals and regional visitors, less than 10% being made to tourists.

Most of the existing luxury fashion, accessories and jewellery stores are concentrated in Casablanca, with several smaller boutiques also in Marrakech. The most recent openings of monobrand stores: Fendi (Casablanca), Chaumet (Casablanca), Yves Saint Laurent (Casablanca), Gucci (Marrakech). Galleries Lafayettes is due to open a 3.000 sqm franchised operation in Casablanca’s largest mall which is due for completion early next year.

The least developped luxury sectors are SPA, fragrances and cosmetics (the only major player is Marionnaud), organic concepts (restaurants and retail), designer home collections and some sub-segments of sectors such as fashion (ceremonial, men’s) and accessories (shoes). According to CPP‘s research, the total luxury market of Morocco is estimated at EUR 600 million, with a 10% year on year increase.

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