Though not as atmospheric as other Moroccan cities, Casablanca is the best representation of the modern nation. This is where money is being made, where young Moroccans come to seek their fortunes and where business and the creative industries prosper.
The number of construction projects currently under way here is simply extraordinary – major redevelopments include those at Pl Mohammed V and the Parc de la Ligue Arabe, and new public buildings include the Grand Théâtre de Casablanca.
The city’s handsome Mauresque buildings, which meld French-colonial design and traditional Moroccan style, are best admired in the Downtown area. Visitors who spend time there, in the Quartier Habous and in the beachside suburb of Ain Diab are sure to get into the local swing of things and realise that this old pirate lair is looking towards the future, embracing the European-flavoured urban sophistication that has underpinned life here for the past century.