Morocco opens the doors of La Mamounia for the private sector

The legendary palace of Marrakech is on an official list of public companies that can be privatized from 2019 onwards.

La Mamounia Hotel, in Marrakech, in November 2009.
La Mamounia Hotel, in Marrakech, in November 2009.

The legendary La Mamounia palace, which has housed stars from around the world in the heart of Marrakech, Morocco's tourist capital, since 1922, was noted on Thursday, November 8, on an official list of public companies can be privatized from 2019 onwards. government approved an account on privatable enterprises, featuring the large hotel, according to an official statement. The text has yet to be approved in Parliament.

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The company is mainly owned by the National Office of Railways (ONCF), La Mamounia has hosted many celebrities since its opening: Winston Churchill (who engaged in painting), Ronald Reagan, Jacques Chirac, Orson Welles, Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton, Elton John … The famous palace, with about 200 rooms and suites, was also used for filming, such as The man who knew too much, Alfred Hitchcock.

La Mamounia closed in 2006 for major renovations and the furniture, Art Deco, Spanish-Moorish or French classic, was sold at auction. The luxury hotel was reopened three years later.

77 companies privatized since 1993

Minister Mohamed Benchaaboun of the Moroccan economy announced a series of privatizations in late October 2019. According to the trade press, the deal is expected to deliver 10 billion dirhams (920 million euros).

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Like La Mamounia, Tahaddart's thermal hydropower plant is on the list of companies to be privatized. With a capacity of 384 MW, this plant is managed near Tangier by a company that is 48% owned by the public group ONEE, 32% by the Spanish Endesa Generación and 20% by the German Siemens Project Ventures.

Since the start of the first privatization program in 1993, 77 companies have been sold in whole or in part to the private sector, for a total amount of more than 103 billion dirhams.