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The Northern Atlantic Coast Travel Guide

  • Photo: globe666 / Shutterstock


Casablanca is Morocco's most modern city, and various groups of people call it home: hardworking Berbers who came north from the Souss Valley to make their fortune; older folks raised on French customs during the protectorate; devoted Muslims; wealthy business executives in the prestigious neighborhoods of California and Anfa; new and poor arrivals from the countryside, living in conspicuous shantytowns;

and thousands of others from all over the kingdom who have found jobs here. There is also a fair-size expat population, including many French people. The city has its own stock exchange, and working hours tend to transcend the relaxed pace kept by the rest of Morocco.

True to its name—casa blanca in Spanish (white house), which, in turn, is Dar el-Beida in Arabic—Casablanca is a conglomeration of white buildings. The present city, known colloquially as "Casa" or "El Beida," was only founded in 1912. It lacks the abundance of ancient monuments that resonate in Morocco's other major cities; however, there are still some landmarks, including the famous Hassan II Mosque.

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