Built in 1929 during the French protectorate to create a poche de France (pocket of France) for expatriate French diplomats, administrators, and business personnel, Ifrane’s alpine chalets, contemporary villas, and modern boulevards have become the place to see and be seen for local elite, whose wealth is visibly flaunted with Western designer clothing in European-style cafés and a luxury resort and spa overlooking the Azrou Cedar Forest. Nicknamed "Morocco’s Switzerland," Ifrane sits at an altitude of 5,460 feet and is visibly well maintained with manicured gardens, tree-lined streets, and Swiss-style architecture. As a royal mandate, the Al Akhawayn University, an English-language public university with an American curriculum, opened in the mid-1990s and has become one of the country’s finest.

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