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Hotels of Meknes
A hotel in Meknes is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Meknes hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Meknes are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Meknes hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Meknes hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Meknes have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Meknes
An upscale full service hotel facility in Meknes that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Meknes hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Meknes
Full service Meknes hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Meknes
Boutique hotels of Meknes are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Meknes boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Meknes may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Meknes
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Meknes travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Meknes focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Meknes
Small to medium-sized Meknes hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Meknes traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Meknes hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Meknes
A bed and breakfast in Meknes is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Meknes bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Meknes B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Meknes
Meknes hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Meknes hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Meknes
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Meknes hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Meknes lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Meknes
Meknes timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Meknes often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Meknes on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Meknes
A Meknes motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Meknes for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Meknes motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Meknes (Arabic: مكناس Mknas; Berber: ⴰⵎⴽⵏⴰⵙ, Ameknas ; French: Meknès; Spanish: Mequinez) is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became a capital under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), the founder of the Alaouite dynasty. Using European slave labour Sultan Moulay Ismaïl turned it into an impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today. The urban population is estimated at more than 650,000 with the metropolitan population close to 1,000,000. It is the seat of Meknès Prefecture and an important economic pole in the region of Fès-Meknès.
Meknes is named after a Berber tribe which, was known as Miknasa (native Berber name: Imeknasen) in the medieval North African documents.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Historic City of Meknes
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
North Africa / Arab States
1996 (20th Session)
The Almoravids founded a fortress in Meknes during the 11th century. It resisted the Almohads rise, and was thus destroyed by them, only to be rebuilt in a larger size with mosques and large fortifications. Under the Merinids it received further madrasas, kasbahs and mosques in the early 14th century, and continued to thrive under the Wattasid dynasty. Meknes saw its golden age as the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail following his accession to the Sultanate of Morocco (1672–1727). He installed under the old city a large prison to house Christian sailors captured on the sea, and also constructed numerous edifices, gardens, monumental gates, mosques (whence the city's nickname of "City of a Hundred Minarets") and the large line of wall, having a length of 40 kilometres (25 miles). His many building projects were made possible by a large number of European slaves taken at sea. As much as 30 000 slaves were working on his palace every day.
According to the ICOMOS Heritage at Risk report of 2000, the historic city of Meknes contains insufficient drainage systems, and as a result suffers from inundation and leakage in certain areas.
Meknes is located in a strategic position in the heart of Morocco, to its south and south-east are the rich cedar forests and mountains of the Middle Atlas mountains with the cities Ifrane and Azrou; and more to the south are the rich oases of Tafilalt. To the west are the two largest metropolitan areas of Morocco: Casablanca and Rabat. To the north is the mountainous north of Morocco with the cities of Tangier and Tétouan. East of Meknes includes a large number of cities of which Oujda and Fes.
Meknes has a Mediterranean climate with continental influences. Its climate is similar to some areas of southern Spain and inland southern Portugal. The temperatures shifts from cool and cold in winter to hot days in the summer months of June–September. The nights, however, are always cool (or colder in winter), with daytime temperatures generally rising 10-14C above the low every day. The winter highs typically reach only 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) in December–January, whereas night temperatures average 3 °C (37 °F). (see weather-table below).
It rarely snows in Meknes.
Climate data for Meknes (1961–1990, extremes 1919–1993)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: NOAA
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes and humidity)
Bab El Khmiss
Belle Vue (1, 2 et 3)
Borj Moulay Omar
Belle vue 3
El Hedim Place
El Malah Lakdim
El Mansour (1, 2, 3 et 4)
Hamria (new city district)
Hay El Fakharin
Main article: Meknès Prefecture
Meknes is the seat of the prefecture of Meknès, which consists of 6 municipalities (including the city Meknes) and 15 rural communes.
Meknes: Main sights
The following map depicts some of the monuments in the old Medina and a general view over the old and new parts of Meknes.
Monumental map of the city of Meknes
Meknes: Médina - Historic City
Aerial view of the west part of Meknes Médina
Bab Berdaine Gate built in the 17th century.
Bab El Khemis Gate, built in 1673, near the quarter of Riad and Mellah.
Bab Mansour Gate, its building finished in 1732
Dar El Makhzen royal palace.
Volubilis This site is one of the most famous sites in Meknes. It is a site of Roman construction. It is located on a hill where tourists can see the spread out countryside and also see the pieces of the once tall and grandeur Roman villa. Many artifacts from this site are also located in the Rabat's Archaeology Museum but the floors of the villas remain at the original site.
Medina Medina, or "Old Town", is home to a 12th-century mosque called the Grand Mosque. It sits in the center of the Medina. Also, in the Medina is the The Dar Jamai. It was originally the home of the Jamai family. In 1920, it was made into the Museum of Moroccan Art. The museum still has the same interior designing as the house originally did. Most of the art is from around the Morocco region and there is a room decorated like it would have been in the 19th century. The museum is located in the El Hedem Square.
Dar El Makhzen palace, located in El Mechouar Stinia. It is sided by a 2 km-long corridor formed by two large walls. It was Moulay Ismaïl's official palace.
Bab al-Mansour gate, named after the architect, El-Mansour. It was completed 5 years after Moulay Ismail's death, in 1732. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. When the structure was completed, Moulay Ismail inspected the gate, asking El-Mansur if he could do better. El-Mansur felt complied to answer yes, making the sultan so furious he had him executed. Still, according to historical records, the gate was finished after Moulay Ismail's death. The gate itself is now used as an arts and crafts gallery; entry is by a side gate. This is the main gate between the Medina and Imperial City of Meknes. It is designed with Almohad patterns and some of Volubilis's columns were taken apart to build the wall.
Lahboul gardens. It houses a zoological garden and an open-air theatre.
Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, built in 1703 by Ahmed Eddahbi
Koubat Al Khayatin ("Ambassador's Hall"): a pavilion in which sultan Moulay Ismaïl received foreign ambassadors.
Bab El Khemis: a large decorated gate from the 17th century.
Bab Berdaïne: a majestic gate built by Moulay Ismaïl in the 17th century.
Dar El Beida, a 19th-century palace built by sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah. It is currently home to the Royal Military Academy.
Agdal reservoir, built by Moulay Ismail. It measures 319 x 149 meters, with a depth of 2 m.
Cara subterranean prison.
The ruins of the Roman town of Volubilis (Oualili) are about half an hour to the north.
Some of the historic mosques in Meknes include:
Meknes: Néjjarine Mosque
Néjjarine Mosque built in the 11th century by Almoravids, located in the old city(médina). Actually the mosque is closed due to some maintenance work.
Minaret of the historic Néjjarine Mosque.
Meknes: The Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque built on a surface of more than 2,700 square meters, founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids. It has 11 gates and 143 arcades, a very old and historic library was established by the Marinids that actually still opens for readers. The Grand Mosque is situated in front of the Madrasa Bou Inania.
Panoramic view inside the Grand Mosque in May 2016
Minaret of the Grand Mosque.
Meknes: Zitouna Mosque
This is a very old mosque, built during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl in the 17th century.
Meknes: Madrasa Bou Inania
Established by the Marinid sultan Abu al-Hasan and construction was completed by his son Abu Inan in 1345.
Medresa Bou Inania in Meknes.
Inside the Medresa Bou Inania in Meknes.
Meknes: Borj Belkari
This tower was build in the 17th century as a part of the Ismailian walls built by Sultan Moulay Ismaïl. Actually, and since 2003, this tower holds the museum of pottery.
Borj Belkari tower. Built in the 17th century.
Inside the museum of pottery in Borj Belkari tower, Meknes.
The Museum houses pottery collections of the Rif and the anterior Rif region, that was constituted in 2003 thanks to the exchanges between museums and the acquisitions of the pottery's workshops. The journey of the visit is both thematic and chronological. It allows to discover the technological evolution and the fabrication procedures of the Rif pottery since the prehistoric period until nowadays.
The visit starts on the right of the entrance with archaeological ceramic, in order to discover afterwards the current pottery in the halls of the museum. It finishes by the reconstitution of a pottery workshop.
The permanent collection is composed of pre historical, vintage and Islamic pottery, and of potteries coming from different geographical zones of Morocco.
The first section offers a historical and archaeological presentation of the ceramic of the Rif and the pre-Rif distributed on three halls. The visitor has the opportunity to get familiarised with the characteristics of the prehistoric ceramic, through the observation of the objects of several shapes, modeled or crafted and enriched with decorations.
A second hall exposes the pottery of the ceramic that dates back to the pre-Islamic period, and a third hall houses the Islamic ceramic, especially the green ceramic.
As for the second section, it is entirely devoted to the current and old workshops of pottery. Some pottery and ceramic pottery coming from five regions (Zerhoun and Meknes, Oued Laou, Ouazzane and Sless, Kariat Ba Mohamed and Tsoul), are being exposed.
Meknes is an economical center in Morocco with various products from the three economical sectors (agriculture, industry and services), which makes the city economically competitive and attractive for investments.
A December 2015 World Bank report classified Meknes as one of the three most competitive cities in Africa. Two of those three competitive African cities are from Morocco: Meknes and Tangier.
Meknes is considered to be the capital of agriculture in Morocco. And the Saïss plain is one of the fertile and rich plains in Morocco and Meknes is the center of this plain.
This image shows the geographical structure of the Saïss plain around Meknes area in Morocco.
Meknes city holds each year the International Agriculture Show in Morocco(French: Template:Salon International de l'Agriculture au Maroc) since April 2006. This agriculture show has an area of more than 250000 square meters, with more than 60 countries participating, and more than 1200 exhibitors. The lands around Meknes area are known to be fertile and productive. The high elevation, fertility and the fresh water of those lands favor the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, most notably: peach, nectarine, prune, apples; potato, onion and garlic. Also, livestock raising, particularly sheep and cattle is widespread. Meknes has large industrial units for milk production and diary that fulfill the most of the needs of the region. Another agricultural product well known for its quality and taste in Morocco is the olive and olive oil from Meknes, and historically talking, Roman Volubilis was a major producer of olive oil.
Industry in Meknes is of light type, most of it is related to food processing especially in the Commune of Mejjat, and chemical and para-chemical industry in other industrial zones like the Agropolis industrial and agribusiness zone. Add to those the textile and metallic manufacturing which are old industries in the city. The year 2016 marks a new era of new industry in the city of Meknes, it includes electrical wire, embedded systems, and automotive parts production companies.
Meknes: Major Companies
Meknes: Meknes Agropolis
Agropolis is Morocco's first competitiveness cluster dedicated to agribusiness. Its unique geographical location in central Morocco, together with its agricultural potential, makes it an attractive, rapidly developing platform. Agropolis welcomes investors in a first-class environment offering infrastructure that meets international norms as well as a wide range of real estate services, notably equipped plots of land and delegated management possibilities at competitive rates. Meknes Agropolis is the ideal ecosystem to implement a project focused on agribusiness, logistical activities and marketing, packaging units, tertiary activities, training and R&D.
The first phase of the project has a land surface of 130 ha. The Agropolis Zone is 12 km from Meknes and 2.5 hours drive from Casablanca. Casablanca Port is 246 km far from Agropolis and Tanger-Med Port is 382 km away.
Most of the services products in Meknes are related to Tourism due to the history of the old city district -Meknes Médina-. Of Morocco's four Imperial Cities, Meknes is possibly the least well-known – not as large as Rabat, as fashionable as Marrakech, or as famous as Fez – and you might say that this is to its advantage as you’ll find this historic place quieter and more laid back than its sister cities. It's an enchanting place to visit, with winding narrow streets, a classic medina and grand buildings that hail back to its time as the capital of Morocco. Nearby are the Roman ruins of Volubis and the tomb of Moulay Idriss – two of the most important historical sites in the kingdom. But Meknes is also a modern, lively city with a vibrant nightlife, plenty of bars and a welcoming attitude towards visitors.
The geographical location of the city of Meknes makes it one of the important transport hubs in Morocco. The city is accessed via the A2 expressway with two exits, one to the east of the city and another to the west.
Two train stations are located in the new city district(French: Ville Nouvelle) of Meknes, with trains each hour to the east, west, and north of Morocco. Operated by ONCF, the following table lists destinations reachable via Meknes railway stations(Round-trips):
Fez - Meknes - Kenitra - Rabat - Casa Voyageurs
Every 2 hours
West and South West
Fez - Meknes - Sidi Kacem - Sidi Slimane - Kenitra - Salé - Rabat - Mohammedia - Casa Ain-Sebaa - Casa Voyageurs - Casa Oasis - Berrechid - Settat - Ben Guerir - Marrakesh
Meknes - Sidi Kacem - Sidi Slimane - Kenitra - Salé - Rabat - Mohammedia - Casa Ain-Sebaa - Casa Port
3 trains every Sunday PM
As mentioned above, Meknes city has two train stations, and their names are: Meknes Railway Station(French: Gare de Meknès) and Meknes Amir Abdul Qadir Railway Station(French: Gare de Meknès Amir Abdelkader). All the mentioned trains cited in the previous table stop by the former station; and except the first row of the table, all the remaining trains stop by the latter station.
Meknes and its area are served by Saïss Airport (IATA: FEZ, ICAO: GMFF).
Meknes: Public Transport
Public transport in Meknes is managed by the urban commune and it consists of:
A large network of buses that cover all the area of the prefecture, and even outside of the prefecture like the line 16 to El Hajeb.
Taxis in the city exist in two types: small taxis with 3 places Max that work with fares system; and bigger taxis with 6 places Max that have a predetermined trajectory and fixed prices.
Meknes is home to the public Moulay Ismail University, with actually the following faculties, schools and institutions divided among three campuses in the cities: Meknes, Errachidia and Khenifra.
Faculty of Sciences - FS, created in 1982
Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences - FLSH, created in 1982
Normal Superior School - ENS, created in 1983
Faculty of Juridical, Economical and Social Sciences - FSJES, created in 1993
Superior School of Technology - EST, created in 1993
National Superior School of the Arts and Professions - ENSAM, created in 1997
Faculty of Science and Technology - FST, created in 1994
Poly disciplinary Faculty - FP, created in 2006
Superior School of Technology - EST, created in 2014
In addition to Moulay Ismail University, numerous private institutes for higher education exist in Meknes.
Meknes: International relations
Meknes: Twin towns – Sister cities
Meknes is twinned with:
Nîmes, France, since 2005
"Official Report of General Census of Population and Housing, page 17", High Commission for Planning, web: HCP Web Site
"Mayor roles and responsibilities", Meknes Web Site, web: Meknes Web Site
"Prefect Biography", Meknes Web Site, web: Meknes Web Site
"Meknes Elevation and Altitude", Elevationmap.net, web: Map Website
Template:Largest cities of Morocco
ICOMOS Heritage at Risk 2000
"Meknes Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
"Klimatafel von Meknès / Marokko" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
Royaume du Maroc (20 November 2008). "Bulletin Officiel № 5684" (PDF) (in French). p. 1600. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
"Description of Dar El Makhzen"
"Bou Inania madrasa(in Arabic)", Meknes Web Site, web
"Presentation of the museum of pottery", Morocco Guide, web Retrieved on 20 February 2017.
"New Report Highlights the World's Most Competitive Cities", The World Bank, web: World Bank Website
A. Essahlaoui, El A. Ouali. "Détermination de la structure géologique de la partie Sud de la plaine du Saïss (bassin de Meknès-Fès, Maroc) par la méthode géoélectrique", Springer Science+Business Media, May 2003. Retrieved on 8 May 2016.
"International Agriculture Show in Morocco", SIAM, web: SIAM Web Site
"English Presentation of Meknes Agropolis", MEDZ, CDG Group, web
"Official Meknes City Tourism portal"
"Ville jumelle: Meknes". City of Nîmes. Retrieved 2016-05-25.