Moroccan Sovereign Fund and Qatari Bank to Launch MegaTourism Project

Rabat – Moroccan sovereign fund Ithmar Capital and Qatari investment bank QInvest are due to launch three joint mega-tourism projects, according to Moroccan news outlet le360.The news site reports that the two groups have founded a new company, Oryx Capital, with an initial budget of MAD 50 million, in order to carry out the necessary studies and audits to decide if the projects are feasible.News about a joint Moroccan-Qatari investment to promote tourism in the kingdom has been circulating for over a year. In May 2016, Ithmar, formerly the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development (FMDT), received the approval of Moroccan public authorities to launch such a venture.While it was known that the foreign investor in the project would be a Qatari institution, the exact company was not revealed until le360’s investigation.The media outlet deduced that QInvest is the mysterious company by the fact that Oryx’s managing board includes the Qatari bank’s chief executive officer. The three planned projects, expected to be followed by others, will seek to promote mountain and beach tourism.The first project aims at building a resort with sports and entertainment services around a medina in the mountainous region of Oukaimeden in the Middle Atlas.The second project is an amusement park in the region of Marrakech, while the third project, nicknamed Al Chatii Al Abdyad (The White Beach), will be a sea resort with leisure services catering to both local and foreign visitors.Qatar is seeking to increase its investments in Morocco. In May a joint meeting between Moroccan and Qatari investors in Doha concluded that the kingdom is a “promising investment market.”Mohamed bin Tawar Al Kuwari, vice chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), said at the time that Morocco offers attractive opportunities for Qatari investors due to its tourism market potential as well as economic privileges granted to foreign investors.