Whilst walking around Marrakech, it is impossible not to notice how many of the doors, window shutters and wooden tables are carefully adorned with exquisite carvings or intricately painted tessellated patterns. These humble items extend far beyond their functional use: the beautiful designs, that are so unique to the region, represent a certain respect for traditional design and artisanal techniques that is prevalent throughout society.
Where it is easy to find small stalls in the Souks inhabited by skilled workers making beautiful wooden item like small boxes or chess sets, items that are perfect for souvenirs, it is perhaps more difficult to find the workshops that make the larger items like the Riad doors, the carved wooden panelling and so on. Located a short walk form the Jemaa el-Fna square, just metres away from Dar Habiba we found Abdil’s workshop. Abdil, a quiet man of little words, invited us into his space to show us his work: we looked through a series of beautifully painted panels that he uses as samples to demonstrate his work to clients before he showed us a carved doorframe he was currently working on for a Riad renovation. He explained that he mainly works for local businesses, but he has in the past also worked for visitors to Marrakech who wanted to take home a unique item to furnish their house. Perhaps you will need more than the basic hand luggage allowance to take home such an item, but a custom-made piece of artisanal history would maybe be the greatest souvenir of all.
Abdil’s shop is located just off the ‘Woodworking’ Medina Walk on the free MarrakechRiad app; but it is well worth the detour, especially if you are interested in bringing home a special memory of Morocco. If you would like to find out more about the free MarrakechRiad app, the ‘Woodworking’ walk or any of our other Medina walks then our Riad staff would be happy to help.
One of our favourite merchants in the Marrakech Souks is the friendly Mostafa whose boutique is located on fashionable Dar El Bashah near to its junction with the Rue Mouassine.
Mostafa offers a colourful and modern twist to traditional Moroccan designs and he will always be pleased to share a glass of mint tea in the best tradition of Marrakech hospitality.
If you are staying in Marrakech, stay in a traditional Riad in the old town, just a short walk from the main square and the Souks
Abdel Monaim works in partnership with a childhood friend. They learned their craft together as young men and now share a workshop in the Souk Belaarif in the Central Medina near to Riad Cinnamon and Riad Star.
Marrakech is a riot of colour, take a short stroll from your Riad hotel into the Souks and you will be captivated. The patterns of decoration are also enchanting, in Islam it is forbidden to produce a
Start in a Caravanserai ( a camel motel!) recently restored using UNESCO funding (Marrakech is a UNESCO world heritage site), pass by the local bakery (sample fresh bread if you wish), walk on into the souks, see the clever slatted roof above (Berber air conditioning!), pass the slipper sellers, see crafts men at work making musical instruments, peep in the shops selling expert lemon wood marketry, and on to the dyers souk.
The streets of Marrakech are a scene of constant change and motion.
There are an amazing variety of goods for sale in the Marrakech Souks, take your time to browse and you will find glazed pottery to fit any colour scheme!
Our luxury Riads are the perfect base from which to explore the ancient medina. Reserve accommodation today!