History and Culture

At Marrakech Riad we pride ourselves on offering our guests as much support and information as they require to help them to plan their perfect stay in our beautiful Medina accommodation. Marrakech Morocco, a world heritage site
Marrakech is a culturally rich and diverse city, it has fascinating and complex historical influences. The culture, architecture, cuisine and people of this great red city all reflect the influence of traders, inhabitants and rulers who have gone before. We research and write about interesting facets of this rich historical background. We hope that these pieces of information will help you to gain an understandingof Marrakech before and during your stay with us.

Hassan Hajjaj at Riad Yima

Whilst exploring all that Marrakech has to offer, it’s highly likely that you will come across the works of world renowned artist Hassan Hajjaj. His creations can be found gracing the walls of numerous venues in the red city, but his work branches out much further than Marrakech, Hassan Hajjaj is a Moroccan born, contemporary […]

Histoire de Caftan Marrakech

For the fashion conscious among us, Marrakech is a hub for inspiration. From textile shops stacked floor to ceiling with every colour of velvet, muslin, cotton and sequin cloth; to the enticing amalgamation of African, Arabian and Oriental influences within the characters, architecture, flavours and music of Marrakech. As an artist, it is almost impossible […]

Faouzy the jewellery designer

Morocco is a country with a rich and diverse history spanning several millennia. In it’s lifetime, Morocco has been home to an extensive variety of demographics; beginning with the indigenous Berber people in the first millennium BC, and continuing with colonisation and invasions by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Moors(Spanish) & French. With each […]

Natural Dyes in Clay Pots

The dyers district covers two sides of the main path, through Souk Sebbaghine. If you choose to take the “needle and thread” walk, then you can use our Marrakech Travel Guide App to help you along your way. The app is free to download to your phone or tablet and functions without internet connection, so […]

National Human Development Incentive Morocco

As you pass through the ancient medina, with your senses being overwhelmed by sounds, smells and colour, you might miss a few small details. A detail which is particularly worthy of noting, are the small signs which are dotted around the walls of various attractions or industrial areas which read “Initiative Nationale pour le Developpement Humain”. […]

Soak vegetables in cold water...

For Moroccans, food is a big deal! A full belly is the key to a full and happy mind, and within the framework of this culture; a person takes immense pride in cooking delicious, fresh meals. When in Morocco, you will find that the most accessible groceries in the local markets are the required ingredients […]

Plant cuttings

The country of Morocco at the westernmost point of Africa, has a diverse and variable climate. Expanding across it’s entirety, you can find a multitude of environments; from the desert plains of the Sahara to lush & rocky regions throughout the Atlas Mountains. Average temperatures and rain fall are different from region to region, but […]

essential oils

If you know Morocco, then you will likely be familiar with the ritual of the hammam. If you are not familiar with the word, then in essence it is a combined sauna and bath house. Hammam is an arabic word that roughly translates to “public bath place”. In Marrakech, you are spoiled for choice in […]


There’s no denying that Morocco is a well known destination for unwanted European tyres. The Moroccan customs are taking control of this situation, and just last year at the border they seized a heavy good vehicle carrying in excess of 2,500 used tyres. It is essential that the European tyre management schemes and companies which […]

recycle, re-use, repurpose

The end of 2017 brought us a sequel to the award winning Planet Earth; and along with this visually stunning nature series came a general mass-awakening to the human responsibility of preserving the planet we live upon. A hot political topic in January 2018 has been the damaging effects of plastic waste on the ecology […]

Hospital in Casablanca 1941

In June 1941 Josephine Baker was at her home in Marrakech when she was struck with crippling abdominal pain. French captain Jacques Abtey borrowed a station wagon so that Josephine could lay down for the long ( 350 mile ) journey on uneven roads to the hospital in Casablanca. The date was June 1941, and […]

Tetouan-  Marrakech Riad

Ahmed Belbachir Haskouri (1908–1962) was a powerful member of the royal court of Morocco during the protectorate period. He was a prominent figure in Spanish Moroccan history. He was also a great friend of Josephine Baker. Josephine often stopped to visit him in Tetouan, a small coastal town in the North of Morocco when she […]

Riad Star (90)

Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker are both women who inspire great respect and iconic status. Individually they both flourished as artists in their fields of painting and performance. At a point in history marred by bigotry and racism they reached heights of fame. Josephine and Frida were both known to be bisexual, and when they […]


The newly built Yves St Laurent fashion museum in Marrakech has been named by the Architectural Digest as one of the most influential buildings of 2017. The new museum displays fashion pieces created  by the iconic fashion designer who loved Marrakech. Designed by the French architecture firm headed by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier, the […]

Guedra dancers

Guedra represents several aspects of a form of dance which is particular to Southern Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria. The primary meaning of Guedra is cooking pot, when this pot is covered with a stretched leather skin to create a drum, the drum is also known as Guedra. When the drummer plays a beat representing a […]

Ahwash dancers - Marrakech riad

Ahwash dancing is from the areas around Ouarzazatte and the High Atlas mountains. Women in colourful dress stand motionless around a group of men who are in turn sitting around a fire. The men each have “bendir’s (simple wood and skin frame drums)  A piercing cry breaks the silence, and the performance begins. The men […]

UNESCO world heritage top location

African media outlet site Afrika News has ranked the Moroccan Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate as one of the top four most distinguished UNESCO heritage sites across Africa. The famous Kasbah made it to the top of the list ahead of Victoria Falls , Kenya’s lake system, and the Namib Sand Sea. The report stated that “Morocco is one […]

Fodor’s Travel Guide is the world’s largest and professional travel guide book. Marrakech has been placed at the top of its “Travel Go List for 2018.” beating 51 other renowned world holiday destinations to top the 2018 list. “This romantic desert oasis is set to be one of 2018’s most fashionable vacations,” Fodor’s said. “Marrakech really […]

josephine-baker-gif-marrakech riad

In 1927 he lithographer Paul Colin was commissioned to create a portfolio of work representing La Revue Nègre in Paris. He created  Le Tumulte Noir, a potrtfolio of 45 coloured lithographs. The lithographs celebrated Josephine Baker and the cast of the show, showcasing the energy that the black performers generated in jazz age Paris. The […]

New york times 1942 - Josephine Baker - Riad Star

There was much speculation regarding the fate of Josephine Baker, some feared and reported the worst. The New York Times ran an article on December 6 th 1942 declaring that Josephine was safe and living in Marrakech. “JOSEPHINE IS SAFE” “Negro dancer reported dead is living in Morocco. Casablanca Morocco Dec 5th Josephine Baker, the […]

There are those of us who love to explore the world, who seek places where our senses can be filled with wonder. Places where we can delight in the richness and differences of cultures and cities. Those of us who yearn to widen our life experiences of the world. If you are this person we […]

Josephine Baker - Marrakech Riad Star

We love this new book by Mehdi de Graincourt. It’s a wonderfully researched and beautifully presented book in which Mehdi presents the Kingdom of Morocco through the eyes of those visitors through history who found a deep connection and passion for the country. Over several centuries, Morocco has attracted Western writers, painters,composers, singers and artists. […]


Gabriel Veyre was born in France in 1871 and was an early filmmaker and photographer. Veyre travelled to the Americas and to Japan and China where he created many films and photographs, some of these were shown in 1900 in an exposition in Paris. In 1901 Veyre travelled to Morocco where he was contracted to […]


Autumn 2017 has not been kind to the Marrakech community in addition to the passing of the iconic Pierre Berge we also lost Mohamed Zkhiri who has a lower profile internationally but was no less widely appreciated in the Red City. Mike and Lucie have fond memories of Mohammed’s hospitality at Dar Yacout, a golden eopoque […]

morocco world cup bid

Morocco has declared its intention to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup with a formal proposal to be submitted by 16th March 2018. The 2026 tournament will be the first to be held under a new 48 team format with 16 first round groups of three teams meaning 10 to 12 stadiums will be […]

Pascha steps out by Alfred Dehodencq

Alfred Dehodencq (born 23 April 1822 – 2 January 1882) was a mid-19th-century French Orientalist painter born in Paris. He was known for his vivid oil paintings, especially of Andalusian and North African scenes. He was a student in Paris at the Beaux-Arts. Following a tour of Spain Alfred visited Morocco where he remained for 9 years, where he found […]

white harira soup. Marrakech street food

It’s 3am, and from the silent street we can hear the piercing sound of the harira man’s wake up alarm. He is used to such early starts. In fact, apart from on Friday’s, everyday begins this way. It is still dark, the sun wont rise for another hour yet – so the usually busy and […]