Times of Oman
Oct 09, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 04:39 PM GMT
Marvels of Marrakech
October 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM
The Independent

Temperatures in Marrakech are warming up, with highs of around 18C. The city is hosting the Marrakech Biennale (till March 4). A celebration of arts, literature and debate, it attracts both a local and an international line-up -" this year's film panel is curated by Alan Yentob (marrakechbiennale.org).

Known as the Rose City, owing to the deep pink hue of its medina walls, Marrakech is spectacularly bordered by the Atlas Mountains to the south and the Jbilets hills to the north. 

The Unesco-listed place is the star attraction. A heady mosaic of alleyways, houses, souks and workshops, it is dominated by the towering Koutoubia Mosque. To the west is the Ville Nouvelle -" laid out in the early 20th century during the French Protectorate. 

Most visitors will find themselves in its Hivernage and Guéliz neighbourhoods, which are home to hotels, shops and restaurants. 
The latter is also home to the tourist office at Place Abdel Moumen Ben Ali/Avenue Mohammed V. It opens Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

North-east of the city is the sprawling Palmeraie, dotted with over 100,000 palm trees planted by the Almoravids in the 12th century. These days, it is also home to lavish resorts and golf courses.

Winston Churchill loved to paint in the tranquil orange tree-dotted gardens of La Mamounia. Set just inside the medina, this Art Deco landmark is still one of its most glamorous addresses, thanks to a recent renovation at the hands of French designer Jacques Garcia. 

Riads are another highlight -" ther

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