Ouarzazate, The Moroccan Hollywood

Do you know what Lawrence of Arabia, Prince of Persia, Gladiator, The Mummy and  the living daylights have in common?

They all have been filmed in Ouarzazate nicknamed the Hollywood of Morocco

Ouarzazate AKA The door of the desert is a city located in the region of south central of Morocco notorious for being a film-making location since the city accommodates one of the biggest studios of Morocco

Ouarzazate in Amazigh (Berber) means “without noise. this holds some of the places where your mind and your soul can go to a state of peace and quite.one’s you’ve been longing for a very longtime.

Ouarzazate is the refuge of artists, writers, anyone looking for serenity and inspiration, which make it the destination of creators, and the backdrop for a preeminent worldwide productions.


Ouarzazate, the door of the desert, located at 200Km in the south of Marrakech, at the foot of the Atlas at 1200m. The prefecture of 60,000 habitats, 2 roads take you to the desert.

A meeting of two lakes, valleys of the wadi Ouarzazate and Dades (from the High Atlas) at Ouarzazate, which make up the wadi Draa downstream of their confluence, it is the center of a vast region of southern Morocco.

Ouarzazate is both the southern foothills of the High Atlas and the nearby desert.

For inspiration seekers, tourists eager to adventures, writers seeking serenity and tranquility, and those who just want a good holiday. They find refuge in the shadow of palm trees, to relieve and thoroughly enjoy its climate and geography make its oases and mountains surrounding the true wonders. The kasbah, splendid architectural relics with their adobe walls and towers, carrying in a world where time seems to stand still

Ouarzazate is a geographically rich city lying in the southern foothills of the High Atlas and  nearby the desert

ouarzazate from morocco

By his irresistible charm of this region attracting all foreign; tourist, His countless kasbahs adobe, valleys and lush oasis of palm groves and red earth or ocher villages and mountains and arid plains.

Ouarzazate History

According to Ouarzazate history berbers were the original inhabitants of this region, then by black Africans and Jews.

The occupation of the city of Ouarzazate date of the beginning of time. Indeed, several rock engravings and kinds of barrows testifying to prehistoric times have been found in the city and its surroundings, while the city remains an enigma in the eyes of archaeologists.

Locations Ouarzazate and transport

Ouarzazate has an extensive infrastructure, it contains several resorts, luxury hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies, golf club, a convention center and an international airport. In addition, it is the crossing numerous rallies, marathons and walks.

Many projects have been installed to provide good accommodation for tourists, hotels lux, riads, spas, homes for the families and with good prices. As you can find some applications that offer information on rentals you seek.

Regarding transport, all kind of transportation is available, Taxi, Bus, Cars…

ouarzazate from Morocco 1

Historical Landmarks

Referred to as the valley of thousands of kasbahs Ouarzazate contains a numerous monuments and architectural marvels that are an attraction to a huge number of visitors.

Kasbah Taourirt

Kasbah Taourirt is one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in the city. This Kasbah was built around the 17th century, before being refurbished by the tribe of Glaoui in 1882, great tribe of the Atlas. This Berber building impresses visitors with its enormous mass and the details of its picturesque ornamentation. It looks like a big sand castle in the desert.

Taourirt Kasbah was classified a UNESCO World Heritage to preserve all envious. A jewel to visit without moderation.

ouarzazate from morocco 2


At about ten kilometers from the city center of Ouarzazate, the village Tifoultoute inexorably attracts visitors with its majestic Kasbah, often used as a natural backdrop in films from all over the world. In the same style as the Kasbah Taourirt Ouarzazate, the Tifoultoute worth visiting for its external environment. The landscape formed by the valley of Wadi Ouarzazate, amazes tourists who take the time to stop to admire from the terraces. A majestic place with impressive views for lunch with family or friends. Consumption on the premises is required if you have to pay an entrance fee to visit the place.


The Atlas Studios

The Atlas studios were created in 1983. They are surrounded by pharaohs of several meters high, which served as accessories in several films.The Atlas Studios are to visit to discover films from throughout the region.

The Atlas Studios Ouarzazate


Film Museum

The Ouarzazate Film Museum traces the history of studios located in the region and shows visitors the great films made in the heart of the city and those who made his international reputation.

Film Museum ouarzazate

Glaoui kasbah Telouet

The Telouet Glaoui’s Kasbah is one of the most picturesque and most impressive of the Moroccan south region. The Glaoui of the time had built it after being enriched with resources salt mines of the village of Telouet between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. Wealth brings her power. Majestic plaster decorations and vertiginous ceilings to a Kasbah located on top of a small remote village where time seems to have stopped long ago

Glaoui kasbah Telouet

Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou

Ksar Ait Ben Haddou is one of the most beautiful in the Maghreb. It is equivalent in Yemen. These are tangles of ocher buildings that blend into the lunar landscape around Ouarzazate.

The set of compact dwellings surrounded by a wall that was used at the time to push the enemy away from the city.

Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou is a community and collective rather than the population as sharing the seats reserved for parties. Eight families have returned to live in Ksar after ranking at the Unesco World Heritage. They live from tourism development and local crafts. During the 1960s, it had been abandoned and was falling into ruin. Without this rescue by Unesco, the building would have been lost forever.

Ksar Ait Ben Haddou also serves as a natural backdrop for films of small and large production. The ongoing maintenance of buildings by local maâlems prevents the weather does to pieces these buildings are centuries old.

Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou

Ouarzazate, Cinema

Ouarzazate is the Hollywood of Morocco. Several movie studios are installed that could include “Atlas Corporation Studio” and studio “Kanzaman” these are not accessible to tourists during filming. Currently, many films are realized every year, and also where they are exposed sets and costumes relics used to Fun in Ouarzazate. A film museum is located opposite the Kasbah Taourirt. You can find the settings that were used in biblical themed films.

The advantage of having such an environment and its radius that are exceptionally bright, and natural scenery make it a suitable place for filming. This facilitates shooting for filmmakers. There is also its sunshine with over 300 days of sunshine.

The movies are often made in the shooting, but also in one of the 3 studios cities of cinema. These studios allow tourist visits.

Here are some known films that were shot in Ouarzazate:

  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1954)
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (1962)
  • Greed in the Sun (1962)
  • Patton (1970)
  • Oedipus Rex (1967)
  • The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
  • Flight of the Sphinx (1984)
  • Harem (1985)
  • The Jewel of the Nile (1986)
  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
  • The Sheltering Sky (1990)
  • Kundun (1997)
  • Legionnaire (1998)
  • The Mummy (1999)
  • Gladiator (2000)
  • Dead Weight (2002)
  • Spy Game, Spy Game (2001)
  • Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002)
  • What a Girl Wants (2003)
  • Alexander (2004)
  • Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
  • Babel (2006)
  • The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
  • The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)
  • Body of Lies (2008)
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
  • The Way Back (2010)
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Fatima Zahra Laaribi is born and raised in Marrakech. She graduated from Cadi Ayyad University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies and a diploma in business management. In 2016 She was graduated as an Empowerment Facilitator from Empowerment institute, New York, USA. Fatima Zahra working as an office Manager at High Atlas Foundation, nonProfit organization for human development.


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