The marketing study will survey local and international opinions on Casablanca to determine the suitability of the development. Prestige will then carry out a town planning assessment of the area and submit proposals over the type of development that should be pursued – tourist, commercial, residential or mixed-use. The planning studies are scheduled for completion in June.

Prestige will prepare tender documents for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract once Agence Urbaine de Casablanca has reviewed the proposals. International developers will be invited to submit bids towards the end of the year for the project.

The restoration of the Corniche is a major part of the kingdom’s $8,000 million plans to reinvigorate its tourism sector, with the aim being to quadruple tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2010. The government is looking to the private sector to finance the hotel and resort, while construction of related transport infrastructure and utilities will be funded by the state (Tourism, MEED Special Report, 20:12:02, pages 23-24).