EL JADIDA is a stylish and beautiful town, retaining the lanes and ramparts of an old Portuguese Medina, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was known as Mazagan under the Portuguese, who held it from 1506 until 1769. The city was taken from the Portuguese by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah and then in the nineteenth century was renamed El Jadida – “The New” – after being resettled, partly with Jews from Azemmour, by Sultan Abd er Rahman. Under the French, it grew into a quite sizeable administrative centre and a popular beach resort.
Moroccans from Casablanca and Marrakesh, even Tangier or Fez, come down to the beach here in summer; when the bars are crowded, there’s an almost frenetic evening promenade and – as in Casa – Moroccan women are visible and active participants.