for its return, the Oasis festival will electrify the desert – Jeune Afrique


Virgil Abloh, Black Coffee, Carl Cox… So many electro stars who have walked the stages of the Oasis festival in Marrakech. After five editions in the red city, and two years at a standstill due to the closure of borders linked to the health context, the event returns with a new concept and presents its little sister: Into the Wild. For this brand new formula, the founder of the event, the Anglo-Moroccan Marjana Jaidi, has chosen a destination that has the wind in its sails: Dakhla.

This peninsula nestled between sea and desert has been attracting a few privileged few for several years now, but also nature lovers. No more 4,000 daily festival-goers. In this secluded oasis, located extreme south of the kingdom, 1,200 kilometers from Agadir, the event will not welcome more than 600 visitors. Miles of white sand dunes bordering the lagoon with turquoise Atlantic waters, an ideal context to send the BPMs until the early morning.

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A predominantly local audience

Favorite spot for board sports enthusiasts, such as kitesurfing, because of the wind that blows 330 days a year, the port city of 100,000 inhabitants has recently seen the arrival of a new category of tourists, international and well-to-do. « Dakhla has this luxury image, but it is also a place for sportsmen who travel in backpacks », defends the founder of Oasis, who has had the habit of welcoming a golden and trendy youth every year since 2014. foreigner in the very opulent Fellah Hotel in Marrakech. “The connection between major European cities and Dakhla is more difficult than for Marrakech. Going to Dakhla is also going on an adventure,” concedes Marjana Jaidi, who expects to receive a mainly local audience.

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Enough to promote internal tourism for those who wish to make Into the Wild an itinerant experience – a new destination each year –, combining music and the discovery of Morocco. Offer of excursions (boating, kitesurfing, yoga, etc.) and overnight stays in hotel complexes in the bay between well-being and chic, such as the Dakhla Club and its wooden bungalows harmoniously set in the natural setting, the Tour d’Eole, constructed from sustainable materials with respect for the environment local, with solar panels as a bonus, or even The dunes of Dakhla and its thirty traditional tents… luxury.

Ecotourism

With nearly 8 billion euros invested over five years, the Moroccan authorities want to make the city a flagship destination in the South, by focusing in particular on the bay’s ecotourism potential. For the time being, the accommodation capacity remains limited despite the future hotels (in sandbags!) currently under construction. “There are between 300 and 350 rooms in Dakhla, but guest rooms also exist in the city center. It is also for this reason that we opted for a festival on a human scale. »

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It is also on the side of gastronomy that the creator of the event intends to stand out, while promoting local and locavore cuisine. No more stands street food globalized. Renowned for its seafood, “Dakhla is also the capital of oysters and lobster”. Dishes beautifully prepared by chef Aniss Meski of the Marrakech restaurant Le Mouton noir, or concocted by the Moroccan chef based in Los Angeles, Yasmina Ksikes, of the Lalla Mina table, will delight the taste buds of visitors. On the music side, the festival announces a line-up that is as cutting-edge as ever, combining European and Moroccan DJs, such as the ambassador of the genre, Amine K, founder of the Moroko Loko collective and one of the rare Moroccan DJs recognized internationally, AMVN, Capra, Wahm and the new darling of the scene casablanca, Yasmean.

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