LONDON: Marrakech has been ranked seventh in a new list of the world’s 53 best cities, compiled by British events magazine Time Out.
Dubai (40), Abu Dhabi (45) and Doha (53) are the other Arab cities that have received praise for their offerings in nightlife, quality of life and practical issues such as walking and sustainability.
The magazine’s annual ranking this year was the first since 2019 not to revolve around resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic, instead focusing on the fun, thrills and practical frills each city has to offer.
Time Out said it had “added extra weight to the things that make cities great places to visit and live”.
He added: “Our top cities this year are those with thriving nightlife, amazing food and drink, and art, culture and museums galore.
“We’ve highlighted places that aren’t boring, overpriced or overrated, and made sure our top picks also score well for practical things like walking, good public transport and safety. , as well as durability.
The editors were charmed by the “community, creativity and faith in the future” that made Marrakech “roar out of the pandemic with a new lease of life”.
Time Out spoke with local guides and experts to get a sense of what’s particularly great about each city hub.
Highlighting the new International Storytelling Festival in February, he said post-pandemic Marrakech had attracted “great actors like La Mamounia” who were “sporting sassy new looks”.
Morocco’s cultural capital has been described as “thriving”, with the magazine highlighting a range of exhibits.
He added that El-Fenn had kicked off “the hottest Sunday musical parties in town”, with visitors desperate to return.
Time Out said Dubai “has everything you would expect from a travel destination – from amazing restaurants and vibrant nightlife to some of the best shopping in the world and simply stunning beaches”.
He also highlighted its modernity and cleanliness, pointing out that 97% of residents say the city is clean.
Dubbed “a city of superlatives”, Time Out highlighted the emirate which boasts the world’s tallest infinity pool, tallest building and largest man-made island. Dubai has heard the phrase “go big or go home” and really took it to heart.
But while these “world’s tallest” structures are static, the city is anything but. A vibrant scene of events introduced the newly opened Museum of the Future, with Time Out recommending you follow your visit “with a beach club crawl along the rapidly expanding Palm West strip and a DJ set at Electric Pawn. shop”.
Time Out noted that the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi is also the “unofficial capital of arts and culture” of the United Arab Emirates.
Highlighting that the city’s safety and cleanliness have made it popular with expats, the magazine referred to the constant flow of exciting things to do, “from cutting-edge restaurant openings to major new museums, including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. and the National History Museum Abu Dhabi,” both of which are on the horizon.
Local expert Heather Cichowski, from Time Out Abu Dhabi, said the city “ranks among the least dirty, stressful and gross. In short, it is a very comfortable and pleasant place to live and work.
Like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Doha has also been hailed for its cleanliness, but locals and expats alike have enjoyed the flow of events and activity in the Qatari capital.
As Doha prepares to host this year’s FIFA World Cup, the pinnacle of the world’s most popular sport, the city is promoting its local events for all tastes and beliefs.
Time Out said: ‘There’s lots of great things to see and do here, whether you fancy heading to one of the city’s many cafes for breakfast (and we mean lots, the Doha’s coffee and cake culture is absolutely thriving), public touring art spots from Al Sadd metro station to Katara cultural village, or visiting an after-hours bar.”
Benefiting from a slower and less stressful pace of life, the city pays particular attention to its arts scene.
The magazine said that by early 2023, some 17 new exhibitions are set to open, including an “immersive light installation by Pipiliotti Rist at the National Museum of Qatar”, which it described as “particularly breathtaking”.