The port installation has become one of the dynamising elements of the city, as happened with the port of Barcelona in the 90s

The port of Tangier City wants to capture part of the maritime traffic of the Strait of Gibraltar

Mohamed Ouanaya, director general de la SAPT y de la SGPTV - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Mohammed Ouanaya, Director General of SAPT and SGPTV - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Mohammed Ouanaya, Director General of the Management Company of the Port of Tangier Ville, explained to Atalayar the advantages offered by this infrastructure of the Moroccan city during the 3rd Logistics Meeting of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, organized by Logiosmed in collaboration with Investangier, the Regional Investment Center of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region​.

What did your presence at this logistics forum, which highlighted the importance of relations between the Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region and Catalonia, bring you? 

It was very interesting for us to attend this meeting, which brought together two very dynamic regions, such as Catalonia and northern Morocco, and two port cities such as Barcelona and Tangiers. It was very interesting to listen to some experts from different regions discussing about the impact of logistics and how we can improve this sector and collaborate to intensify the relationship between the ports of Tangier Med and Barcelona.  

For us, it was also interesting to present the great reconversion of the old port of Tangier City: I think there is a great similarity with what was done in Barcelona in the nineties of the last century, opening the port to the city and linking the port and the city to make it more human, more interesting and more valuable. 

The new port of Tangier City is extraordinary, I think it is now one of the best jewels of the city. What are its main attractions? 

You have to take into account that Tangier is on the Strait of Gibraltar: there are many ships passing through and the objective of this great project is to attract some of them to stay in our marinas and also to attract some of the cruise shipping.  

In Tangier, as you say, we have right now many attractions to offer to our visitors: we have the Old Medina, which has improved a lot; the wall surrounding the Medina; the interface between the old city and the port, which is now very pleasant.... The first phase of our idea is completely finished and we are now programming the second phase. Our visitors will be delighted and well looked after in our city and in our marina. In our marina we can accommodate all types of boats: from the smallest, seven-metre vessels to large ships of more than 100 metres in length.


And what about large cruise ships, are they welcome or not? The previous mayoress of Barcelona didn't want them, because of the complications they presented to the city in terms of overcrowding.... 

But now I think there are a lot of cruise ships passing through Barcelona. In Tangiers we are now starting to grow, so I think it is a big problem that we have to consider for the future. It's a question of managing how to avoid problems like pollution: we have to discuss this with both the cruise ship owners and the city authorities. The presence of cruise ships in the city has many positive impacts, including economic impacts: tourists spend money, they buy things, they go to restaurants, they buy souvenirs, gifts... All this is very good for the local economy. That is why it is necessary to open the debate between the different parties involved: we need a good approach and a dialogue between the owners, the city, the city managers and the port.  

All this in order to minimise the negative impact of this activity on the daily life of the citizens. 

Is the port of Tangier an invitation to Spanish businessmen to come to Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima because it offers very good investment opportunities? 

Of course it does, there are many opportunities to invest and the quality of life in Tangier is very good. Right now, the city is on everyone's lips: everyone who has heard of Tangier wants to come here. We Spaniards and northern Morocco are very united: we have a lot in common and now we share good things in management, in the city, in infrastructure and in everything we have done over the last 20 years. 

Mohamed Ouanaya, director general de la SAPT y de la SGPTV, en el 3er Encuentro Regional de Logística, dedicado a la región de Tánger-Tetuán-Alhucemas - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Mohammed Ouanaya, Director General of SAPT and SGPTV, at the 3rd Regional Logistics Meeting, dedicated to the Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

It is important that we Spaniards and Moroccans have a mentality of coordination and collaboration, that we do not compete with each other and that we row in the same direction. 

Of course we should. I believe that we have a close relationship between the two shores of the Mediterranean, Spanish and Moroccan, and many things in common, which are of benefit to both sides. We must explore this relationship and take advantage of its added value.