In the far southwest of Morocco, the city of Dakhla has become a top destination for wind sports.
Dakhla is used to seeing tourists arrive from America and Europe but since the coronavirus pandemic, locals are taking advantage of the clear waters and choppy waves
“I decided to come to Dakhla especially because of lockdown because we could not go wherever we wanted abroad, I saw that it was possible to come to Dakhla and I said to myself as there are very good quality waves, I came to enjoy with my girlfriend,” said Mani Portail, surfing coach in France.
It is here where amateurs and professionals can surf the waves, kitesurf and dune bash to take full advantage of the winds throughout the year and training clubs.
Usually, the number of tourists visiting can reach 200,000.
“Dakhla is a good destination for kitesurfing, to start and to learn, there are a lot of Europeans who come to approach the spots a bit and to learn new skills, because there are perfect conditions,” said Tareq, a kitesurfing monitor:
The city also boasts an annual international surfing championship. but due to the pandemic, that and other sports events have been called off and that’s hurt the surfing business.
“The problem is that we have stopped all the events that means that there is no potential, we cannot detect new elements, we cannot develop surfing and kitesurfing in Morocco, we cannot work in the field of surfing and kitesurfing, that totally blocked us,” said Kamal Nadi, surfing coach in Dakhla and Casablanca.
Despite the covid crisis hitting morocco’s tourism sector hard, hotels in Dakhla were full in July and August as the surf is up for Moroccans staying put.