Ouarzazate

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Ouarzazate, nicknamed The door of the desert, is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in Drâa-Tafilalet region of south-central Morocco. Ouarzazate is at an elevation of 1,160 metres (3,810 ft) in the middle of a bare plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains. To the south of the town is the desert.

The town is chiefly inhabited by Berber-speakers, who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs (locally known as: iɣeṛman) and buildings for which the area is known. Ouarzazate is an important holiday destination in Morocco, as a base for excursions across the Drâa Valley and into the desert. The fortified village (ksar) of Aït Benhaddou west of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Ouarzazate area is a noted film-making location, with Morocco’s biggest studios inviting many international companies to work here. Films such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Living Daylights (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Kundun (1997), Legionnaire (1998), Hanna (2011),The Hills Have Eyes (2006), and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011) were shot here, as was part of the TV series Game of Thrones.

The Ouarzazate solar power station invested and created by the Arab League is expected to open its first phase in December 2015.

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