Week three of Ramadan in Med-Saidia - 12th September 2009

We have resided in Saidia on and off for 1 year this month and I can honestly say - it's been an experience!

This past month has been for me a very bizarre time. Between 20 June to 21 August the Med-Saidia Resort and surrounding area were packed to capacity. The roads, beaches and restaurants were crowded. The place had a buzz that we'd not experienced here before. I've never seen so many cars on the roads here. We've lived here mainly "out of season", and were pleased, surprised and relieved that there was some life finally showing itself on the resort. Although I must admit for me personally, I sort of like having the place mainly to myself. Especially the beach! As of the 21st August, the place emptied out quite rapidly as many of the visitors returned home or went to stay with friends and family during Ramadan.

There were a wide and varying range of people staying on the Resort. From small families to large families, groups of teenagers, from young to old, and all sorts of nationalities. We met Doctors, HR Directors, an Organisational Psychologist as well as secretaries and housewives, to name but a few. It was a really interesting summer season. It was busy!! That is what we want ultimately.

There were some issues with the fact that basic facilities were not really in place on the Resort to cater for the influx of people. There was rubbish left around the back of the beach, because the bins were not put in place until well into the season. People did need to use areas of the beach to spend a penny (and sometimes a pound). This really should have been thought through. The Resort has been promoted in many places, we wanted the people to come, but the basic necessary facilities were not thought through enough. Hopefully this will be rectified prior to next summer. It needs to be, it is very important to keep the beaches as pristine as possible.

It is still warm and sunny, there are still people on site and more arriving in the next few weeks for holidays and snagging trips. Many are choosing to stay in properties we represent for a couple of reasons. Firstly, so that they can see for themselves what little tasks and issues (and their solutions) await them in their new properties. Secondly, so that they can be very close to the Fadesa office and their new property.

End of the season ... Why? It looks as though the end of the season has well and truly arrived now. Fadesa have decided, no more for anyone. The pools have been left to turn green, the pumps have been switched off and the frogs and insects have moved in. Somehow it is necessary to encourage visitors out of the "high season", but how can we do this if there are no nice facilities for people? We have been in to the Fadesa office three times this week trying to get them to see sense on a range of issues.

Since Ramadan commenced, all the restaurants and cafes in the Marina and Medina have been closed during the day. A very few open in the evenings, but there is very limited choice. Saidia Old Town has a few local restaurants open after 8.30pm too. Only time will tell if this will change in the future to cater for the international tourist trade that is hoped for here. Initially there were rumours that the "Booze Barn" (as we've nicknamed it), located in a small annex of Marjane Market, our local super market, might be open during Ramadan. Well, as I'd expected, it has actually been closed during the entire period. Luckily, we stocked up on supplies to tide us and others over during this "Dry" period. It is necessary to think about when visiting. Certain times of the year could impact the experience dramatically.

Next year Ramadan is due around the 9th or 10th August (for a month), so may effect the "summer season" rentals, but who really knows? If we have direct flights from more points in Europe, and people want to experience a total relaxation holiday with warm seas and sunshine without the crowds, it'll be a great time to visit. With any luck we'll have the necessary beach facilities. The hotels will be able to cater to non-residents (which they haven't really done this season) and more restaurants will see the sense in opening in the evenings. Inshallah!!

I look forward to meeting you to swap stories.

Shani

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