Morocco Travel Junkie Diary of

Sarah Al Dabbagh

Saturday, September 14, 2013
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Working with Sarah Al Dabbagh, a wedding planner based in Saudi Arabia is a dream come true! Whether you are a bride-to-be or simply have a passion for hosting exquisite parties, Lace specializes in designing and producing timeless events tailored to your every need. From weddings to engagements to lavish dinner, Lace creates countless atmospheres that will not fail to take your breath away. “I believe that extravagance may be manifested in elegance and refinement by combining the service and style of the west with the enchanting traditions and hospitality of the east. I ensure an exclusive relationship with my clients in hopes of altering the concept of planning from a chaotic routine to an unforgettable, heart-felt journey of bringing dreams into reality.”

“The upcoming wedding that I’m planning next week is completely inspired by my trip, the wedding is also named “marrakech” (I name all my weddings depending on the theme). I’m using Moroccan tiles for the dance floor and I’m having orange trees everywhere and oranges with the arrangements.”

Travel Junkie Diary interviewed Sarah Al Dabbagh on how her travel trips and especially Marrakesh inspired her on becoming one of the most talented wedding planner in the region.

Profile image by Fahad Ayyad

Destination Marrakesh, Morocco

I’m fortunate to have been to beautiful cities ever since I was a little girl, discovering new places with my family and enjoying the thrill of being out of my comfort zone. Learning about different cultures, hearing different languages, struggling in communicating, tasting new food and most importantly gaining knowledge. That beautiful feeling of happiness after a trip, coming back home with pictures and souvenirs, still smelling the scent of the city, still tasting the food. The common withdrawal symptoms. These emotions were normal after each trip and new place, eventually a few days later I’d get over it and start thinking of where I want to go next; but then I went to Marrakesh and knew how it feels to really be madly in love with a city.

I can easily say that my trip to this magical city has been my favorite, a dream, it really was. What attracted me the most about it is how different it is from any other city I’ve been to, it didn’t remind me of anywhere else, and I loved that. The colors, the architecture, the scent, and the culture is unreal. Walking around the streets of Marrakech and seeing the majority wearing their traditional Moroccan attire, it’s beautiful how they’re very much in touch with their culture and traditions. The feeling of overwhelming happiness that was upon me was that of my first visit to Disneyland back in 1993.

Stayed at Mamounia

I would stay again in a heartbeat! They call this hotel the legend, and it really is. From the moment I walked thru it’s doors, welcomed by friendly door men dressed in traditional clothing, the delicious dates and almond milk they served at check in, I fell in love. Set within the 12-century remparts surrounding the old medina, La Mamounia is an oasis of peace, hidden away from the bustle of the nearby souks. The 1923 restored palace is a vibrant celebration of the city’s past, present, and future displaying Moroccan style, complete with intricate patterns and arabesques based on Berber and Arab-Andalusian traditions. It truly is a beautiful place on earth as Winston Churchill once said. We stayed in the superior hivernage room and it was a great space, beautifully designed, and a very comfortable bed! The only meal we had the hotel was breakfast by the pool early in the morning, and it was delicious! A spa day at Mamounia is a must! The traditional Moroccan bath was the highlight of my spa day. For those not staying at Mamounia, it’s a must visit hotel, and it’s beautiful/historical garden is worth roaming around.

Month  February

In your suitcase

Well we had a wedding so I had a few formal outfits for the pre parties and the wedding itself, but in the morning time pants/shorts with a top and always have a blazer or a sweater and a scarf because it would get cold. We got a few hot days and wore summer dresses.  Nighttime depends on how dressed up or down you want to be, but it gets a bit chilly when the sun goes down.

Dined at 

My absolute favorite restaurant is called Dar Yakout, with a lovely ambiance and the most delicious Moroccan food, you also don’t have to worry about what to order because it’s a set menu, you just sit and enjoy the experience!

Shopped

The souk! You will find everything you need, from traditional kaftans, shoes, pashminas, accessories, paintings, food, creams…etc.

Diary 

Everyday in Marrakesh is different, a new experience and a new beautiful place. Don’t waste your time sleeping in this magical city, wake up at 8 in the morning and have breakfast by the pool then head out! We would walk to the souk every morning for about an hour or two (it’s a 7 minute walk from Mamounia) and because of how big and beautiful the souk is, we had to go everyday to see different parts of it. The souk is located around the famous Jemaa El Fna square, classified as a world heritage by UNESCO, this famous square is the main attraction, where storekeepers, dancers, storytellers, serpent charmers and monkey trainers mingle. Make sure your belongings are well hidden while at the souk and square, it’s full of people and always so busy. Usually after the souk we would head towards a new place to discover, on the top of my list The Saadian Dynasty Tombs located in the old mosque of Al Mansour, The Majorelle Gardens (these enchanting gardens were created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, purchased back in 1962 by Yves Saint Laurent, the gardens were since then entirely rehabilitated. Another must visit is the amazing Madrasa Ben Youssef, The Bahia Palace,The Koutoubia Mosque, and the Menara Garden. We made sure to visit one of these beautiful historical places everyday, followed by a visit to a different hotel in Marrakech, so many stunning hotels in Marrakech worth visiting for tea time or even for lunch. My favorites are Royal Mansour Hotel, Hotel Selman, and Amanjena. We would usually grab a quick lunch at the hotels that we visited, or at a trendy restaurant that our hotel would recommend. We kept the traditional Moroccan fancy restaurants for dinner time.

Tip Don’t go in the summer, it’s the best when it’s a bit cold because it tends to get too hot in the summer and you won’t enjoy walking around all the famous outdoor spaces.

Mode of travel Saudi Airlines from Jeddah to Casablanca straight, then drove to Marrakech, highly suggest the roadtrip, 3 hours of beautiful scenery!

 

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