Edito Dakhla Festival 2011
The harmony between sky and sea, desert and singing proved the exceptional potential of the Dakhla Festival, celebrating in 2011 its 5th anniversary. Real haven of safety, the town of Dakhla definitely positioned itself not only as a famous international water sports station, but also as a Mecca of cultural exchanges during the Festival.

The festival is becoming an annual rendez-vous for international athletes and artists, all friends of Oued Eddahab-Lagouira inhabitants who can’t wait to welcome their stars. In addition to the cultural development of the region, the Dakhla Festival significantly revitalized the economic fabric of the town where prestigious touristic complexes emerged in the last decade. Numerous investment projects are actually investigated and will consolidate this perspective of sustainable development, and reinforced the existing structures. High level sport exhibitions will once again brighten the event: the Dakhla lagoon will host the longer windsurfing and kitesurfing race ever and is proud to welcome this year the legendary American water sports icon Kevin Pritchard.

During four days, bright young Moroccan music artist and famous international artists will be side to side to offer the best show ever. This year the Festival will have the huge pride to welcome a great artist, ambassador of Moroccan music Abdelwahab Doukkali, the South African star Johnny Clegg and the talented Ivorian Alpha Blondy.

Still in this context of sustainable development, the Dakhla festival will renew the experience of “Women from here and there”, sharing meeting between Sahraouian women of Dakhla, water sports women champions and African women artists. The young community of the region will not be ignored as this year, once again, they will be able to benefit from various art and sport working groups, leading to some interesting callings. With its four editions, the Dakhla Festival managed to gain people’s heart and reputation as well. Then, I really want to thank all the social and economical forces who support this unique responsible initiative, emphasizing on the fact that Dakhla is definitely a dynamic and innovative town, focused on its future development.

Welcome to Dakhla!
Hamid Chabar, Wali of the Oued Eddahab-Lagouira region

After 4 years of real success, the Dakhla Festival comes back from february the 21st to the 27th 2011. This new edition has gain acceptance through the accomplishment of the previous organizations. Thousands of national and international festival-goers will be able to discover different popular and urban expressions and enjoy this higher quality sport and music event.

International meeting point between Sub-Sahraouian Africa, Maghreb and Europe, Dakhla emphasizes its cultural and social position. Home land for nomads coming from the desert, this town is a true heaven of peace, and a real paradise of water sports. Like in the previous editions, the Dakhla Festival puts in light wind sports and welcomes the greatest water sports champions around an international competition and impressive exhibitions. Once again, young talented Moroccan artists will mix with famous international musicians during a very rich musical program. Cette année encore, de jeunes talents marocains croisent des artistes internationaux célèbres, au cours d’une programmation riche en musique et en émotions. In the headline act of 2011, Johnny Clegg, Alpha Blondy, Dabby Touré, Group Doueh, Haoussa, Oum… and other music wizards from Africa and all over the world.

It is for us a way to fight against enclosure, in a different way than investing in basic infrastructures. The Festival is actually leading to a cultural and sport opening up and stimulates the music art movement around the region. During the Festival, people in the trade offer the young and passionate public the possibility to take part into different sport, art and environment working groups. In four years, the Festival helped to invigorate the social and economical fabrics with a local action for local people by giving an international dimension to Dakhla bay.

This act of development is considered as a major point of the strategic vision shared by the institutional actors for Moroccan Sahara, and more particularly for the town of Dakhla. In this respect, sport, cultural inheritance and tourism are considered as promising opportunities to a human sustainable development. Indeed, the Festival is involved as an efficient promotion and marketing tool for the region. A huge national and international media coverage is expected this year again, improving notoriety and fame of the region to develop tourism and new job opportunities. Such as the other editions, this 2011 version of the Festival is looking to attract the attention of the public and to organize a higher quality event in a constructive and novative spirit. In this way, the unique and eclectic music program will be reinforced by the passion for water sports to give an incredible show.

We now wish all the participants to live they best experience of Sahraouian Morocco during this Festival and hope that they will all enjoy the sight in a warm, enthusiastic and welcoming atmosphere.

Welcome to Dakhla.
El Mami Boussif, President of the Sea and Desert Festival of Dakhla. President of the Oued Eddahab Lagouira region.