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El Aaiún
العيون al-ʾAyūn
Downtown view of El Aaiún
El Aaiún is located in Western Sahara
El Aaiún
Location in Western Sahara
Coordinates: 27°9′13″N 13°12′12″W / 27.15361°N 13.20333°W / 27.15361; -13.20333
Country Western Sahara
Claimed by Morocco, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Controlled by Morocco
Population (2009)
 - Total 194,668

El-Aaiún (also transliterated "Laâyoune" or "El Ayun"; Arabic: العيون, transliterated al-ʾAyūn), is a city in Western Sahara founded by the Spanish in 1928. Controlled by Morocco since 1976[1], El-Aaiún is the capital of the Moroccan region of Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra. It is also claimed by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as their de jure capital.

The city is located at 27°09′13″N 13°12′12″W / 27.1536°N 13.2033°W / 27.1536; -13.2033Coordinates: 27°09′13″N 13°12′12″W / 27.1536°N 13.2033°W / 27.1536; -13.2033.[2]

Contents

Demographics

The city has a population of 194,668[3] and is the largest city in Western Sahara. It is a growing economic pole in what Morocco sees as its Southern Provinces. Its population is a mixture of Moroccans from the North as well as Sahrawis from Southern Saharan Morocco and natives of Western Sahara.

Etymology

Vista de El Aaiun en 1995.jpg

"El Aaiún" is the transliteration of the Arabic name used as the Spanish name for the city. "Laâyoune" is a French transliteration even used in Moroccan literature. The Arabic name means "the springs".

Status

The United Nations mission for the referendum, turned to simply await for an political solution, instead of referendum which was obsolet after UN voted for the last resolution 1813 MINURSO, which administers the ceasefire settlement of 1991 between Morocco and the Polisario Front, has its headquarters in the city.

Climate

Weather data for Laâyoune" also "El Ayun"
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20
(68)
20
(68)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
24
(75)
26
(79)
28
(82)
27
(81)
25
(77)
24
(75)
20
(68)
23
(73)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16
(61)
17
(63)
19
(66)
18
(64)
20
(68)
21
(70)
23
(73)
25
(77)
24
(75)
22
(72)
20
(68)
17
(63)
20
(68)
Average low °C (°F) 12
(54)
13
(55)
16
(61)
15
(59)
16
(61)
18
(64)
20
(68)
21
(70)
20
(68)
18
(64)
16
(61)
13
(55)
17
(63)
Precipitation mm (inches) 17.97
(0.71)
18.51
(0.73)
6.74
(0.27)
2.54
(0.1)
3.21
(0.13)
0.31
(0.01)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.21
(0.05)
7.47
(0.29)
16.90
(0.67)
18.60
(0.73)
Avg. precipitation days 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 2 1 3 18
Source: Weatherbase[4]

Sport

A football club in El Aaiun is Jeunesse Massira. The club played in the Botola/GNF 1. Jeunesse Massira use Mohamed Laghdaf stadium in training and games.

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to El Aaiún article)

From Wikitravel

El Aaiun is city in northern Western Sahara. It is the capital and has a population approaching 200,000.

Get in

Bus services connect El Aaiún to major transport hubs in southern Morocco, particularly Inezgane. Road N1 from southern Morocco to El Aaiún is in good condition, checkposts are frequent. Royal Air Maroc flies into El Aaiún from Casablanca, Agadir and Dakhla.

Get around

El Aaiún's central sights can easily be explored on foot. Public transport is virtually non-existent. Grand Taxi services connect to El Aaiún port, El Aaiún plage and places further afield.

See

The main roads are lined by shops selling non-descript Moroccan goods, the bird park seems to be closed forever and the adjoining tourism office is very well staffed but doesn't seem to have any ideas on how to spend your time either.

Do

Desert and deserted beaches are aplenty. Make the most of them.

Eat

Moroccan standard fare at most places, nothing to write home about. Wonderfully beefy camel meat available at butchers around town, dates of excellent quality in the markets. Barbecue, fruit and bread is king.

Sleep

Hotel Parador on Rue Okba Ibn Nafia seems to have reopened after being used as an army base for years. Should easily be the best bet in town. Hotel Larkaoune is mainly occupied by UN troops, the atmosphere is gloomy, the service personnel try to avoid being helpful as far as possible.

Get out

It is easy to see all the sights and sounds of El Aaiún one day. However, with the Sahara all around and the ocean nearby, it is easy to link a trip here with some other cities:

  • Tarfaya - Only a couple hours north via bus lies the small port village of Tarfaya, Morocco.
  • Smara - Travelling deeper into the Sahara one finds this growing village. It features remains of a fortress, and the only regional town not founded by the Spanish.
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Singular
El Aaiún

Plural
-

El Aaiún

  1. The capital city of Western Sahara.

Translations


Simple English

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name.


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