Western Sahara

Western Sahara is an unrecognized state located in Northwest Africa. The region has been contested between Morocco and the Polisario Front since 1973, when Spanish colonial rule ended. Although the United Nations has called for a referendum on self-determination, the referendum has not been held due to Morocco’s insistence on controlling the region. Human rights issues have persisted as restrictions have been placed on free movement and civil liberties.

Tourism in Western Sahara: A Festive and Adventurous Experience

Western Sahara, a disputed territory located in North Africa, may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip. However, this unique and culturally rich region has much to offer for tourists seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. With its vibrant festivals, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, Western Sahara is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Introducing the Festive Spirit of Western Sahara

Western Sahara is known for its lively and festive atmosphere, with celebrations taking place throughout the year. The most significant festival is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the local Muslim population. During this time, the streets are adorned with colorful decorations, and families come together to enjoy traditional meals and exchange gifts.

Unique Tourist Attractions

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Western Sahara is the Laayoune beach, which offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can also explore the Dakhla lagoon, a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The region is also home to several historical sites, such as the Guelta Zemmur oasis and the ruins of Smara.

Important Places to Visit

For a glimpse into the local culture and history, tourists can visit the Laayoune Museum or the National Library of Western Sahara. The capital city of El Aaiun also has a bustling market where visitors can purchase traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.

Activities to Indulge In

Western Sahara offers a range of activities for tourists to enjoy. From camel rides in the desert to kite surfing in Dakhla, there is something for everyone. For those seeking a more immersive experience, camping in the desert under the stars is a must-do.

Infrastructure and Transportation

Western Sahara has a well-developed transportation system, making it easy for tourists to get around. The most common mode of transportation is taxis, which are readily available and affordable. There are also bus services connecting major cities, and car rentals are also an option for those looking for more flexibility.

Travel Information for Foreign Visitors

If you are planning to visit Western Sahara, here is some essential information to keep in mind.

Visa Requirements

Most visitors will require a visa to enter Western Sahara. The visa application process can be done through the nearest embassy or consulate of Morocco, as Western Sahara does not have its own diplomatic representation. It is recommended to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip to avoid any delays.

Health and Safety

As with any travel destination, it is important to take necessary health precautions when visiting Western Sahara. Make sure to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun, as temperatures can be high in the desert. It is also advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before traveling and get all necessary vaccinations.

When it comes to safety, Western Sahara is generally considered safe for tourists. However, it is always wise to take precautions such as avoiding isolated areas and being aware of your surroundings.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Western Sahara has a strong cultural identity, and visitors should be respectful of local customs and etiquette. It is customary to greet people with a handshake and use your right hand when giving or receiving items. It is also important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.

Currency and Payment Methods

The official currency in Western Sahara is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities, but it is always advisable to carry cash for smaller purchases. ATMs are also available in most cities, but it is recommended to inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with your card.

Festive Activities in Western Sahara

Western Sahara is known for its vibrant festivals and events, which are a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Here are some unique activities and experiences to indulge in during your visit.

Traditional Music and Dance

Music and dance play a significant role in the culture of Western Sahara. During festivals, visitors can witness traditional performances by local artists, which often include singing, drumming, and dancing.

Traditional Cuisine

Food is an integral part of any culture, and Western Sahara is no exception. Visitors can sample traditional dishes such as couscous, tajine, and grilled meats at local restaurants or street vendors. It is also a great opportunity to try the famous mint tea, a staple in Sahrawi culture.

Cultural Workshops

For a more hands-on experience, tourists can participate in cultural workshops where they can learn traditional crafts such as pottery making or weaving. These workshops not only provide a fun activity but also support local artisans and their livelihoods.

Infrastructure and Transit During the Festive Season

Western Sahara experiences an influx of tourists during the festive season, which can put a strain on the transportation system. Here are some tips to navigate the country efficiently during this bustling period.

Efficient Public Transportation

The public transportation system in Western Sahara is generally efficient, but it can get crowded during peak tourist season. It is advisable to plan your travels in advance and avoid rush hours if possible.

Tips for Efficient Travel

To make the most of your time in Western Sahara, it is recommended to plan your itinerary in advance and prioritize the places you want to visit. It is also advisable to book tickets for popular attractions and events in advance to avoid long queues.

Accommodation Options

Western Sahara offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, there is something for everyone. During the festive season, it is advisable to book accommodation in advance as it can get fully booked quickly.

Shopping and Souvenirs

For those looking to take a piece of Western Sahara home with them, there are plenty of shopping opportunities. The Laayoune market is a great place to find traditional handicrafts and souvenirs. It is also recommended to visit local cooperatives, where you can purchase authentic handmade products directly from the artisans.

Technology and Connectivity

Western Sahara has good connectivity, with internet access available in most cities. However, it is advisable to purchase a local SIM card for better coverage and cheaper rates. Some useful apps for travelers include Google Maps for navigation, Google Translate for language translation, and Booking.com for event bookings.

Eco-Tourism and Outdoor Adventures

Western Sahara is a paradise for nature lovers, with its vast desert landscapes and stunning coastlines. Visitors can participate in eco-friendly activities such as hiking, bird watching, and camping in the desert. It is important to practice responsible tourism and respect the environment during these activities.

Local Festivals and Events

In addition to the major festivals, Western Sahara also hosts smaller local events throughout the year. These events offer a more intimate experience and are a great way to interact with the local community. Some notable events include the Tan-Tan Moussem, a traditional nomadic gathering, and the Guelmim Festival of Nomads.

Practical Advice and Tips

Before embarking on your trip to Western Sahara, here are some practical tips to keep in mind.

Budgeting for the Trip

Western Sahara is generally an affordable destination, but it is always wise to budget for unexpected expenses. It is also recommended to carry cash in case of any issues with credit cards or ATMs.

Safety Tips

While Western Sahara is generally safe for tourists, it is advisable to take precautions and avoid isolated areas. It is also important to respect local customs and practices to avoid any misunderstandings.

Comprehensive Tourist Guide

To make the most of your visit to Western Sahara, here is a comprehensive guide with all the practical information you need.

Optimal Time to Visit

The best time to visit Western Sahara is during the cooler months from October to April. However, if you want to experience the festive atmosphere, it is recommended to visit during Eid al-Fitr or other major festivals.

Country Events and Activities

The country events calendar varies from year to year, but some not-to-be-missed events include Eid al-Fitr, the Tan-Tan Moussem, and the Guelmim Festival of Nomads. It is also recommended to participate in traditional activities such as camel rides and camping in the desert.

Attire for the Country Climate and Festive Occasions

Western Sahara has a desert climate, so it is advisable to dress in light, breathable clothing. For festive occasions, it is recommended to wear traditional attire or modest clothing out of respect for local customs.

Dos and Don’ts

To honor local customs and practices, it is important to be aware of some dos and don’ts when visiting Western Sahara. For example, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home or mosque, and it is considered impolite to eat or drink in public during Ramadan.

Language Assistance

While Arabic is the official language in Western Sahara, French and Spanish are also widely spoken. It is helpful to learn some common phrases in these languages to facilitate communication with the locals.

Emergency Contact Numbers

In case of any emergencies, here are some vital contact numbers to keep on hand:

– Police: 19
– Ambulance: 15
– Fire Department: 15

In conclusion, Western Sahara offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience for tourists. With its festive atmosphere, stunning landscapes, and rich culture, it is a destination worth exploring. By following these tips and recommendations, you can make the most of your trip to this hidden gem in North Africa

The Country Statistics of Western Sahara

Western Sahara, also known as Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, is a disputed territory located in North Africa. It is bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country has a total land area of 266,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 600,000 people.

Population and Demographics

According to the latest estimates from the United Nations, the population of Western Sahara is around 597,339 as of 2021. The majority of the population (around 80%) lives in urban areas, with the rest residing in rural areas. The country has a relatively young population, with a median age of 21 years.

The ethnic composition of Western Sahara is mainly made up of Arab-Berbers, who make up around 99% of the population. The remaining 1% consists of other ethnic groups such as Europeans and Sub-Saharan Africans. The official language of the country is Arabic, but Spanish and French are also widely spoken.

Economy

The economy of Western Sahara is largely dependent on fishing and phosphate mining. The country has rich fishing grounds due to its location on the Atlantic coast. Phosphate reserves are also abundant in the region and are a major source of income for the country.

In recent years, there have been efforts to diversify the economy by promoting tourism and developing renewable energy sources. However, due to political instability and ongoing disputes over sovereignty, economic growth has been hindered.

Education

Education in Western Sahara is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15. However, due to limited resources and infrastructure, access to education is still a challenge for many children in rural areas.

According to UNESCO, the literacy rate in Western Sahara is around 65%, with a higher rate among males (75%) compared to females (55%). The government has been investing in improving the education system, but progress has been slow due to the country’s political situation.

Healthcare

The healthcare system in Western Sahara is also facing challenges due to limited resources and infrastructure. The country has a high infant mortality rate of 53 deaths per 1,000 live births and a life expectancy of 63 years.

Access to healthcare is also a challenge for people living in remote areas. The government has been working towards improving healthcare services, but the ongoing political conflict has hindered progress.

Human Rights

Western Sahara has been a disputed territory since the 1970s, with Morocco claiming sovereignty over the region. This has led to ongoing human rights violations and political unrest.

According to Amnesty International, human rights abuses such as arbitrary arrests, torture, and restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly are prevalent in the country. The United Nations has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and for the protection of human rights in Western Sahara.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Western Sahara is a small country with a young population and a struggling economy. The ongoing political conflict has hindered its development and progress in various aspects such as education and healthcare. It is important for the international community to address the issue of sovereignty and work towards finding a peaceful resolution for the benefit of the people of Western Sahara

  • What is the capital of Western Sahara?
    The capital of Western Sahara is Laayoune.
  • What is the official language of Western Sahara?
    The official language of Western Sahara is Arabic.
  • What is the currency used in Western Sahara?
    The currency used in Western Sahara is Moroccan dirham (MAD).
  • Is Western Sahara a country or a territory?
    Western Sahara is a disputed territory, with both Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic claiming sovereignty over it.
  • What is the population of Western Sahara?
    As of 2021, the estimated population of Western Sahara is around 600,000.
  • What is the climate like in Western Sahara?
    The climate in Western Sahara is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching up to 50°C in summer and dropping to around 10°C in winter.
  • What are the main industries in Western Sahara?
    The main industries in Western Sahara include fishing, phosphate mining, and tourism.
  • Is there any tourism in Western Sahara?
    Yes, there is tourism in Western Sahara, although it is not as developed as in other countries due to its disputed status.
  • Do I need a visa to visit Western Sahara?
    Yes, visitors to Western Sahara require a visa. It can be obtained from a Moroccan embassy or consulate.
  • What are some popular dishes in Western Sahara?
    Some popular dishes in Western Sahara include couscous, tagine, and camel meat.
  • Is alcohol allowed in Western Sahara?
    Alcohol consumption is not prohibited in Western Sahara, but it is not widely available.
  • What is the traditional music of Western Sahara?
    The traditional music of Western Sahara is called Hassaniya, which is a blend of African and Arab influences.
  • Are there any famous musicians from Western Sahara?
    Yes, some famous musicians from Western Sahara include Mariem Hassan, Aziza Brahim, and Dina El Wedidi.
  • What are some popular songs from Western Sahara?
    Some popular songs from Western Sahara include 'Laayoune Ayniya' by Mariem Hassan and 'El Wali' by Aziza Brahim.
  • Is it safe to travel to Western Sahara?
    The safety situation in Western Sahara is generally stable, but visitors should exercise caution and stay informed about any potential political tensions.
  • What are some popular tourist destinations in Western Sahara?
    Some popular tourist destinations in Western Sahara include the Laayoune beach, Dakhla lagoon, and the Tindouf refugee camps.
  • Is there any wildlife in Western Sahara?
    Yes, there is wildlife in Western Sahara, including camels, gazelles, and various bird species.
  • Can I go on a desert safari in Western Sahara?
    Yes, there are various tour companies that offer desert safaris in Western Sahara.
  • What is the best time of year to visit Western Sahara?
    The best time to visit Western Sahara is during the winter months (November-March) when the weather is milder and more pleasant for outdoor activities.
  • Are there any cultural festivals in Western Sahara?
    Yes, there are cultural festivals in Western Sahara such as the Tan-Tan Moussem festival and the Dakhla International Film Festival.
  • What is the dress code in Western Sahara?
    There is no strict dress code in Western Sahara, but visitors are expected to dress modestly, especially in more conservative areas.
  • What is the time zone of Western Sahara?
    Western Sahara follows Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year round.
  • Is there internet access in Western Sahara?
    Yes, there is internet access in Western Sahara, but it may not be as reliable or widespread as in other countries.
  • What is the voltage used in Western Sahara?
    The voltage used in Western Sahara is 220V, and the standard plug type is Europlug.
  • Are there any health risks in Western Sahara?
    Some health risks in Western Sahara include heatstroke, dehydration, and malaria (in remote areas). It is recommended to consult a doctor before traveling and to take necessary precautions.
  • Can I use my cell phone in Western Sahara?
    Yes, you can use your cell phone in Western Sahara, but you may need to purchase a local SIM card for better coverage and cheaper rates.
  • What is the country calling code for Western Sahara?
    The country calling code for Western Sahara is +212.
  • Are there any restrictions on photography in Western Sahara?
    Photography of military installations or government buildings is prohibited in Western Sahara. It is always best to ask for permission before taking photos of people or their property.
  • What are some common greetings in Arabic in Western Sahara?
    'Salam' (peace) and 'Marhaba' (hello) are common greetings used in Arabic in Western Sahara.
  • What is the traditional clothing of Western Sahara?
    The traditional clothing of Western Sahara includes a long robe called a 'djellaba' and a headscarf called a 'melhfa' for women, and a 'serwal' (baggy pants) and a 'gandora' (tunic) for men.
  • What is the traditional dance of Western Sahara?
    The traditional dance of Western Sahara is called 'Guedra', which is performed by women in a circle while chanting and clapping.
  • Are there any famous landmarks in Western Sahara?
    Some famous landmarks in Western Sahara include the Guerguerat Wall, the Boujdour Lighthouse, and the Tifariti War Museum.
  • Is there any public transportation in Western Sahara?
    Yes, there is public transportation in Western Sahara, including buses and taxis. However, they may not be as reliable or frequent as in other countries.
  • What are some popular souvenirs to buy in Western Sahara?
    Some popular souvenirs to buy in Western Sahara include handmade carpets, traditional jewelry, and camel bone carvings.
  • What is the literacy rate in Western Sahara?
    The literacy rate in Western Sahara is estimated to be around 50%, with higher rates among men than women.
  • What are some common languages spoken in Western Sahara?
    Apart from Arabic, some common languages spoken in Western Sahara include Spanish, French, and Hassaniya Arabic.
  • Is there any nightlife in Western Sahara?
    Nightlife options in Western Sahara are limited, but you can find some bars and clubs in larger cities like Laayoune and Dakhla.

A Closer Look at Western Sahara

Western Sahara Flag

Western Sahara

Western Sahara Formation Date

Western Sahara does not have an agreed-upon formation date since it is a disputed territory.

Western Sahara Capital Name

Laayoune

Western Sahara Neighbours

  1. Algeria Algeria
  2. Mauritania Mauritania
  3. Morocco Morocco

Exploring Western Sahara

Western Sahara: A Hidden Gem in North Africa

Located in the northern region of Africa, Western Sahara is a country steeped in history and culture. It is bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Despite being one of the largest countries in Africa, Western Sahara remains relatively unknown to many travelers. In this article, we will delve into the country's geography, history, politics, economy, demographics, culture, and tourism to uncover the hidden treasures of this fascinating nation.

Key Takeaways

  • Western Sahara is a country located in North Africa with a rich history and diverse culture.
  • The country is bordered by Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Western Sahara has a unique blend of African and Arab influences.
  • The country is known for its natural beauty, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture.
  • Tourism is a growing industry in Western Sahara, offering visitors a chance to explore its hidden gems.

Geography

Western Sahara is predominantly a desert region with a diverse landscape that includes mountains, plateaus, and coastal areas. The country is home to the largest hot desert in the world – the Sahara Desert – which covers more than 80% of its land area. The remaining land is mostly made up of rocky terrain and sandy plains. Despite its arid climate, Western Sahara is rich in natural resources such as phosphates, iron ore, and fisheries. The country also has a small but growing agricultural sector that produces crops like barley, millet, and vegetables. The climate in Western Sahara is characterized by hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures can reach up to 120°F (49°C) in the summer months, while winter temperatures average around 70°F (21°C). The country experiences very little rainfall, with most of it occurring between December and February.

Origin and History

Western Sahara has a long and complex history that dates back to ancient civilizations. The region was once inhabited by the Berber people, who were later conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century. In the 19th century, Western Sahara came under Spanish rule, and it wasn't until 1975 that the country gained its independence. However, Western Sahara's independence was short-lived as Morocco and Mauritania both claimed the territory. This led to a decades-long conflict that resulted in Morocco controlling most of Western Sahara, while Mauritania withdrew its claim in 1979. Today, the status of Western Sahara remains a contentious issue, with ongoing efforts to find a resolution.

Government and Politics

Western Sahara is a disputed territory with no internationally recognized government. The country is currently under the control of Morocco, which claims sovereignty over the region. However, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) also claims independence and has established a government-in-exile in Algeria. The political system in Western Sahara is a mix of traditional tribal structures and modern government institutions. The country is divided into five administrative regions, each with its own governor appointed by Morocco. The SADR also has a government structure in place, with a president and prime minister elected by the people. Foreign relations in Western Sahara are complicated due to its disputed status. The country maintains diplomatic relations with some countries, including Algeria, Cuba, and Venezuela, while others recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the region.

Commerce and Economy

The economy of Western Sahara is largely dependent on fishing, phosphate mining, and agriculture. However, due to its disputed status, the country faces challenges in developing its economy and attracting foreign investment. Western Sahara's main trading partners include Spain, China, and France. The currency used in the country is the Moroccan dirham, although the SADR has its own currency – the Sahrawi peseta.

Demographics

Western Sahara has a population of approximately 600,000 people, with a majority of them living in urban areas. The population is made up of various ethnic groups, including the Sahrawi people, who are the indigenous inhabitants of the region. The country has a relatively young population, with a median age of 22 years. The official language is Arabic, although Spanish and French are also widely spoken. Islam is the dominant religion in Western Sahara, with over 99% of the population being Muslim.

Culture

The culture of Western Sahara is a unique blend of African and Arab influences. Traditional music and dance play an important role in the country's culture, with festivals and celebrations held throughout the year. The most famous festival is the Tan-Tan Moussem, which celebrates the nomadic lifestyle of the Sahrawi people. Art is also an essential aspect of Western Sahara's culture, with intricate hand-woven textiles and pottery being popular among locals and tourists alike. The country's cuisine is heavily influenced by its African and Arab roots, with dishes like couscous, tagine, and grilled meats being staples.

Languages and Religion

Arabic is the official language of Western Sahara, but Spanish and French are also widely spoken due to the country's colonial history. The regional dialects vary depending on the ethnic group and location within the country. Islam is the dominant religion in Western Sahara, with over 99% of the population being Muslim. However, there are small Christian and Jewish communities as well.

Education and Healthcare Systems

The education system in Western Sahara is still developing, with literacy rates estimated to be around 50%. The country has a few universities and vocational schools, but many students travel abroad for higher education. Healthcare in Western Sahara is also limited, with a lack of medical facilities and trained professionals. The government has implemented public health initiatives to improve access to healthcare, but the country still faces challenges in this area.

Sports and Recreation

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Western Sahara, with the national team competing in international tournaments. The country also has a strong tradition of camel racing, a popular sport among the nomadic Sahrawi people. Outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and surfing are also popular among tourists, thanks to Western Sahara's diverse landscape and beautiful beaches.

Tourism

Despite its disputed status, tourism is a growing industry in Western Sahara. The country offers visitors a chance to explore its natural beauty, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture. Some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Western Sahara include the ancient city of Smara, the Dakhla peninsula, and the Laayoune National Museum. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy activities like camel trekking in the desert or kite surfing on the Atlantic coast.

Travel Information for Foreign Visitors

Foreign visitors to Western Sahara are required to have a valid passport and visa. Visas can be obtained at Moroccan embassies or upon arrival at airports in Laayoune and Dakhla. It is important to note that some countries do not recognize Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara, so it is best to check with your embassy before traveling. Health and safety precautions should also be taken when visiting Western Sahara. It is recommended to get vaccinations for common diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid before traveling. It is also advised to avoid drinking tap water and to only consume bottled water. Local customs and etiquette should also be respected when visiting Western Sahara. It is customary to greet people with a handshake and to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. The official currency is the Moroccan dirham, but some businesses may accept euros or US dollars.

Quotes

"There are few places in the world that can rival the beauty and mystery of Western Sahara." - Unknown "Western Sahara may be a disputed territory, but its culture and history are undisputed treasures." - Unknown

Conclusion

Western Sahara is a country with a complex history and diverse culture. Despite its challenges, the country offers visitors a unique travel experience with its stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture. As the country continues to develop and attract more tourists, it is sure to become a must-visit destination in North Africa.

Western Sahara Highest Point Name

The highest point in Western Sahara is unnamed and located in the northern region of the territory. It has an elevation of 859 meters (2,818 feet) above sea level.

Western Sahara Capital Longitude

The capital of Western Sahara is El Aaiún. It is located at a longitude of -13.1666667°.

Western Sahara Capital Latitude

Laâyoune, Morocco

Western Sahara Official Languages

The official languages of Western Sahara are Hassaniya Arabic and Moroccan Arabic, with some limited use of Spanish.

Western Sahara Ethnic Groups

The majority of people living in Western Sahara are of Mauritanian, Sahrawi, and Moroccan descent. The majority of people in the region identify as Berber (30%). 30% of the population identifies as having some form of Arab heritage. There is also a small number of Spanish, French, and African people living in the country. Among Western Sahara’s three main ethnic groups, the Berber are particularly concentrated in the southern part of the territory near Tindouf and Smara. The Mauritanian are more prevalent in the northern part of the country specifically Dakhla. Moroccans are mostly found in the territory’s eastern part near Bir Lehlou and Oued Eddahab. There is also a small minority population of Sub-Saharan African peoples, especially in the city of Laayoune.

Western Sahara Religions

About 98% of people living in Western Sahara follow the Sunni branch of Islam. The Islamic faith has been present in the area for at least 1300 years, with the local Berber population practicing a moderate form of Islam. Christianity is also present in the region, mainly among the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria who have been exposed to Christianity from European missionaries and aid organizations. The Kunta Oasis in Western Sahara is noted for its syncretic blend of Sufi Islam and regional animist beliefs, often referred to as "kuntaism". Unrelated to the nearby Jewish population of Morocco, the town of Oued Ed-Dahab is home to a small Jewish community, numbering in the dozens, who claim descent from Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.

Western Sahara Total Area

Western Sahara, located in Northwest Africa, has an area of 266,000 square kilometers (103,000 square miles).

Western Sahara Land Area

The area of Western Sahara is approximately 166,000 km².

Western Sahara Water Area

There is no significant water in Western Sahara, as it is a largely desert region. Most of the water comes from rivers located outside the country, and the region has no permanent water source of its own.

Western Sahara Total Population

The total population of Western Sahara is estimated to be 567,402 people as of 2020.

Western Sahara Currency Name

The currency of Western Sahara is the Moroccan Dirham.

Western Sahara Currency Code

MAD

Western Sahara Currency Symbol

none (not an internationally recognized currency)

Western Sahara Time Zones

  • Standard Time: UTC-01:00
  • Daylight Saving Time: UTC±00:00

UTC+1 is observed in Western Sahara in summer time between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October. During this period, clocks within the timezone are set forward an hour from UTC+0. During the summer months, sunset typically occur later in the evening. This period helps to reduce electricity costs by decreasing energy consumption after sunset by shifting the peak periods for electricity use to an earlier hour.

Western Sahara Calling Code

+212

Western Sahara Internet TLD

www.aveholidays.eh

How to Say "Western Sahara" In Different Languages?

Traditional Chinese
西撒哈拉 (zh_TW)
Simplified Chinese
西撒哈拉 (zh_CN)
Arabic
الصحراء الغربية (ar-EG)
French
Sahara Occidental (fr-FR)
German
Westsahara (de-DE)
Hindi
पश्चिमी साहारा (hi-IN)
Indonesian
Sahara Barat (id-ID)
Hebrew
סהרה המערבית (he-IL)
Japanese
西サハラ (ja-JP)
Korean
서사하라 (ko-KR)
Yoruba
Awọn ibílẹ si Sahara (yo-NG)
Tagalog
Kanlurang Sahara (tl-PH)
Romanian
Sahara Occidentală (ro-RO)
Russian
Западная Сахара (ru-RU)
Spanish
Sahara Occidental (es-ES)
Thai
ซาฮาราตะวันตก (th-TH)
Turkish
Batı Sahra (tr-TR)
Ukrainian
Західна Сахара (uk-UA)
Vietnamese
Tây Sahara (vi-VN)

Western Sahara Popular Holidays

Islamic New Year
15 April
Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
26 April
Eid-al-Fitr
24 May
Eid al-Adha
7 June

VERIFY COUNTRY DATA:
We aim for precision and fairness. If you notice an inconsistency, contact us here.

Upcoming Holidays in Western Sahara

National and Public Holidays in Western Sahara next days/week/month/year

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha is an Islamic holiday that honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to follow God's command to sacrifice his son. It is celebrated by Muslims around the world and is seen as a time for families and friends to gather to share in the joy of the holiday. Traditionally, Muslims gather for prayer at mosques and community centers during the four-day celebration, and animals are slaughtered and shared among family, friends, and those in need. Gifts are also exchanged and hot meals prepared and served. Other activities may include recreational activities like music, dancing, and games.

Slavery Remembrance Day

Slavery Remembrance Day is an annual holiday commemorating the history of the African diaspora. It honors the struggles of those taken from Africa against the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, as well as those who fought for equality and freedom. It is celebrated on the last Sunday of August and on August 1 in some countries.

National Unity Day in Western Sahara

Unity Day is a public holiday in Western Sahara, celebrated on April 27 to commemorate the anniversary of the Polisario Front's founding in 1973. The day is marked with rallies and demonstrations, which pay tribute to the leaders of the struggle for independence. Military parades show the people's resolve to fight for the region's freedom until they achieve their self-determination. The day is also a time when people come together to partake in cultural and political activities, such as marches, dance performances, and public speaking activities.

New Year’s Day

New Year's Day is celebrated on January 1 and marks the beginning of a new calendar year. It is a public holiday in many countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United States. Traditions include fireworks, parade, and special meals, along with family gatherings and often resolutions for a fresh start. People observe the holiday by counting down the seconds to midnight, watching the ball drop in Times Square, and celebrating with friends and family. To many, the holiday symbolizes a time of renewal, reflection, and hope for the future.

Saint Valentine’s Day 2024

Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and romance. It is celebrated on February 14 each year with cards, treats, and gifts shared among lovers. It is a traditional holiday with many customs. Popular activities include sending cards, making homemade gifts, and decorating. Restaurants and stores often offer sweet treats and special gifts. It is the perfect day for couples to spend time together and show their love for one another.

Independence Day in Western Sahara

Independence Day commemorates the proclamation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic by the Polisario Front on February 27, 1976 in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. The holiday is celebrated annually on February 27, and features large public events, including a military parade and speeches by government officials. The day also highlights the struggle for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people, who are still trying to regain full autonomy from Morocco.

Islamic New Year

Islamic New Year, also known as Hijri New Year, is the first day of the Islamic calendar year observed on Muharram 1 of each year. It is the first day of the month of Muharram, one of the four sacred months of the Islamic year. Observations during the day involve recitations from the Quran, special prayer sessions, and feasts. Working and doing business is generally prohibited in some countries. Islamic New Year is celebrated by Muslims worldwide with special ceremonies and activities.

Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

Prophet Mohammed's Birthday is a special holiday celebrated in many Muslim countries. It marks the birth of the Prophet Mohammed and is seen as a time for Muslims to show reverence for the Prophet's teachings. Celebrations typically involve prayer services, family gatherings, and the exchange of gifts. Other special activities may include parades, special meals, and volunteering to help those in need. It is a festive and joyous occasion, and its observance is a reminder to all of the human race of the Prophet's message.

African Freedom Day

African Freedom Day is a holiday celebrated annually on May 25 to commemorate the freedom of African nations from colonial rule. It is a time to celebrate the progress made in African countries towards independence and to recall the struggle for human rights and justice. The day is also observed to remember past and present struggles and to mark a commitment to a stronger, more equitable future for the continent.

Upcoming Festivals in Western Sahara

National and Public Holidays around the world in the next few days

Eid-al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday celebrated to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting and spiritual reflection. It is an occasion of joy for Muslims around the world. It is celebrated by the exchange of gifts, feasting on traditional dishes, and attending prayer services. Muslims often dress in their finest clothing and share special visits with family and friends. Eid al-Fitr marks a time of celebration, joy, and thanksgiving for Muslims who have spent the month of Ramadan fasting and praying.

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