Oujda (Arabic: وجدة‎, romanizedOujda; Berber languages: ⵡⴻⵊⴸⴰ, romanized: Oujda) is a major Moroccan city in its northeast near the border with Algeria.


Flag of Oujda
Oujda is located in Morocco
location of Oujda in Morocco
Oujda is located in Africa
Oujda (Africa)
Coordinates: 34°41′21″N 1°54′41″W / 34.68917°N 1.91139°W / 34.68917; -1.91139
Modern city994
 • Total96.4 km2 (37.2 sq mi)
470 m (1,540 ft)
 • Total558,000
 • Rank8th in Morocco
 • Density5,800/km2 (15,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (WEST)

Oujda is the capital city of the Oriental region of northeastern Morocco and has a population of about 558,000 people. It is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) west of the Moroccan-Algerian border in the south of Beni-Znassen mountains and about 55 km (34 miles) south of the Mediterranean Sea coast.


Ancien mirador

There is some evidence of a settlement during the Roman occupation, which seems to have been under the control of Berbers rather than Romans.[2]

The city was founded in 994 by Ziri ibn Atiyya, Berber chief of the Zenata Maghrawa tribe. Ziri was, with his tribe, authorised to occupy the region of Fas, but feeling insecure in that region and that town, and wishing to be nearer to the central Maghrib homeland of his tribe, he moved to Ouajda, installed there a garrison and his possessions, appointing one of his relatives as governor. In the mid-11th century, a new quarter with a wall was allegedly added to the primitive core. Yusuf ibn Tashfin occupied the city in 1079, and in the next century, it came under Almohad control, with its fortifications repaired and strengthened under the Almohad caliph Muhammad al-Nasir.[3]

In the mid-11th century, Oujda acquired prominence through its strategic position on the road east from Sijilmasa. The city was occupied by the Almoravids in 1079 and in 12th century it was conquered by the Almohads who came after them. Oujda played an important strategic role between the Marinids, based in Fes, and the Abdalwadids of the Kingdom of Tlemcen.[4] The Marinid sultan Abu Yusuf Yaqub destroyed the city when he defeated Sultan Yaghmorasan in 1271. When his successor Abu Yaqub Yusuf conquered the city again in 1296, he destroyed the remaining fortifications but then rebuilt the town with the new walls, a palace, and a Great Mosque (the current one). The town continued to change hands, however. Around 1325, Sultan Abu al-Hasan took the city again during a series of campaigns which extended Marinid control into the central Maghreb for a brief period.[4]

Because of its frontier position, the city was frequently contested between the Sharifian dynasties of Morocco – the Saadis, followed by the Alaouites, from the 16th century onward.[4] During the long reign of Moulay Isma'il (1672–1727), Oujda was firmly under Alaouite control and defended by new fortifications and garrisons built by the sultan. After Isma'il's death, however, political instability returned. It was only in 1795 that the city was retaken by the Alaouite empire and permanently incorporated into Morocco.[4]

The French occupied it in 1844 and again in 1859. To the west of the city is the site of the Battle of Isly which occurred in 1844. In 1907-1908, Oujda was reconquered by General Bugeaud and Marshal Lyautey and used as a French military base to control eastern Morocco. The modern city owes much of its present form to the French, who developed along the roads built at that time.

The 1948 Anti-Jewish Riots in Oujda and Jerada[5] occurred in this city. The crowd, sparked off by a minor incident, poured into the Jewish quarter. In the three hours that passed before the army could control the mob, five people (including one Frenchman) had been killed, 30 had been severely injured, and shops and homes had been sacked.[6]

The Moroccan border with Algeria is just east of Oujda; on the other side of the border is the Algerian town of Maghnia. The border has been closed since 1994.

In 2010, Rod Solaimani chronicled his trip to Oujda for MTV.


The city is located 60 km (37 mi) south of the Mediterranean sea and 15 km (9 mi) west of Algeria, with an estimated altitude of 450 metres (1,476 feet).

5 km (3 mi) south from city centre, is Jbel Hamra, a typical Mediterranean forest and into the east of this forest is Sidi Maafa park.

Oujda is located in the south of Beni Znassen mountains.


The city has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). Rainfall is between 300 mm (11.8 in) and 500 mm (19.7 in) per year. It can snow in winter. Weather in Oujda is cool but still tepid and wet in winter, hot and dry in summer.

Climate data for Oujda (Oujda Airport) 1961–1990, extremes 1910–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.0
Average high °C (°F) 15.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.8
Average low °C (°F) 3.9
Record low °C (°F) −6.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 31.0
Average precipitation days 7.9 8.5 8.1 8.5 7.3 3.9 1.7 2.4 3.6 6.2 7.8 8.1 74.0
Average relative humidity (%) (at 6:00 am) 83 82 84 87 86 83 76 77 81 85 82 83 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 188.6 184.7 229.3 239.9 281.5 308.5 336.6 311.3 261.6 242.4 194.4 185.9 2,964.7
Source 1: NOAA[7]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1947–1976),[8] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[9]


Oujda Church
Oujda, Bd Mohamed V

The main characteristic of the city is having the old city in the centre. The old city maintains traditional features of the Moroccan architecture with its narrow and twisted alleys which leads to the houses and different markets such as jewelry market and the leather market. The Grand Mosque of Oujda is one of its historically most important mosques.

Bled el Gaada is a Roman era ruins just outside of Ouijda.[10][11] The ruins consist of a Roman Castra fort 175m by 210m.[12]


Gharnati refers to a variety of music originating in Andalusia. Its name was derived from the Arabic name of the Spanish city of Granada. Gharnati constitutes the musical mode mostly used in the Moroccan city of Oujda, where besides this musical kind is omnipresent and where one organizes each year in June the International Festival of the Gharnati music.

The major traditional dance and music from the local tribes of Oujda is called Regadda. It’s a war dance from the berber tribes of Beni-Znassen.

Oujda is also famous by the music of Raï.


The province is divided administratively into the following:[13]

Name Geographic code Type Households Population (2004) Foreign population Moroccan population Notes
Bni Drar 411.01.11. Municipality 1648 8919 57 8862
Naïma 411.01.19. Municipality 218 1151 0 1151
Oujda 411.01.23. Municipality 82128 400738 2700 398038
Ahl Angad 411.07.01. Rural commune 2897 16494 113 16381
Ain Sfa 411.07.03. Rural commune 837 5082 5 5077
Bni Khaled 411.07.05. Rural commune 1231 7104 30 7074
Bsara 411.07.07. Rural commune 317 1922 1 1921
Isly 411.07.09. Rural commune 4262 23896 24 23872
Mestferki 411.07.11. Rural commune 797 4832 0 4832
Sidi Boulenouar 411.07.17. Rural commune 516 3526 0 3526
Sidi Moussa Lemhaya 411.07.19. Rural commune 563 3436 0 3436


Oujda has a cement works.

A techno-pole (Oujda Shore) is constructed near the airport.


The city is served by Angads Airport, which has connecting flights to Eindhoven, Brussels, Madrid, Marseille and Paris as well as domestic flights to Casablanca.

The city is the endpoint of the main railroad from Casablanca via Fes and Taourirt before the border with Algeria. There are several day and night trains to and from the city, linking it to the western part of the country.


Oujda has a strategic importance because of its location on the border. There are many economic and natural resources, however, problems of overpopulation of the city and increase in unemployment rate up to 18% of the 11% on the national level has led to migration to foreign countries go up to 28.3% of the national total.

Oujda relies heavily on trading given its location near the borders of Algeria. The economy of the city is directly related to the border's condition as it represents a passage for businesses directed towards Fes in the west, Talmasan in the east, Figuig in the south and Melilla in the north.

On 18 March 2003, King Mohammed VI indicated the importance of reviving the economy of the Eastern regions of Morocco. In the context of this effort, Technopol Oujda was established and the region witnessed road improvement, airport expansion and other projects.


The sports infrastructure in Oujda is composed of a municipal stadium, an Olympic venue, the Honneur Stadium of Oujda, built in 1976, the sports complex 'Rock' including a rugby stadium, a complex tennis in the park Lala Aicha, a golf course and two sports halls.


The first football club to win the Throne Cup of Morocco was the Moloudia Club of Oujda (MCO) in 1957 after defeating the Wydad of Casablanca, in the next year, MCO won his second and successive throne cup against the same club, in 1959, MCO was in its third successive final, but this time the club lost against the FAR of Rabat, the next year MCO played his fourth successive final against the FUS of Rabat and won the cup, in 1962 MCO won its last Throne cup against the Kawkab Athletic Club of Marrakech.[14]

After ten years, the Mouloudya of Oujda came back to win in 1972 the Maghreb Cup,[citation needed] three years after MCO won The Botola Pro of Morocco.[15]

There is also the USMO, the second most popular Football club in Oujda.

Notable peopleEdit

Town twinningEdit

Since 2009, the city has been twinned with Trowbridge in England due to the huge number[16] of diasporans, most of whom originate from villages close to Oujda. Trowbridge has the largest Moroccan community in the UK outside London.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES, MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in Arabic and French). High Commission for Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ Siraj, Ahmed (1 January 1995). L'image de la Tingitane: l'historiographie arabe médiévale et l'antiquité nord-africaine (in French). Boccard. pp. 589–595. ISBN 9782728303175.
  3. ^ Marçais, G.; Troin, J.F. (2002). "Wad̲j̲da". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam. XI (2nd ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9004081143.
  4. ^ a b c d Marçais, Georges; Troin, J.F. (2012). "Wad̲j̲da". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill.
  5. ^ Andrew G. Bostom (2008). The legacy of Islamic antisemitism: from sacred texts to solemn history. Prometheus Books. p. 160. ISBN 9781591025542. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  6. ^ Dalit Atrakchi (2001). "The Moroccan Nationalist Movement and Its Attitude toward Jews and Zionism". In Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev. The Divergence of Judaism and Islam. University Press of Florida. p. 163.: "...the riots that broke out on 7 June 1948 in the cities of Oujda and Jerada, close to the border between Morocco and Algeria, which served as a transfer station for Moroccan Jews on their way to Israel... It is believed that the riots were brought on by the speech given a short while earlier by Sultan Muḥammad Ben-Yussuf, which inveighed against the Zionists and cried for solidarity with the Arabs fighting in Israel. Claims have been made that the French authorities not only knew about these impending events but also goaded and collaborated with the instigators as a provocation against the heads of the Moroccan Independence Party, who could later be blamed for committing murder."
  7. ^ "Oujoa (Oujda) Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Klimatafel von Oujda / Marokko" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Station Oujda" (in French). Météo Climat. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  10. ^ https://mapcarta.com/34260586
  11. ^ https://aroundguides.com/34260586
  12. ^ Paul Lachlan MacKendrick, The North African Stones Speak (UNC Press Books, 1 December 2000) p. 312.
  13. ^ "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitat de 2004" (PDF). Haut-commissariat au Plan, Lavieeco.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  14. ^ Winners of the Throne Cup of Morocco Archived 13 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Winners of the football League of Morocco
  16. ^ a b "Trowbridge - Market town twins with Arab city". BBC News. BBC News Channel. 3 October 2006. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2013.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 34°41′12″N 01°54′41″W / 34.68667°N 1.91139°W / 34.68667; -1.91139