Waking up Rabat, Morocco’s sleeping beauty

The government of Morocco enlisted real estate developer Emaar to revitalize a coastal district near its capital, Rabat, a destination often overshadowed by Marrakech and Casablanca. We devised a compelling brand definition, developed the name Saphira, and drew on local culture for the brand identity.




Real estate
Tourism & destinations

Identity & design

Other works for this client
Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai)


Rabat, the capital of Morocco, was a sleeping beauty. Although Marrakech and Casablanca have always stolen the limelight in Morocco, the forgotten coastline near Rabat was primed to be revived. The government enlisted real estate leader Emaar to master plan and develop a new coastal district to give the whole city a facelift. This was a major step for Emaar, as it was one of its first endeavors outside its home country.


Emaar in turn solicited Landor to develop the brand for this ambitious project. The goal was to highlight the rich cultural heritage of Rabat with this new coastal development. Landor was encouraged by the fervor and passion of the people of Rabat to develop a brand that reflected their beliefs and values. The brand had to appeal to the residents, but also had to attract an international crowd to invest in and visit the new Rabat.


Landor devised the Brand Driver™ awake the passion. This led to the creation of a brand that achieved a fusion of the past and the future. Landor developed the name Saphira, which means female ambassador in Arabic. For the international audience, it evokes a precious gem or the color of the ocean. The local culture and the colors of Rabat inspired the identity. The primary logo was created from a traditional embroidery pattern and the secondary graphics were an echo of the dramatic rock cliffs of the corniche. From the notable identity to the iconic Moroccan-inspired sales center, Landor created a brand for the Saphira luxury development that was built to last.



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