, formerly in French
) is the second largest city in Mauritania
and serves as a major commercial centre. The city itself has about 118,000 inhabitants expanding to over 140,000 in the larger metropolitan area. It is situated on a 65-kilometre peninsula
or headland called Ras Nouadhibou
(Berber: Ighef Nwadibu
), Cap Blanc
, or Cabo Blanco
, of which the western side, with the Moroccan city of La Güera
, is part of Western Sahara. Nouadhibou is consequently located merely a couple of kilometres from the border between Mauritania and Morocco
de facto, Western Sahara
de jure. Its current mayor is Elghassem Ould Bellali, who was installed on 15 October 2018.
The city consists of four major areas: the city centre
, including the airport
to the north; Cansado
, the main residential area, to the south; and a dormitory town
for the workers of the harbour facilities which are located a few kilometers south of the city, near the tip of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula, at Port Minéralier
Boats in Nouadhibou's harbour
Ships graveyard, Nouadhibou
The port of Nouadhibou is the final resting place of over 300 ships and hence the world’s largest ship graveyard. Unlike the arrival en masse
of ships at Mallows Bay
, here the number of craft has built up over time, as corrupt officials accepted bribes from boat owners to allow them to dump their vessels in the area.
Nouadhibou has always been an important transit point for international transport. In the beginning of the 20th century, it was a stopover for the Latécoère
air-transport network for mail and passengers for western Africa and overseas colonies like Martinique
. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
spent much time there as a pilot and as writer.
People waiting to board the Cross Country Ore-Train
Processing iron ore
forms the largest industry in Nouadhibou, although the overall major economic activity is fishing.
The town was established as a small fishing port, controlled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the French.
In 1907 by decree of the governor general of French West Africa Ernest Roume
, it was renamed Port-Étienne
after the former French Minister of the Colonies Eugène Étienne
After Mauritania became independent in 1960, the town name changed to Nouadhibou.
On 30 June 1973, at the time of the second-longest solar eclipse in the 20th century, an Aerobee rocket
was launched at Nouadhibou for solar research.
From February 2006 onwards Nouadhibou has become the departure point for African migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands
. This extremely dangerous route to reach the European Union
has become popular as a result of increased emigration controls along the Moroccan coast and around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta
in the second half of 2005.
Population of the commune of Nouadhibou (2000—2013)
Nouadhibou features a desert climate (BWh) under the Köppen climate classification
. The city sees virtually no rainfall during the course of the year averaging a paltry 18 millimetres (0.71 in) of precipitation annually. Despite the fact that it features a hot desert climate, the area does not quite see the extreme temperatures that other areas with this climate feature because of strong maritime influences. The average annual temperature in the city is 21.7 °C (71 °F).
Nouadhibou is linked with the Coastal Motorway RN2 to the capital Nouakchott
(a distance of 450 km (280 mi)) and by highway to the Moroccan
border in the north (a distance of 70 km (43 mi)).
Nouadhibou also is connected by railway to the iron mines in Zouérat
, 670 km to the east. The freight trains can be as long as 3 km, reputedly the longest in the world. The railway
also carries passengers and calls at Choum
Over 300 ships lie abandoned along the coast around Nouadhibou.
Plans were drawn up at the beginning of 1963 to build a port called Port Wharf in the fishing harbour, which included the construction of industrial and trade buildings. This became operational in 1966. This wharf was designed to accommodate traffic of up to 50,000 tonnes. In 1977 the wharf was lengthened to provide 3 extra berths for ships of average tonnage raising its capacity to 320,000 tonnes.
- ^ Installation du maire de la commune de Nouadhibou, Agence Mauritanienne d'Information, 15 October 2018
- ^ Wilaya de Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Garde Nationale
- ^ Jean Abel Gruvel, Les pêcheries des côtes du Sénégal et des rivières du Sud, A. Challamel, Paris, 1908, p. 13 ISBN 2-11-091134-4
- ^ "Encyclopedia Astronautica Index: 1". www.astronautix.com. Retrieved Mar 13, 2019.
- ^ "Meteorite smugglers anger scientists". BBC. London. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2007-06-23.
- ^ a b Mauritania, citypopulation.de
- ^ "Klimatafel von Nouadhibou (Port Etienne) / Mauretanien" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
- ^ "Station Nouadhibou" (in French). Météo Climat. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
- ^ Bay of Nouadhibou Ship Graveyard, Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
- ^ Largest Ship Graveyard in the World: Nouadhibou, Mauritania, Sometimes Interesting. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
- ^ "Nouadhibou : inauguration par le chef de l'état d'un hôpital des spécialités médicales". www.cridem.org. Retrieved Mar 13, 2019.
- ^ Mauritania, rsssf.com
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Last edited on 22 March 2021, at 08:12
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