The Port of Nador lies on the northeastern shores of Morocco on the Bou Areg Lagoon facing the Mediterranean Sea. This small seaport is a trade center for fish, livestock, and fruits. Many visitors go to Melilla, a patch of land still belonging to Spain, about 15 kilometers north of the Port of Nador. The Port of Nador was at one time, like many Mediterranean ports, a center for smuggling and pirates. Some of that activity remains, with illegal goods being imported through Melilla. In 2004, over 126 thousand people lived in the Port of Nador.
The economy of the Port of Nador is based on its fishery, agriculture, and some industry. During summer, many people who have left Nador return for visits with family and friends, and they make an important contribution to the economy. With the Spanish exclave of Melilla nearby and the seaport, the Port of Nador is also a center for trade, and the local government is trying to build tourism.
The Port of Nador handles almost 2.6 million tons of cargo each year. In 2007, cargoes included about 1.6 million tons of imports and almost a million tons of exports. The primary imports are billets for the SONASID steel mill, coal for the thermal power generation plant, and coke for the cement factory. Primary exports are locally-grown citrus fruits and ores like clay, lead, barytine, and bentonite.
The Port of Nador is linked by highway to other cities in the area including Oujda, Essaidia, Al Hoceima, and Taza. Current projects will extend the Nador-Oujda road and connect the Port of Nador by railway to Taourirt, with a new train station in the harbor.
Terminal Pier 2 has 700 meters of quay with alongside depth of 13 meters and another 300 meters of quay with alongside depth of 10 meters. The terminal covers 14.7 hectares dedicated to storage. Equipped with two 38-ton rail cranes and six smaller cranes, the terminal pier 2 handles ore cargoes and billets.
The Port of Nador’s Passenger Terminal has a 600-meter quay and foot bridges connecting the quay with the reception hall. The hall covers 3.5 thousand square meters, and it has 8 thousand square meters of covered zones. In addition to passengers, this terminal handles automobiles and trucks.
The Hydrocarbons Quay is 100 meters long with alongside depth of 13 meters. Equipped with loading arm and pipes, it serves cargoes of gas, oil, and butane.
The Al Hoceima harbor station, handling passengers and cars, includes a reception hall of 1.5 thousand square meters and an additional 2.7 thousand square meters of shaded area.
About 20 kilometers to the east of the Port of Nador is Kariat Arkmane, a beach, campsite, and restaurant. Facing the Mediterranean Sea, they are outside the lagoon and offer wonderful Mediterranean sun and sand as well as some of the best fish and scallops in the region. Qariat Arkmane is the only way to get to the sand dunes that form the Port of Nador lagoon where you can explore the desert-sea wilderness of grasses, reeds, and birds.