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This week on Marketplace Middle East

Morocco's Minister of Tourism, Yassir Zenagui, on how the country's sector avoided the effects of the economic downturn.
Morocco's Minister of Tourism, Yassir Zenagui, on how the country's sector avoided the effects of the economic downturn.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bahrain has applied to list its traditional pearl diving beds as world heritage sites.
  • MME explores the kingdom's pearl traditions, once a major source of its income
  • Plus MME sits down with the Moroccan Minister of Tourism

In focus -- Reviving the pearl industry

Harvesting pearls was a major source of income for Bahrain and the region until the early 20th century when Japanese cultured pearls flooded world markets and oil was discovered.

Now Bahrain is trying to revive interest in its pearl tradition. It's applying to UNESCO to list its pearl diving beds and traditional houses as a world heritage site.

We explore the kingdom's pearl traditions, from diving for oysters to one of the oldest pearl retailing families in Bahrain.

Facetime -- Yassir Zenagui, Moroccan Minister of Tourism

2009 was a challenging year for the tourism sector, but now it's steadily regaining momentum. In the Middle East, Morocco boasted six percent growth in 2009.

With over nine million visitors expected to the Kingdom in 2010, MME sat down with Morocco's Minister of tourism, Yassir Zenagui to find out how the country's tourism sector dodged the effects of the downturn.

Watch the show this week at the times (GMT) below:

Friday: 0915, 1745
Saturday: 0445
Sunday: 0615,1745