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Definition of LAAYOUNE
town NW Africa ∗ of Western Sahara pop 179,000
Variants of LAAYOUNE
Laa·youne or El Aai·ún\ˌel-ī-ˈün\
geographical name(Concise Encyclopedia)
City (pop., 2004: 183,691), Western Sahara, northwestern Africa. The capital (1940–76) of the former Spanish Sahara and (since 1976) of the Laâyoune province of Morocco (though Morocco's claim is not internationally recognized), Laayoune lies in the northern part of Western Sahara, 8 miles (13 km) inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It was developed by Spain in 1938 as the administrative and military centre of the Europeans living in Spanish Sahara. It is Western Sahara's largest urban centre, and it has been a major site of Moroccan infrastructural investment, including the construction of housing and a large desalination plant.