Name of municipality: Monastir

Population: 94,000 inhabitants (2014)

Area: 4,632 hectares

Monastir is a coastal city of the Tunisian Sahel in central-eastern Tunisia, located on a peninsula in the southeast of the Gulf of Hammamet, about twenty kilometers east of Sousse and 162 kilometers south of Tunis. The city has been the capital of the eponymous governorate since 1974.

President: Mr. Mondher Marzouk

Contact: Mrs. Wafa Guandouz


Main features:

Monastir is a peninsula surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on three sides and forming, towards the south, the eponymous Gulf, which extends to the Cape of Ras Dimass. It features diverse landscapes, including sandy and rocky beaches as well as a cliff that stretches nearly six kilometers.

The city of Monastir, with its sedentary past, has always been characterized by a fairly high level of collective facilities and by a diversity of installations that are increasingly multiplying.

However, it has regained its vocation as a city of knowledge as a university center with the creation of the Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy Faculties and a Graduate School for Health Sciences and Techniques. By also evolving as a scientific and technological hub, Monastir has become a city where students strive.

Monastir is part, with Kairouan and Sousse, of the first Arab cities founded in Ifriqiya. Around the year 665, it became an external fortress to guard the capital Kairouan. It was Herthouma Ibn El Aïoun, governor of the Caliph Haroun Errachid, who founded the Great Ribat of Monastir in 796. It is from this Ribat that the city of Monastir originated. The Muslim history of Monastir is closely linked to the building of ribats, mosques and mausoleums. This gives the region a spiritual and intellectual aspect whose fame goes beyond the borders of the Muslim West.

Main economic activities:

Monastir is a region showing strong potential for the development of agricultural activities. Agriculture is diversified and is essentially based on olive growing, market gardening, dairy production and fishing.

As far as tourism is concerned, all along the city’s coastline, a tourist and hotel industry has developed to make it the main feature of the city’s economic activity today. As a tourist city with 53 hotels, the city boasts on average and throughout the year a population of about 15,000 tourists.

Besides its tourist vocation, the city of Monastir also has an industrial activity. The latter is essentially based in three small industrial zones, covering an area of 52.5 hectares, where 71 industrial units have been established, 43 of which are specialized in the textile and clothing industries and whose production is intended exclusively for export.

Conditions and Environmental Challenges:

The average annual rainfall at Monastir is 328 mm, an average considered low for a coastal zone.

In times of rain, as a result of heavy showers, the city of Monastir experiences issues with water runoff that cause flooding. The town’s rainwater drainage system sometimes cannot cope with the amount of rain, causing flooding of the town’s streets and alleys.

In addition, the municipality of Monastir has about 75.5 ha of landscaped green spaces and forest and recreational areas covering nearly 71 ha. The importance of these areas is mainly due to the presence of the olive forest of El Agba.

Consequently, the municipality is committed to creating and improving green spaces as part of its sustainable development outlook.