The producers of Sex and the City 2 chose Marrakech, Morocco, as a perfect stand-in filming location for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The cast and crew spent almost two months in the bustling North African metropolis, filming everywhere from the crowded markets inside the ancient walls of the Medina to the desert wilderness of the Western Sahara. Exploring Marrakech unrecognized by locals, the girls shopped for antiques, sampled local cuisine and relaxed at the city’s finest hotels in between scenes. “It was so much fun,” recalls Sarah Jessica Parker of her reallife African adventure. “It created some of the best memories we’ve ever had.”

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