Tangier, preferred, sometimes Tangiers (Berber: Tanja, archaic Berber name: Tingi, Arabic: طنجة Ṭanja, French: Tanger) is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 (2008 census). It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. It is the capital of the Tangier-Tétouan Region and of the Tangier-Assilah Prefecture within that region.The history of Tangier is very rich due to the historical presence of many civilizations and cultures starting from the 5th century BC. Between the period of being a Phoenician town to the independence era around the 1950s, Tangier was a place —and, sometimes a refuge— for many cultures. However, it was not until 1923 that Tangier was attributed an international status by foreign colonial powers, thus becoming a destination for many Europeans, Americans and Indians alike.The city is currently undergoing rapid development and modernization. Projects include new 5-star hotels along the bay, a modern business district called Tangier City Centre, a new airport terminal and a new soccer stadium. Tangier's economy is also set to benefit greatly from the new Tanger-Med port.Tangier's sport team IR Tanger is the main football club and has the most followers. Tangier will be one of the host cities for the 2015 African Nations Cup soccer championship, played at the new Ibn Batouta Stadium and in other cities in Morocco.