Vertical profiles of dust key optical properties are presented from measurements during the Saharan Mineral Dust Experiment (SAMUM) by Raman and depolarization lidar at two ground-based sites and by airborne high spectral resolution lidar. One of the sites, Tinfou, is located close to the border of the Sahara in Southern Morocco and was the main in situ site during SAMUM. The other site was Ouarzazate airport, the main lidar site. From the lidar measurements the spatial distribution of the dust between Tinfou and Ouarzazate was derived for 1 d. The retrieved profiles of backscatter and extinction coefficients and particle depolarization ratios show comparable dust optical properties, a similar vertical structure of the dust layer, and a height of about 4 km asl at both sites. The airborne cross-section of the extinction coefficient at the two sites confirms the low variability in dust properties. Although the general picture of the dust layer was similar, the lidar measurements reveal a higher dust load closer to the dust source. Nevertheless, the observed intensive optical properties were the same. These results indicate that the lidar measurements at two sites close to the dust source are both representative for the SAMUM dust conditions.