Morocco Travel Information
Morocco has no GMT offset.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin round plugs are in use.
Arabic is the official language, but eight other languages are also spoken including Berber, French and Spanish. English is generally understood in the tourist areas, but French is more widely spoken.
No vaccinations are required to enter Morocco, although travellers should consider vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. It is wise to only drink bottled water and to avoid eating uncooked meat. Swimming in fresh water carries the risk of catching bilharzia. Rabies is present, so contact a doctor if bitten. Medical facilities are decent in all major cities but can be extremely limited in rural areas. Health insurance is recommended. All required medications should be taken along in their original packaging, and accompanied with a prescription from a doctor.
A tip of 10 to 15 percent is expected in the more expensive bars and restaurants, though some establishments do include a service charge. Most services are performed with the aim of getting a few dirham, but aggressive hustling shouldn't be rewarded. Nevertheless, visitors should note that tips are the only income for some porters and guides.
Violent crime is not a major problem in Morocco and most visits are trouble-free, but there have been some incidents of theft at knife point in major cities and on beaches. Sensible precautions such as avoiding badly lit streets at night should be adhered to. Guides offering their services should display an official badge from the local tourist authorities. Touts and merchants can get quite pushy and confrontational so visitors should be firm but polite when refusing goods or services. Female travellers may attract unwanted attention from Moroccan men, and should take advice before deciding to travel to the country on their own.
Morocco is a Muslim country and it is best to keep the wearing of swimsuits, shorts and other revealing clothing to the beach or hotel poolside. Women travelling alone will generally be hassled less if dressed conservatively. The country has many smokers, and it is customary to offer cigarettes in social situations. Religious customs should be respected, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours should be discreet as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture. Foreigners have been expelled in the past for alleged proselytising. The giving and receiving of things, and the eating of food, should only be done with the right hand, as the left is considered unclean. Homosexuality is a criminal offence, and sexual relations outside marriage are also punishable by law.
Business in Morocco has been influenced by France and therefore tends to be conducted formally, with an emphasis on politeness. Dress is formal, and women in particular should dress conservatively. Most business is conducted in French, although some English is spoken. It is best to ascertain beforehand what language the meeting will be in, and arrange an interpreter as needed. Visitors are expected to be punctual, though meetings may not start on time. Moroccans are friendly and enjoy socialising; trust and friendship are an important part of business dealings so be prepared to engage in small talk. A handshake is common when arriving and departing. Women may encounter some sexism in business, although this is starting to change. Most businesses are closed on Fridays, and some are also closed on Thursdays.
The international access code for Morocco is +212. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). City/area codes are in use. Hotels can add a hefty surcharge to their telephone bills so it is best to check before making long international calls. Public wifi is readily available in most major cities and 3G/4G networks offer widespread coverage throughout the country. Therefore, it is advisable that visitors purchase a local sim on arrival.
Travellers to Morocco over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400g tobacco; 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine; and perfume up to 5g.
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