Basics


Local Time

Local time is GMT.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin round plugs are in use.

Language

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 the most widely spoken.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Americans: United States citizens require a passport, but no visa for a stay of up to three months.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens require a passport, but no visa for a stay of up to three months, providing the passport is endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas) or British Subject, with the right of abode in the U.K. In all other cases a visa is required.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens require a passport, but no visa for a stay of up to three months.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australians must have a passport. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans require a passport and must apply for a visa in South Africa, for travel to Morocco.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals require a passport, but no visa is necessary for a stay of up to three months.

Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealand nationals require a passport, but no visa is necessary for a stay of up to three months.

Passport/Visa Note

Proof of sufficient funds are required for visa and entry approval. An extension of six months is available for visa-exempt nationals.

Health

No vaccinations are required to enter Morocco. It is advisable to drink bottled water outside the main cities and towns and avoid street food. Medical facilities are good in all major towns. Health insurance is essential.

Tipping

A tip of 10 to 15% is expected in the more expensive bars and restaurants, though some establishments include a service charge. Most services are performed with the aim of getting a few dirham, but aggressive hustling shouldn't be rewarded. Visitors should note that tips are the only income for some porters and guides.

Safety

Violent crime is not a major problem, but there have been some incidents of theft at knifepoint 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. Most visits to Morocco are trouble-free, however terrorist attacks have occurred in the past, and visitors are advised to be vigilant.

Customs

Morocco is a Muslim country and it is preferable to keep the wearing of swimsuits, shorts and other revealing clothing to the beach or hotel poolside. Women travelling alone will receive less hassle if dressed conservatively. Smoking is practised widely, 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. 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

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 before hand 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 important bases for 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.

Communications

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, e.g. (0)44 for Marrakech and (0)37 for Rabat. Hotels can add a hefty surcharge to their telephone bills; it is best to check before making long international calls. Two mobile GSM 900 networks cover the north of the country. Internet cafes are widely available in tourist areas.

Duty free

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.