Morocco

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About

Kellah Rabat

  • It is a North African country that has a coastline on both the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It has borders with Western Sahara to the south, Algeria to the east and the Spanish North African territories of Ceuta and Melilla on the Mediterranean coast in the north. It is just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Gibraltar.
  • Moroccan Arabic is a dialect of Maghreb Arabic, also known as Moroccan Darija.
  • French is widely understood in Morocco.
  • Some shop owners and hotel managers in urban centers may speak English, but outside of that English is not widely understood.

HISTORY

  • 1578 King Sebastian of Portugal launches a crusade against the Moors of Morocco
  • 1786 Morocco received $10,000 to stop attacking American ships in the Mediterranean
  • 1789 Morocco was the first country to recognize the US as a sovereign nation
  • 1859 Oct 22, Spain declared war on the Moors in Morocco
  • 1905 Germany contested French rule in Morocco
  • 1908 Mulai Hafid proclaimed himself the Sultan of Morocco but abdicated in 1912
  • 1912-1956 The French rule Morocco
  • 1956 Mar 2, Morocco declared independence from France
  • 1956 Oct 20, Tangier became part of independent Morocco


FACTS

    • The official name of Morocco is the ‘Kingdom of Morocco’.
    • It spreads over an area of approximately 710,850 sq km.
    • The capital of Morocco is Rabbat, while its currency is Moroccan dirham.
    • Morocco gained independence from France in 1956.
    • Morocco is situated in North Africa and it is the only African country that is presently not a member of the ‘African Union’.
    • Morocco is a member of the Arab League, Arab Maghreb Union, the Francophonie, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mediterranean Dialogue group and Group of 77.
    • Morocco is a major non-NATO ally of the United States.
    • The official language of Morocco is Arabic.
    • Arabs and Berbers make up majority of the population of Morocco, followed by Jews and others.
    • Moroccan cuisine is a mixture of European and African cuisine, due to its location between Europe and Africa.

Avg. Costs

El Jadida Cistern

  • Remember that bargaining in the souks is expected. It is not really possible to give an accurate indication of how much to start the bargaining at in relation to the initial asking price, but a general idea would be to aim for approximately 50% off.
  • Rotisserie chicken shops abound, where you can get a quarter chicken served with fries and salad for around Dh 20. Sandwiches are about dh 10.
  • A Dh 3 – Dh 5 serve of harira or besara will always include some bread to mop the soup up and will fill you up for breakfast or lunch
  • Tagine, a spicy stew of meat and vegetables that has been simmered for many hours in a conical clay pot – 25 Dh
  • Marrakech Museum 40-60 Dh
  • HI-affiliated youth hostels can be found in the major cities (dorm beds from around Dh 50) while the cheapest budget hotels (singles from around Dh 65)
  • Newer, cleaner and slightly more expensive budget (singles from around Dh 75)

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Leather Tanning in Fez

  • Avoid dark alleys.
  • Travel in a group whenever possible.
  • Keep money and passports in a safety wallet or in a hotel safety deposit box.
  • Keep backpacks and purses with you at all times.
  • Make sure there is nothing important in outside or back pockets.

 

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Climate

Sahara Desert

  • The climate in Morocco varies according to the area and the altitude.
  • Generally the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts enjoy a mild climate with hot summers cooled down by the breezes coming from the Sea and the Ocean; with wet and rainy short winters.
  • The weather becomes more extreme in the interior with very hot summers and cold winters.
  • Winters are dry and bitterly cold in the Moroccan Sahara, due to the cold breeze off the Atlantic coast, while summers are extremely hot, even though the heat can be eased by the breeze.
  • Temperatures can fall down to below zero in the Atlas Mountains, at high altitudes snowfalls are heavy and the peaks stay snowcapped well into the summer.
  • The average winter temperature in Marrakech is around 21C during the daytime, while in summer the average is about 38C.

Places to See

Small Village in Atlas Mountains

Steam Baths – The first is the tourist hammam, where you can go and be pampered and scrubbed by an experienced staff member.

 

Camel Riding in the Sahara Desert – The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert.

 

 

 

High Atlas Mountains – The High Atlas rises in the west at the Atlantic Ocean and stretches in an eastern direction to the Moroccan-Algerian border.

 

 

 

Ouzoud Waterfalls – located in the Grand Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt, in the province of Azilal, 150 km north-east of Marrakech, in Morocco.

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Todra Gorges – Todra Gorge is situated on the remote east side of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

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Draa Valley – Draa is Morocco’s longest river (1100 km). It is formed by the confluence of the Dadès River and Imini River.

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Chefchaouen– This breathtaking old town, with a medina comprising painted blue houses scattered down a slope in the heart of the Rif Mountains, is one of Morocco’s prettiest.

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Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Handshakes are common between people of the same sex
– The handshake may be weak
– Once a relationship it is common to kiss both cheeks
– Starting with the left
• Say good-bye to each individual

Business Etiquette:
• Moroccans prefer to do business with people that they know
– Respect and spend time developing a relationship
• Who you know is often more important than what you know
– Networking is the way of success
• They are greatly influenced by the French
• They also judge people based upon their appearance
– Present yourself well
– Men – conservative dark colored business suits
– Women – wear elegant business suits or dresses
– Women be careful to cover yourselves appropriately
– Avoid expensive accessories
• Appointments are necessary and should be made far in advance
– Confirm before a meeting
• Companies are hierarchical
– Highest ranking person will make the decisions
– If government is involved decisions will take even longer
– Decisions will go through several layers of approval
• They rarely see an offer as final
– A lot of negotiating

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