1. It’s the closest country to Europe with easy flight connections and Marrakech is only at an average of 3h30 from most European Capitals.
  2. It’s among the most stable and safe countries in the world.
  3. Exotic landscapes and culture.
  4. Beautiful weather all year round.
  5. High quality hotel accommodation with more than 1000 5stars deluxe bedrooms and suites just in Marrakech !
  6. Outstanding venues for your client’s events.
  7. Worldwide renown cuisine with extremely good wines.
  8. Friendly and welcoming people.
  9. It’s a young and growing country. Its tourism strategy is based on heavy investment in infrastructure for both lodging and facilities.
  10. Tradition and Modernity happily living together in architecture, entertainment and general way of life.
  11. Shopping paradise.
  12. High quality handicraft.
  13. Morocco possesses know how to match the highest expectations. The Country has hosted international events at the highest level : GATT, FIFA, GES, etc…

A Land of Contrasts and Wonders !

Morocco is in many ways a country apart. It nestles on the northwestern tip of Africa, separated from the rest of the continent by the towering Atlas Mountains and by the Sahara itself.
Its climate, geography, and history are all more closely related to the Mediterranean than to the rest of Africa, and for this reason visitors are often struck by the odd sensation of having not quite reached Africa in Morocco.
In the north, its fine beaches, lush highland valleys, and evocative old cities reinforce this impression.

Morocco’s varied geography includes no less than four separate mountain ranges, in addition to lush river valleys, beautiful sandy coasts, and wide expanses of desert. The three most prominent mountain ranges, which run parallel to each other from the southwest to the northeast, are the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas, and the Anti-Atlas. The ascent of the country’s highest peak, Jebel Toukbal (13,665 ft./4,165 m.), is a spectacular and not particularly difficult High Atlas trek.

The Moroccan coastline, which fronts onto both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, offers plenty of great beaches as well as a number of fascinating old coastal cities. In the southeast, Morocco’s mountain ranges yield inexorably to the desolate expanse of the Sahara.

General information on Morocco

Located at the most North and western extremity of Africa and with a territory covering around 711.000 SqKm, a coast line on more than 3500 Kms mainly on the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco counts approximately 35 Millions inhabitant with more than half of the population under 25.

The main cities are Casablanca, the economic pulse of the country, Rabat the Capital, Marrakech, Agadir and Fes, the 3 main touristic poles, and Tangiers overlooking Gibraltar straits now at the heart of a new economic impulse.

Moroccan Arabic (Darija) is the first official language, and Berber has recently been recognized as the second official language. French is the « business » language and commonly spoken everywhere though the northern area of Morocco tends to use more Spanish then French. Road signs, menus are most of the time in Arabic and French and other European languages are understood and spoken in many of the sites dealing with tourism.

Islam is the official state religion in Morocco; it is very tolerant and freedom to practice other religions issued of the Revelation (Judaism and Christianism) is guaranteed by the Moroccan constitution.

Morocco is a Muslim kingdom governed since 1999 by King Mohamed VI, son of the late King Hassan II. The political structure, – a social democratic and constitutional monarchy since 1956 when Morocco gained independence from France – , remains parliamentary.

Morocco has a mixed economy based largely on agriculture, tourism, fishing, light industry, phosphates, and remittances from Moroccan citizens working abroad. But the lack of energy ressources neighs heavily on the public budget.

Useful Information

Visas and Vaccinations

Visas to enter Morocco are not required for many countries, including Europe, UK and the USA. For any queries, please get in touch with the respective embassy. We can also provide you on request with an updated list.
No vaccination is currently required but always check either online or near your health centre.

A few tips on the Moroccan Way of Life

To show courtesy to the country welcoming you, it is good to know a few local customs and common practice, here are a few.
Access to mosques and holy places is forbidden to non Muslims. Vendors in the souks will call out for customers with a joke or a tentative conversation before trying to do business. Serving mint tea is part of the ritual, and if offered one, take a least a sip. 
Casual wear is widely acceptable, but avoid provocative way of dressing : hot pants are acceptable only near the pool of the hotel or on the beach. Don’t forget to ask permission before taking any photo of anyone and remember that a smile will open all the doors.

Currency

The national currency is the Moroccan Dirham (DH) is divided into 100 centimes. There are bank notes of 200 DH, 100 DH, 50 and 20 DH. Coins of 10 DH (yellow), 5, 2, 1 DH (silver color) of and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes that are yellow. By law you are not allowed to import or export Moroccan Dirhams, though there is a tolerance for the import of small amounts left from previous trips to Morocco.
Foreign currency may be exchanged at the Bureau de Change at the airport on arrival, or at your hotel or in a bank. Note that in hotels change is made at exactly the same rate as in the banks.
Our advice : change small amounts at a time and keep the exchange receipts : you will need that at the AIRPORT BANK DESK (and only there) to change back in your own currency when leaving Morocco. Banks and some hotels have ATM to cash money day or night.

Hotels and reputable shops (and even in the Souks when buying such things as carpets, leather or any other major item) accept major credit cards, mostly MasterCard and Visa, American Express and Diners Club being less known.

Geography and climate

Morocco is in many ways a country apart. It nestles on the northwestern tip of Africa, separated from the rest of the continent by the towering Atlas Mountains and by the Sahara itself. Its climate, geography, and history are all more closely related to the Mediterranean than to the rest of Africa, and for this reason visitors are often struck by the odd sensation of having not quite reached Africa in Morocco. In the north, its fine beaches, lush highland valleys, and evocative old cities reinforce this impression.
Morocco’s varied geography includes no less than four separate mountain ranges, in addition to lush river valleys, beautiful sandy coasts, and wide expanses of desert.
The three most prominent mountain ranges, which run parallel to each other from the southwest to the northeast, are the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas, and the Anti-Atlas. The ascent of the country’s highest peak, Jebel Toukbal (13,665 ft./4,165 m.), is a spectacular and not particularly difficult High Atlas trek.
The Moroccan coastline, which fronts onto both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, offers plenty of great beaches as well as a number of fascinating old coastal cities. In the southeast, Morocco’s mountain ranges yield inexorably to the desolate expanse of the Sahara.

Winter can be called the « rainy season » though the « short showers season » might be more appropriate. Colder evenings need a jacket or a woolly. Autumn and spring are bright and definitely warmer (average day temperature around 25° to 28°) and Summer is definitely cooler on the coast line than on the continental inland.

Local Time

Morocco is on GMT in Winter and GMT +1 in Summer (with more or less the same dates than in Europe).

Mobile Phones

There is an excellent coverage all over Morocco so using your mobile to call home will not be a problem. Morocco dialing code is +212.

Electricity

Current is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz for newer buildings, 110 volts AC, 50 Hz for older ones. European-style plugs are standard (2 round pins).

Shopping

Morocco has been defined as a Shopper’s Paradise due to the skill of its craftsmen. Maroquinerie (leatherware) has been famous since the XVth century, to be joined later on by the production of pottery, woodwork, carpets, jewelry and nowadays textiles, fashion and home decoration. No visit to Morocco would be complete without visiting a Souk, which is a central market in every Medina.
The souks of Marrakech in particular offer a wide range of all the above with various quality and price level.
Don’t forget that bargaining is a tradition and a must, and that any items has just the price of your desire to acquire it.

Tipping

For any direct payments on individual bookings, you can generally expect to pay a 10% tip for most services.
Tips and gratuities are left to your appreciation.

Business Hours

Morocco making most of its business with Europe has adopted the same style of working hours (with a lunch break usually from 12.00 to 14.30) and week (with week ends on Saturday and Sunday), with a longer lunch break on Friday to allow the attendance to the Friday Prayer. Banks are open 08:15 – 15:45

Shops

In the Medina: Shops are generally open from 09:30 to 19:30 with many opening later in the evening, and some closing half day or full day on Fridays. In the modern shopping areas, they are generally open from 09:30 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 19:30, and there again some staying open late into the evening or having a longer lunch break on Friday. Many shops are shut on Sundays.

National Holidays

  • 1 January: New Year’ Day (Gregorian calendar)
  • 11 January: Independence Manifesto
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 30 July: Throne Feast
  • 14 August: Commemoration of Oued Eddahab Allegiance Day
  • 20 August: Revolution of the King and the People
  • 21 August: Youth Day (King Mohammed VI’s Birthday)
  • 6 November: Commemoration of the Green March
  • 18 November: Independence Day

Religious Holidays

They are based on the Lunar calendar; their dates vary each year and are fixed after the sight of the moon.

Ramadan

Morocco is one of the very few Muslim countries where Ramadan has hardly any effects on an event program: there are no alcohol restrictions on visitors, the evenings are busier, and only Djemaa El Fans square activity will come to a stop 15 minutes before sunset and one hour after to allow everyone to break the fasting day.
Many of the shops closing in the afternoon will re open after « breakfast » to be taken stricto sensu.
The Muslim year of twelve lunar months is twelve days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, so Ramadan occurs earlier in each Gregorian year. It will be still in summer for the 3 years to comme and the going backwards 12 days every year.

Cuisine

Moroccan cooking is strongly characterized by the subtle blending of spices, and Moroccans expertly use them to enhance, rather than mask, the flavour and fragrance of their dishes. 
Fresh herbs are also present in Moroccan dishes, particularly garlic, coriander, parsley, and mint, as are fragrant additions such as orange or rose water, olives, and olive oil.
Above all else, perhaps the defining characteristic of Moroccan cuisine is the blending of savoury with sweet, most commonly witnessed by the addition of fruit to meat tagines, to be found in such famous dishes as B’stila, couscous and tanginess of all sorts! Moroccan cooking experiences can be included in any Incentive program.

Drinks

No restriction on alcoholic drinks by visitors. Morocco has its own brands of beer (Flag Special, Casablanca) and major brands are imported (Heineken, Budweiser, Corona, etc…)
When it comes to wine, Morocco produces some surprisingly elegant wines – mostly Reds with a few excellent Whites like the « Gazelle de Mogador » ,-while French wines are widely available, though more expensive.
The most common and famous refreshment is mint tea, an infusion green tea and fresh mint leaves.
Tap water is drinkable but it is advisable for visitors to drink inexpensive mineral water.