Public Holidays 2005 Jan 1 New Years Day Jan 11 Manifesto of Independence Jan 21 Aid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) Feb 10 Fatih Mouharram Muslim (Muslim New Year) Apr 21 Aid al -Mawlid (Prophets Birthday) May1 Labour Day Jul 30 Feast of the Throne Aug 14 Fete Oued Eddahab (Oued Eddahab Allegiance Day) Aug 20 Revolution du Roi et du Peuple Aug 21 King Mohammeds Birthday Nov 3-5 Aid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Nov 6 Marche Verte (Anniversary of the Green March) Nov 18 Fete de lindependence (Independence Day)
Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of phases of the moon and dates given are approximate. During the lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business may be interrupted.
Habits and Customs Making the most of Moroccan hospitality. It is important not to assume anyone who approaches you or talks to you is a hustler, if you want to get the most out of a visit to Morocco. Moroccans are hospitable people but many tourists fail to have significant contact with the people.
Moreover, your own behaviour and attitude are important. If you can avoid being rude and/or aggressive in response to insistent offers from guides, it helps. Some Moroccans may treat tourists with contempt and try to exploit them because of the way the latter behaves.
Be aware of the importance of dress.
Morocco is a Muslim country and conservative dress is the norm.Many Moroccans, especially in rural and remote areas will be offended (or get the wrong idea) by scantly clad tourists this applies particularly to women.
In cities, Moroccan women may wear short sleeves and knee length skirts and similarly men may wear sleeveless t-shirts and shorts.It is a good idea to note how local Moroccans dress and imitate them, rather than your fellow tourists. Swimwear should only been worn at the beach or poolside.
Smoking Smoking is practised widely, and it is customary to offer cigarettes in social situations.
Religious Customs Muslim religious customs should be respected, particularly during the month of Ramadan. Be aware that during this time, eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours should be discreet as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture and locals will not eat/drink until the evening.
Photography Ask permission before taking someones photograph if you want to avoid offence.
Invitation to a home If you are lucky enough to be invited to a Moroccan home, note that it is customary to take your shoes off before entering the reception rooms - follow your hosts lead. It is customary to take a gift too, for example, sweet pastries or tea and sugar are both acceptable.
Safety Violent crime is not a major problem, however 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
The Road Safety record in Morocco is poor. Accidents are frequent, especially on busy major routes, such as the main road from Agadir to Marrakesh via Imin Tanoute and Chichaoua, which has been reported as particularly hazardous. You are advised to leave plenty of time to reach your destination and to stay well within speed limits.
For up to date travel advice for British citizens and travel advice warnings, see the Foreign Office website: www.fco.gov.uk/travel
Tipping A tip of 10 to 15% is expected in the more expensive bars and restaurants. Visitors should note that tips are the only income for some porters and guides.
Trading Hours Office hours 8:30 - 12:00 and 14:30 - 18:30 MonFri SeptemberJuly, except Ramadan); 9:00 - 15:00/16:00 MonFri (Ramadan and July, early September) Banking hours 8:30 - 11:30 and 14:30 - 17:00 MonFri (winter); 8:00 - 15:30 MonFri (summer) - Hours may vary during Ramadan
Money The unit of currency is the Moroccan Dirham (Dh), which is divided into 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of Dh 200, 100, 50 and 20. ATMs are available in the larger towns, but can be unreliable; currency can be exchanged at banks or official bureaux de change. Dirhams cannot be obtained or exchanged outside Morocco. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops and restaurants. Travellers cheques can be used in tourist areas. Currency Exchange Rates Dh 1.00 = US$ 0.12 0.06 C$ 0.15 A$ 0.16 R 0.69 0.09 NZ$ 0.17 Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.
Electricity Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin round plugs are in use. Purchase an international travel adaptor before departure.
Weights and Measures: Metric
Dialling Code: The international access code for Morocco is +212 For outgoing calls the code is 00 followed by the relevant country code: 00 44 for the United Kingdom.Most of the country is covered by the mobile network and Internet cafes are widely available in tourist areas.