Fast Facts about Morocco

Overview:
Capital: Rabat
Official language: Arabic
Major Religion: Islam
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
King: Muhammad VI
Population: 33.01 million (2013)
Currency: Dirham
International dialling code: +212

Visas: Citizens of the US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia and New Zealand are granted 3 month visa stamps upon arrival. All visitors require a passport.

Dress Tips: While there is no uniform dress code in Morocco , it is still important to remember that this is a religious nation, and to dress accordingly. Modest dress will save you from a lot of hassle. It is generally a good idea to avoid shorts, short skirts, sleeveless shirts, or very tight clothing.

Women Travelers: Women need to be aware that they may be the target of many comments and even stares, especially when travelling alone. In these situations it is best to remain calm and completely ignore the comments. Otherwise, it is fairly safe to walk around crowded areas, but still best to avoid walking in deserted areas or walking alone at night.

Etiquette: Moroccans are wonderfully friendly, and you will often be greeted with a kiss on both cheeks. The closer you are, the more kisses you’ll get. You may even get your hand held as you walk. Don’t worry- it’s normal.

-If you make some new friends, you will likely get some invitations into homes. You will know the genuineness of the invitation by the third time it is offered. When you enter the home, make an attempt to greet every person in the house. For women this often takes the form of kissing other women on the cheeks; men usually shake hands. Take your shoes off before stepping onto a rug, and try to avoid staying alone in a room of the opposite sex as this can be interpreted incorrectly.

-If you are served food, you will be constantly encouraged to keep eating. It is usually a good idea to start slowing down a little while before you actually get full. You do not have to keep eating just because they say so, though. Food is usually served on a big plate in the middle of the table. When you are eating, it is helpful to imagine a pie and eat the slice in front of you. It is generally considered rude to reach into someone else’s section, unless it is for the purpose of passing food to someone else. It is also good to keep in mind that meat is more expensive and is considered the best part of the meal. The meat will often be at the center of the plate, but while your hosts will likely keep offering you meat, it is good to pace yourself. It is also generally polite to avoid the meat until you see someone else eating it. Another helpful hint to keep in mind is to avoid the use of you left hand when eating or handling any kind of food.

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