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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.


Getting around Morocco

Overview:
Private / Circuit Tour:
Join one of our circuit tours of Morocco, with all transportation included.

Rent a car or van:
Rent a car for personal freedom to go traveling the country, or rent a van and driver for your group.

By Train:
Morocco has a fantastic train system, with connections between many of the major cities. Check www.oncf.ma for schedules and fares. Tickets can be purchased at the train station.

By Bus:
Some cities are not connected by train. Morocco has three national bus companies that operate between most major towns and cities. CTM, and Supratours are comfortable and reliable; however, SATAS does not have as good a reputation. Tickets can be bought at the bus station.
City buses are cheap, but often over-packed.

By Taxi:
There are two different types of taxis: petit taxis and grand taxis. Petit taxis are the best way to get around the city. They are colour coded in each city, and can usually be flagged down from the side of the street. The maximum occupancy for petit taxis is 3. Grand taxis can take you longer distances, including other cities. They are more expensive than taking the train, and they will often try to fill to their capacity of 6 passengers that are going in the same direction.

By Air:
Royal Air Maroc offers domestic flights.
Check www.royalairmaroc.com for schedules and fares.


Women

Overview:
Morocco is one of the leading countries in the Arab world in regards to women’s rights and freedoms. While there are still very definite gender gaps in culture, Morocco has made many significant reforms. In 2003, King Muhammad VI passed an historical family law called Mudawana. In it, he makes men and women jointly responsible for their homes, without the legal obligation for a woman to obey her husband. It makes it illegal for men and women to be forced into a marriage that they don’t want, and it severely restricts polygamy. It raises the age at which women may marry, and it protects her from being easily divorced by repudiation (the ritual words of divorce by which a man in Islam can divorce his wife, simply by saying them). It also protects unmarried women by creating responsibility by fathers for children born pre-maritally.

There still remain very definite distinctions in gender role in daily life. Men still tend to be the breadwinners, while women primarily take care of the home. The street is the primary domain of men, where men hang out with their friends in coffee shops. The home is the primary domain of women, where women will invite their friends. While there is still need for further reform, Morocco has done well to celebrate the uniqueness of each gender while creating freedoms and protections to help prevent those differences from being abused.


Education

Overview:
STRUCTURE OF SCHOOL SYSTEM

Primary Education:

Age level: 6-12
Length: 6 years
Fundamental Secondary Education:

Age level: 12-15
Length: 3 years
General Secondary [letters, sciences, or maths]:

Age level: 15-18
Length: 3 years
Diploma: Baccalauréat
Alternative: Technical Secondary:

Diploma: Baccalauréat Technique

Higher Education:

Higher education is offered by public universities, technical schools, engineering schools and teacher-training schools. There are also institutions that specialize in professional training for science, technology, law, economics, administration, and social sciences. Morocco has about 230,000 students enrolled in its 14 public universities.
Admission requirements: Good knowledge of Arabic or French

INFORMATION

Education in Morocco is free and it is compulsory to attend until completion of fundamental secondary education. However, there are still many children, especially girls in rural areas, which do not attend. Progress is being made, though, and the government invests 26% of its annual budget on education. It has also made many efforts to reduce regional differences in education standards, and tackle the problem of illiteracy.

LITERACY (age 15 and over can read and write):

total: 51.7%
male 64.1%, female 39.4%,
rural 24.6%, urban 63.1%


Morocco Tours – Your Way!

Over the past 9 years of doing business, we have heard from many of our clients stating that the custom design Morocco tour is the way to go. Some companies focus on set tours, but Experience It! Tours has decided to work with our clients to create the perfect Morocco tour. We need your input, your ideas, and your desires to help us create the ideal Morocco tour.


Date Night at Riad Dar Dmana

live and work here in Fes, Morocco and wanted to take my wife to a nice place to eat. We were recommended to try Riad Dar Dmana and wow were we impressed! Our first thought upon entering this lovely restored traditional house was “Wow wouldn’t it be amazing to live in a place like this!” We were warmly welcomed at the door and escorted to courtyard area where the tables were arranged in traditional Moroccan fashion with antique looking Frashes (lounging couches) and decorations that made you feel like you were entering someone’s loved home.


Experience the Rugs and Handicrafts at Morocco Tours

If you happen go for a Morocco Tours, do not miss out on buying Rugs and Handicrafts there. Moroccan women are making rugs and amazing carpets for millennia. Moroccan rugs are obtainable now only for those people who are eager to pay the price. Making of one rug could take a month or even more than a year to finish. Moroccan rugs are well-known for their excellence, both in workmanship and ranges of colors.


Plan your vacation to Morocco

From enticing cultural tours to exhilarating outdoor adventures, Morocco tours have earned a reputation of excellence from travelers around the world. Most people like to start with a tour of the city that they arrive. The majority of the Moroccan cities are bustling with activity and full of things to see and experience. There are Berber Kasbahs, Roman ruins, and many other interesting sights. Some places are well renowned for their interesting architecture while others are known for their historical interest.


Morocco Climate for Travel

Morocco which is located in the North West corner of Africa is embellished with mountains to deserts, to green river valleys and sandy coastlines. Thus the climate alters, confirming to the Morocco geography. Over all, the climate is quite dry and receives very less rainfall during some month of the year. Marrakech and Agadir are the only two places which enjoy relatively moderate climate. The climatic condition along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines is fairly moderate. During summer seasons it is very hot, but cool breeze coming from the water bodies will give a very cool effect. Winter is short and is accompanied by occasional downpours.


“A wonderful time in Morocco”

We had a wonderful time in Morocco and Youssef Maamri was an absolute gem! We enjoyed his company very much, he managed to find a really good balance with the information that he was providing (not too much, which we wouldn’t remember anyway but enough to make everything very interesting), he was a very good driver – we had great confidence in his ability (important on winding mountain roads and flooded roads as we experienced), he was very attentive to our needs and extremely patient with us while shopping! A marvelous all rounder. We enjoyed the whole range of experiences – even the dust storm + rain while crossing the sand dunes on a camel. The Riads were gorgeous and very comfortable, the meals (in the main) very nice and Youssef was able to steer us toward some wonderful places for lunch that we would never have found on our own.


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