Morocco Everyday Life

By | June 24, 2021

Currency: Moroccan dirham

Exchange rate: MAD 10.73 per euro (December 2020)

Time zone: UTC (current time in winter GMT + 1)

Country code (Tel.): +212

Climate (Rabat): Damp and hot in summer, damp and cool in winter

Holidays and celebrations

According to physicscat, weekends in Morocco are Saturday and Sunday. Many modern shops are closed on Sundays. Smaller shops and workshops work all week and are only closed on a few Islamic holidays. The dates of the major Islamic festivals (Ramadanende / Aid Al Fitr / Aid Saghir;: Sacrificial Festival / Aid Al-Adha / Aid Kabir / Fête du mouton) as well as the numerous moussems of the local saints are Islamically based on the lunar year and migrate compared to the western calendar per Year back by 10-11 days. These are the public holidays:

  • New Year: January 1st
  • Declaration of Independence: January 11th
  • Labor Day: May 1st
  • Feast of the Throne: July 30th
  • Western Sahara Day: August 14th
  • National holiday: August 20th
  • Birthday of King Mohammed VI: August 21
  • Day of the ” Green March”: November 6th
  • Independence Day: November 18th
  • Ramadan end (Islamic calendar) 2 days
  • Festival of Sacrifice (Islamic calendar): 2 days
  • New Year (Islamic Calendar): 1 day
  • Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Islamic calendar): 1 day

Not all religious holidays are non-working. On Ashura (the tenth day of the first Islamic month of Muharram) people go to the fair and give the children sweets or toys, otherwise they work normally. Ashura is an Islamic holiday that is mainly observed by Shiites in the Islamic world. Only a few Sunni Islamic societies are celebrating this day today, Morocco is one of them.

Money and money transfer

The local currency is called the Moroccan Dirham (abbreviated DH or MAD). 1 dirham equals 100 centimes. In addition to banknotes of 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 DH, there are coins of 10, 5 and 1 DH and (increasingly rare) 50, 20 and 10 centimes.

Moroccan dirhams can theoretically only be purchased in Morocco. You can exchange money in official exchange offices, banks and at reception in larger hotels. Tip: keep the exchange receipt until you leave Morocco. Then you can exchange any dirhams you don’t need.

International credit cards are accepted by many hotels, shops and restaurants, and in some cases you can even pay with EC cards. In some cases, however, fees of up to 5% are charged. Certain banks in Germany issue Visa cards that allow a limited number of free withdrawals. This can save real money. If necessary, research the relevant offers online.

ATMs can be found everywhere in Morocco. Both EC cards and all major credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard are accepted. Recommendation: check your account transactions as soon as possible. Occasionally there are double or incorrect bookings. In the event of a timely complaint, such incorrect bookings will be reimbursed immediately.

The import and export of Moroccan dirhams is prohibited. Before leaving Morocco, the remaining dirhams should be exchanged. The import of foreign currencies must be declared. When exporting foreign currency, you must prove that you imported the money on entry with an amount of more than 50,000 DH.

Bank opening times: Mon-Thu 8.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m., Fri 8.30 a.m.-11 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m. Shortened opening hours in the fasting month of Ramadan: 9.30 a.m.-2 p.m.

With children in Morocco

European specialists with children usually get along very well in Morocco, provided they live in large cities such as Rabat. The infrastructure is good, schools and doctors on a European level can be found for appropriate payment.

Decent children’s playgrounds are rather few and far between in Morocco. But excursions to land or the sea, exploring pirate fortresses and kasbas, visiting cultural parks (around Marrakech) or camel rides in the desert are great fun for most children. In Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier or Marrakech, young people usually quickly find schoolmates with whom they can share their hobbies or musical preferences. In addition to school, clubs and civil society organizations are an opportunity to get to know Moroccan girls and boys of the same age and to discover common interests.

German-speaking kindergartens or schools do not yet exist in Morocco. European families can choose between local Arabic-French schools or international French, English or Spanish-speaking educational institutions. In some cases, entrance exams have to be taken. Experience shows that access to francophone schools is somewhat more difficult, as these schools primarily accept children with French nationality or children who already speak French. At the American schools in Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier and Marrakech, which are co-financed by the US State Department, admission is usually less complicated. Here is a selection of the most important international schools, with links:

  • American school in Rabat
  • American School in Casablanca
  • American school in Marrakech
  • British International School of Casablanca
  • British Moroccan School in Rabat (Khalil Gibran School)
  • Spanish secondary school and high school in Tangier
  • Ramon y Cajal in Tangier (3-12 years)
  • French high school in Casablanca
  • French high school in Rabat
  • French high school in Agadir

All international schools charge relatively high school fees, also by European standards. Your employer may pay a subsidy.

Telephone and internet

Morocco has a very well developed cellular network. One hundred percent of the adult population has cell phones, and more than half use smartphones. Almost 60 percent go online regularly.

In order to apply for a landline connection or to conclude a mobile phone contract, you need a rental contract or other proof of your stay in the country. To get started, we definitely recommend buying a Moroccan prepaid SIM card (for example Maroc Telecom, Orange or InWi). All you need to do is present a valid passport with an entry stamp.

Morocco’s international code is 00212.

The Moroccan state network monitoring agency temporarily blocks the use of Skype and other Internet services. Many Moroccan users use VPN to circumvent such bans.

Weekend on the Bouregreg River in Rabat Morocco