There are few countries to rival Morocco’s rich diversity of culture, language, music, architecture, landscape and market scents. The warm days and cool nights of autumn are ideal for seeing the best of natural Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains are the most popular destination for trekking – most notably for fans of outdoor adventures.
Morocco’s beautiful and colorful landscape will take you years, if not decades, to explore. In addition, it is not difficult for Westerners to move there. It is extremely easy to get around in Morocco if you know the system. There are planes, boats, trains, long-distance buses, grand taxis and petit taxis that will get you practically everywhere.
Morocco runs on “Mediterranean Time,” meaning that things happen when they happen. While you are here, it is best to adjust to a slower, simpler pace—everybody else has. Do not expect the same standards as in Western countries. Life here is more relaxed and easygoing
The Language: It is a good idea to pick up some of the local languages here, as many people do not speak English. Start with Darija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic—if all else fails you can resort to French, English or Spanish.
Cost of Living: It is extremely affordable. Almost everything will cost less than in any Western country. This is great news if you earn US Dollars or Euros by remote work.
The Food: JUST INCREDIBLE—seriously, many people admit that it is their favorite country is Morocco almost exclusively due to its food. Fresh bread, colorful spices, countless type of olives, spicy Merguez sausages, Harsha, olive oil, lamb tagine with couscous, kofta tajine…ah, the list goes on and on.
Etiquette: Overall, Moroccans tend to be very polite and genuine. They are usually quite curious and open-minded, yet appreciate privacy. There is an intimacy among friends—and even strangers help each other out, giving gifts and kindness without a feeling of reciprocity.
The Hammam: Take full advantage of the hammam while you are here—Moroccan baths is the place to be if you want to relax, get a vigorous massage, and scrub away all the dirt from your day.
Driving in Morocco: For foreigners moving to Morocco from USA, UK, Europe or anywhere else, it is recommended to obtain an international driving permit, as well as carry your local license and passport when driving in Morocco. It is also important to remember to adhere to the local driving laws.
Healthcare in Morocco: Due to low salaries and lack of funding, many healthcare facilities in Morocco are understaffed and the quality of healthcare is lower, compared to the west. Although the quality of healthcare is better in major cities, it is still recommended to take out private insurance to access private healthcare for your stay in Morocco.
International and Local Schools: Children ages 7 to 13 are required by the local government to be enrolled in school. Though Morocco is considered to be left behind when it comes to literacy and educational system, there are still schools that provide quality education. For your child's expat background, you can check the International Schools of Morocco, whose curriculum is designed to meet international standards. There are also several local schools in the country that accept foreign nationals like the Al Akhawayn University which is currently the leading local, public school in Morocco.
Moving Your Belongings: One of the keys in a successful relocation is to make sure that you didn’t leave any important thing behind. Most experienced and even fist time expats hire international or local shipping and removal companies. They provide door-to-door services where they will facilitate the whole moving process. There are three ports in Morocco: Casablanca, Agadir and Tanger Med. Most containers take 10-20 days to arrive in the country’s leading port, Port Casablanca where customs officials conduct an inspection of the cargos.
There is no quarantine for healthy animals going to Morocco, but it usually takes 48 hours for customs officials to clear the pets for entry. Your pet should have its current annual vaccination and rabies vaccination at least four weeks before your departure. Makes sure that the pet has an Import Permit from the Government of Veterinary Services in Morocco and the International Health Certificate.
Understanding the Moroccan Culture: 98% percent of Morocco’s population are Muslims and expats must know that Islam mostly dictates the people’s lives as well as the ways of the society. Expats who practice different religions should be mindful of their Muslim neighbors especially when it comes to their religious practices. Muslims have an obligation to pray five times per day and the exact time of their prayers are listed every day in the local newspaper. They also consider Friday as a Holy Day whereas all offices and establishments are closed. The holy month of Ramadan is when work hours are only six hours per day and all Muslims fast from dusk until dawn. Though expats are not required to fast, they should still avoid drinking, smoking or chew gum in public places.
Moroccans are known for being kind, welcoming and hospitable. In most cases, a local colleague or new found friend will invite you to their home to share dinner with their family. They love building personal relationships which is why most deals in the business world are made only after several meetings. Moroccans are sweet and caring as well. They will often as you about your health and well-being. They also deeply value honor and respect towards other regardless of the person’s religion, nationality or gender.