Morocco is a safe place to travel, even as a woman alone. Common sense is all you need really to get by without problems. Below is a collection of useful information to help you get off on the right foot. We are always happy to discuss these matters in more detail with you by telephone or email. We have many years of experience and have lived in the country for over a decade and will be able to help you with any questions you may have.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. The exact dates of the month cannot be determined in advance due to the sighting of the crescent moon, but it generally moves forward by 11 days (earlier) each year. It is a holy month for Muslims during which they abstain from eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset.
Q: Do I have to fast as a non Muslim?
A: You are not expected to observe the fast, however, out of respect you should avoid eating (including chewing gum), drinking and smoking in public.
Q: How should I dress during Ramadan?
A: It is advisable for women to avoid short skirts and sleeveless tops. If visiting the beach during Ramadan, women should dress modestly (unless on an empty beach).
Q: Are restaurants and shops open during Ramadan?
A: In large cities, some restaurants open day and night during Ramadan. It could be more difficult to find a place open in small villages and cities. Most shops open at around 10 am and close about 1 hour before sunset, reopening after breaking the fast and then staying open until late at night. It is not always possible to consume alcohol in restaurants during Ramadan.
Q: When are pharmacies open?
A: In general, pharmacies open from Monday to Saturday from 9 am until about 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset. Only duty pharmacies stay open for the rest of the evening / night as well as on Sundays. Their details are usually displayed on any pharmacy window.
Q: What are the opening hours for business including banks?
A: Opening times for most businesses and banks are from 9 am until 3 pm. Be aware that on Fridays, very few people go back to work after the midday Muslim prayers.
Q: How is the road traffic during Ramadan?
A: Busses may alter their schedules or routes to match the setting sun or to reduce traffic. Taxi drivers are less likely to engage in afternoon or evening travel. Trains generally keep to their given schedules.
At dusk the traffic is heavy and drivers tend to speed and drive more irresponsibly as they head home to be with their families and break the fast.
Deputy Editor of Harper’s Bazaar, Sasha Slater, travelled with her family to Marrakech and Ouirgane with Lawrence of Morocco in April 2014.
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