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Last updated : Nov 2009
Morocco General Info
Morocco General Information - TravelPuppy.com
Capital

Rabat.

Area

710,850 square kilometres (274,461 square miles)

Population of Morocco

31.6 million people (UN, 2005)

Population of Rabat

1.3 million people (1994).

Population Density

44.4 people per square kilometres.

Geography

Morocco is situated on the westernmost tip of north Africa, bordering Mauritania to the south and southeast, Algeria to the east, the Atlantic ocean to the west and to the north the Mediterranean. Running through the middle of Morocco is the Atlas mountain range, which leads to the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast and the fertile plains.

The Middle Atlas range sweeps up from the south, rising to over 3,000 metres (9,850 feet), covered with woodlands of oak, pine and cedar, open pastureland and lakes. The Rif Mountains are located along the north coast.

The seaports of Ceuta (Sebta) and Melilla on the north coast are administered by the country of Spain.

Government

Constitutional monarchy since 1956 and gained independence from France during 1956.

Head of State

King Mohammed VI from 1999.

Head of Government

Prime Minister Driss Jettou from October 2002.

Recent history

King Mohammed VI was enthroned during July 1999 and he soon embarked on a series of political and economic changes and pursued a modernising course since his enthronement. Poverty is still widespread in Morocco and unemployment remains high, 1 of the King’s priorities was to fight the poverty. He set up a programme of economic liberalisation to attract foreign investment, eased restrictions on the press and approved more rights to the women of Morocco.

Language

Arabic is the main language, but Berber is spoken by a large minority. French is widely spoken throughout Morocco, except in the northern regions where Spanish is more principal. English is understood, particularly in the tourist areas and the north.

Religion

Mainly Muslim with Christian and Jewish minorities. Morocco’s population and culture stems from a cross-section of origins including Berbers, Jews, Arabs and Moors.

Time

GMT

Electricity

127 / 220 volts AC, 50Hz, depending on age of building.

Social Conventions

Handshaking is the customary form of greeting in Morocco. Several manners and social customs emulate the French, particularly amongst the middle class. The visitor may find, in certain social situations, that patience and firmness will pay dividends. Visitors sometimes may find themselves the centre of unsolicited attention. In towns, young boys after money will be quite eager to point out the way, sell goods or simply charge for a photograph, while unofficial guides will always be offering advice and services. The visitor should be courteous but also wary of the unofficial guides. General social courtesies should be observed when visiting someone’s home.

Casual wear is widely accepted, although shorts and swimsuits should be confined to the beach. Women travelling alone, and/or wearing clothes regarded as provocative (i.e short skirts, strappy tops,etc) may attract some unwanted attention. Homosexual conduct and sexual relations outside of marriage are punishable by law. Smoking is widespread and it is customary to offer out cigarettes.
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