710,850 square kilometres (274,461 square miles)
31.6 million people (UN, 2005)
1.3 million people (1994).
44.4 people per square kilometres.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
127 / 220 volts AC, 50Hz, depending on age of building.
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.