One of the most pinnacle locations in Northern Africa, Morocco is demanding the creation of serviced accommodation. Teeming with cultural and topographical diversity, the number of tourists and corporates travelling to Morocco is set to rise significantly more than the five million who visited in the first half of the year. SITU, therefore, aims to accommodate this increasing populace and provide business travellers with the best city apartments to suit their varied desires.
Home to nearly forty million people and the third largest Arab population, Morocco is the most North Western African state, with its peninsula tip just off the borders of southern Europe. The topography and climate are diverse. Its northern coastal areas are mountainous with a Mediterranean dry, warm climate, whilst in southern coastal regions, nearer to the Sahara, the country’s agriculture occupies fertile plains and embraces a more extreme climate.
Some would argue that its Morocco’s geographical position which has shaped the country’s history. Due to its strategic position offering easy access between Europe and Africa, empires ranging from the Roman and Greeks, through to the Portuguese and French colonies occupied the territory for centuries. However, following the end of World War II, the Moroccans believed in a push for independence. The creation of the Independence Party in 1944 and strong leadership of the perceived ‘liberator’ sultan Mohammed V meant the country finally gained independence in 1956. Since Morocco has had to undergo a period of trying-and-testing policies to gain an economy which is now able to grow.
Since the country’s independence, it has experienced a phase of peace and stability, which gives foreign investors reassurance that their business plans should avoid interference. In fact, the country is now friendly traders with France and Spain, and its open international market has ensured the national GDP has gradually grown throughout the twenty-first century.
In recent years the economy has undergone a dynamic privatisation program. This included selling state-owned enterprises and encouraging local production. Small businesses are being pushed to succeed with the backing of a loan fund aimed to enhance their growth. Service and modern industries have economy backing, with tourism and continuous advancements of technology constantly improving. Both the backing from international organisations and a dedicated, increasingly more educated workforce make investing in Morocco worthwhile.
Although rival local traders are known to accept the Euros and Pounds sterling, it is worth having to hand the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). You cannot, however, bring the Dirham in or out of the country, so be sure to exchange once you are in Morocco. One Pound Sterling and Euro equate to ten and twelve Dirham respectively. You can visit www.exchangerates.org for the best Dirham exchange rates.
North Americans, most Europeans and Australians do not require visas to enter Morocco, if there stay is up to three months. For longer stays, you will need a resident permit which can be issued by a local police department. If you are still not sure whether you require a visa, visit www.moroccanconsulate.org.uk for more details.
Although Moroccan roads can be congested, and you can expect to hear lots of honking, driving in the country can be straightforward. Your residential driving license is acceptable there. We would only recommend that you refrain from driving at night. Also, expect to face the extensive system of toll roads. If you opt not to drive, you can always take advantage of relatively cheap taxis, either known as ‘Petit’ or ‘Grand’. Be sure to check which colours they are depending on which city you are visiting.
Doing nothing out of the ordinary and respecting the local traditions, culture and religion are the most important in Morocco. It is a Muslim country which respects the holy month of Ramadan, so make sure your actions are not offensive and disrespectful. Appropriate clothing is also recommended to avoid unwanted local attention. For a more detailed outline of Morocco local customs, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco.
Morocco’s diverse topography and exclusive culture mean that there truly is something for anything who visits the country. It’s as if the country merges African, Arabian and European culture together to create the one-of-a-kind state that Morocco is. One representative of this is Marrakesh Medina. SITU’s corporate accommodation places you near a world full of colour and vibrant local life. Within the maze-like alleyways, you can embrace the traditional music, dance and merchandise.
A similarly picturesque neighbourhood exists in Rabat. The Kasbah of the Udayas often goes unrecognised amongst tourists, but the district is one of the best representations of Morocco’s local life. The scenic views surrounding it are endless and the interior is decorated with such precision and detail. The atmosphere is rare in comparison to anywhere else in the country.
Or if you are looking to leave your business ventures to explore one of Morocco’s many landscapes, there’s no better place to visit than the grand Erg Chebbi desert. Unsurprisingly the views and the scenery are astonishing, making Erg Chebbi a popular destination for foreign travellers. SITU’s serviced apartments enable corporate visitors the best chance of exploring all these iconic Moroccan attractions.
Whether your stay in Morocco incorporates just business priority or an added desire for exploration and adventure, SITU has serviced apartments available to assist your trip. An emerging economic rise and long-history of entertaining many foreign travellers make Morocco a prime location for business and leisurely travel.
Morocco’s busiest and Africa’s fourth busiest airport serves Casablanca, the country’s largest city. Royal Air Maroc is the useful company responsible for connecting domestic flights from the Casablanca hub.
24-hour taxis and continuous train services connect arrivals into the airport quickly to Casablanca’s port and city centre. The city centre is also well signposted if you are travelling by car.
Morocco’s train network is one of the best in Africa, providing quick and easy access to the country’s main tourist attractions and major cities. Fares are reasonable, and trains are known for running to their schedules.
In terms of comfort, the difference between first class and second class is significant. You can also only book train tickets in person, at the station.
Buses are the cheapest and most convenient way to travel across Morocco. CTM and Supratours are nationwide networks which assist the train network and offer long-distance overnight connections.
Beware of where you sit on these buses to avoid overheating. Bus stations have ‘touts’ who will usually happily guide you to your bus.