Location: Morocco is located on the northwest corner of the African continent. Its north and west coastlines are washed by the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic respectively, and it shares land borders with Algeria, Spain, and Western Sahara. Morocco is only 8 miles (13 km) from Europe, across the Strait of Gibraltar.
Geography: Morocco covers a total area of 172,410 square miles/446,550 square kilometers, making it slightly larger than the U.S. state of California.
Capital City: Rabat
Population: In July 2016, the CIA World Factbook estimated Morocco's population at just over 33.6 million people.
- The average life expectancy for Moroccans is 76.9 years of age - one of the highest in Africa.
- In Morocco, it is considered impolite to handle food with the left hand and to say no to meat if it is offered at a meal.
- Morocco’s national animal is the Barbary lion.
- Morocco is the largest processor and exporter of sardines in the world.
- The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the world’s seventh largest mosque and took five years of intensive labor by over 30,000 workers and craftsman to complete in 1993. The mosque’s minaret at 689 feet (210 m) high is the world’s tallest, and it is Casablanca’s chief landmark. In terms of covered area, the Hassan II Mosque is the largest in the world and has space for 80,000 worshippers.
- Morocco was the first nation to sign a treaty with the United States in 1786.
- Although Morocco's climate is generally hot and dry, weather can vary dramatically depending on where you are.
- In the south of the country (nearer the Sahara), rainfall is limited; but in the north, light rains are common between November and March.
- On the coast, offshore breezes provide relief from soaring summer temperatures, while the mountain regions remain cool all year round.
- In winter, snow falls heavily in the Atlas Mountains. Temperatures in the Sahara Desert can be both scorching during the day and freezing at night.
Business Meeting Etiquette:
- Appointments are necessary and should be made as far in advance as possible and confirmed a day or two before the meeting.
- It is best to avoid scheduling meetings during Ramadan since Muslims cannot eat or drink during the day.
- Don't schedule meetings between 11:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday since most companies close for prayers.
- Try to arrive at meetings on time and be prepared to wait. Moroccan business people who are accustomed to dealing with international companies often strive to arrive on time, although it is often difficult for them to do so in such a relationship driven culture.
- In general, Moroccans have an open-door policy, even during meetings. This means you may experience frequent interruptions. Others may even wander into the room and start a different discussion. You may join in, but do not try to bring the topic back to the original discussion until the new person leaves.
- French is generally the language of business, although some companies use English. Check which language your meeting will be conducted in, so you know if you should hire an interpreter.