How to Be Culturally Sensitive While Traveling in Morocco

Camel trek in the Sahara Desert

You’re making travel plans and dreaming of a vacation in Morocco — but there’s a lot to think about when you travel. Traveling abroad often shines a spotlight on our own cultural values, beliefs, and behaviors. Culturally wise travelers take into account the specifics of the Moroccan traditions and show as much respect as possible. Being a culturally sensitive traveler while traveling in Morocco will be well noted and appreciated by the locals.

Here are some tips on how to be culturally sensitive when traveling to Morocco while making incredible memories:

What to Wear in Morocco

When in Morocco, you should aim to dress appropriately.

For Men: For male travelers it’s easier to look around and see how local men are dressed. Collared shirts or T-shirts paired with jeans or long pants are commonly worn during the summer. A pair of nice dress shoes or sandals is also appropriate.

For Women: It is best for women traveling to Morocco to wear longer shirts that cover the waist and shoulders, and loose pants, long skirts or dresses that cover the knees. Camisoles or undergarments can be worn under sweaters and cardigans. Draping tunics is also appropriate.

Greetings

When greeting, always use your right hand as the left hand is traditionally considered unclean. It is acceptable to kiss on the cheek between the same sexes. When asked to enter a house, it is appropriate to take off your shoes especially before entering the living area, also known as the salon.

Photo Etiquette

Not understanding Moroccan Arabic should never be an excuse to photograph an unwilling person. As a photographer, you are responsible to ask for permission before clicking on your shutter. Generally speaking, people around the world including Moroccans will generally respond to you with the same attitude that you express to them. If you would love to take a portrait for someone, resist the urge to click the shutter before saying a simple greeting with a genuine smile, getting to know him/her a little bit, and then expressing your need to take a portrait photo. You will find that most people love to have their picture taken.

Or even better, try to take time to really travel without obsessing over capturing every moment of your tour. Spend time exploring your surroundings, and being immersed into the local Moroccan culture. When it is appropriate to take a photo, you might find yourself having a story to go along with that photo.

Tajines in Morocco
Tajines in Morocco

Please note that no photos are allowed at any border checkpoints, military, or police in Morocco.

Respecting Religions

Remember that Morocco is Muslim country and to respect the local religion. Non-Muslims cannot enter mosques except for the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca which offers guided tours.

Eating Etiquette

Eating with your hand in Morocco is a time-honoured tradition. While eating, you should always use your right hand as Moroccans rarely eat with their left hand. You will also find that most Moroccans are very hospitable. If you are ever invited to someone’s home, it is best to bring a small gift with you. You may also find yourself on the receiving end of a gift from the host. It would be disrespectful not to receive it, but be sure to express your gratitude to the host for their hospitality.

Camel trek in the Sahara Desert
Camel trek in the Sahara Desert

Traveling to Morocco

Are you planning to travel to Morocco? Speak with one of our travel experts for more tips on how to be a cultural sensitive traveler while traveling to Morocco. We would love to help you plan an authentic Morocco tour of a lifetime.

About the author

Kevin Dyck is the founder of Mosaic North Africa and has over 11 years experience living in North African countries. He is an Arabic speaker with a passion for travelers to encounter the diverse cultures and natural beauty found throughout the North Africa region. He currently lives in and works for MNA from Tunis, Tunisia.

Leave a Reply

I accept the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.