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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Rabat

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Rabat each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

For the New Year, Rabat offers many evening entertainments. Local gastronomy, spices, and music and dance colour the splendour of the Oriental night, which is celebrated in restaurants and nightclubs throughout the Moroccan capital, making for an unforgettable New Year's Eve.

January 11 : Manifesto of Independence (national)

Morocco celebrates the signing of the Manifesto, which symbolises the end of colonisation and the birth of independence.

3rd month of the Hijiri calendar: Eid Al-mawlid an-Nabawi (national)

The birth of the Prophet Muhammad is celebrated each year in Morocco. Prayers and celebrations during these two days make them a family-holiday.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

Each year, Morocco celebrates Labour Day with a public holiday.

9th month of the Hijiri calendar: Ramadan (national)

Morocco celebrates Ramadan during the 9th month of the Hijiri calendar (the date changes each year, according to the time of year the Quran was revealed to the Prophet). Fasting starts at dawn and ends at dusk. Rabat slows down during the day and livens up at night!

1st day of Chawwal (date set according to the Hijiri calendar): Eid ul-Fitr (national)

This day marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and is a time for celebrations with family and friends.

July 30: Throne Day (national)

National celebration commemorating the enthronement of King Mohammed VI. Major festivities mark this holiday: parades, ceremonies, and official speeches and fireworks... The Moroccan capital is jubilant.

August 14: Feast of Oued Ed-Dahab (national)

This holiday marks the return of the Saharan provinces to Morocco in 1949.

August 20: Revolution of the King and the people (national)

A symbolic day recalling the deportation of King Mohammed V after his dismissal by the French authorities in 1953. Military parades, fireworks, and flags flying from the windows: Moroccans show the attachment they have for their King in a festive celebration.

August 21 : Festival of Youth (national)

Moroccan youth celebrate on the anniversary of the birth of Mohammed VI. Shows, dances, happenings: the children of Rabat play joyfully in the streets of the city.

September :(date set according to the Hijiri calendar): Eid al-Adha (national)

It is considered the most important of the yearly Muslim holidays and honours Ibrahim as a model for all believers. This is also an occasion for sumptuous family gatherings, for which it is recommended to multiply offerings and gifts.

6 November : Green March (national)

National Day inaugurated by Hassan II, commemorating the march of 350,000 Moroccans to the Spanish Sahara to which Morocco claimed possession.

18 November : Independence Day (national)

On this day of national celebration, Morocco celebrates the end of the French protectorate, which occurred in 1955.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Rabat

Located in the northwest of Morocco on the Atlantic coast, Rabat enjoys a Mediterranean climate: mild winters and mild summers especially. The ideal time to visit Rabat is from May to October when the area is sunny and warm, and the ocean breezes make the heat bearable.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 9/48.2 18/64.4 65/2,6 Not the best period to go
February 9/48.2 19/66.2 63/2.4 Not the best period to go
March 10/50 21/69.8 65/2.6 Not the best period to go
April 12/53.6 23/73.4 42/1.7 Not the best period to go
May 14/57.2 24/75.2 27/1.1 Good period to go Good period to go
June 17/62.6 27/80.6 8/0.3 Good period to go Good period to go
July 18/64.4 29/84.2 0/0 Good period to go Good period to go
August 19/48.2 29/84.2 0/0 Good period to go Good period to go
September 18/64.4 28/82.4 10/0.4 Good period to go Good period to go
October 15/59 26/78.8 47/1.9 Good period to go Good period to go
November 13/55.4 22/71.6 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
December 10/50 19/66.2 85/3.3 Not the best period to go
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Rabat-Salé International Airport

The Rabat-Salé International Airport is located approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) northeast of Rabat's city centre.

The airport has 2 terminals:

  • T1 (Air France)
  • T2 (reserved for military activity)

Travelling between Rabat and the airport:
  • By car:
    The airport is accessible by car via the Ain Houalla National Road. Allow approximately 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
    The airport offers a parking. Count MAD 5 for the first five hours, MAD 25 for 5 to 12 hours, MAD 40 for 24 hours.Many car rental companies are located in Terminal 1.
  • Airport Shuttle:
    The shuttle service from the Rabat-Salé airport makes it possible to reach downtown Rabat in 30 minutes, at an average of MAD 20 per person. The shuttles run between 6:45 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. every day of the week. They are programmed in accordance with the main departures and arrivals in Rabat: the departure towards the capital takes about 1 hour after the arrival of the flight, the return to the airport is scheduled two hours before flight departure. The shuttle to the airport departs from in front of the Rabat-Ville train station.
  • Taxi:
    Only ‘big taxis' (white Mercedes with a capacity of six passengers: two front and four rear) can take you to downtown Rabat, round the clock, seven days per week. Allow about MAD 150 for a ride of about twenty minutes in the daytime and MAD 200 at night.
  • Services: shops, bars, restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi), currency exchange, banks, ATMs, and a post office are all to be found in the terminal.

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GETTING AROUND Rabat

Traffic in Rabat is sometimes chaotic. The tram, which serves the main roads of the capital, is the ideal way to explore the city easily.

Bus

The Moroccan capital is covered by 54 bus lines spread between the cities of Rabat, Salé, and Témara. Buses run from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., every ten minutes. Bus lines 13, 27, 34 and 16 join the cities of Rabat and Salé. us 28 stops close to ministries and embassies. You can buy your tickets directly on the bus for MAD 5.

Tramway

The tram is the safest and fastest means of transport within the city. Rabat has two tramlines (T1 and T2) serving the major areas of the city from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Extensions are in progress, and new lines (T3, T4 and T4 bis) covering the suburbs are being prepared for 2018.

The price of a ticket is MAD 6 on sale in kiosks and distributors in tram stations. The ticket allows you to make connections in the hour following the first validation. For more information on fares, schedules and points of sale, visit (www.tram-way.ma/fr/).

Automobile

French car tourists can use their licenses in Morocco. But beware: finding a parking place in the city centre is often something of an obstacle course. Count between 20 and 30 MAD per hour for a parking space.

Taxi

In urban areas, the ‘small taxis' (blue taxis) are easily accessible. During the day, the price per kilometre is MAD 1.60. At night, it can be increased by 50%. Expect MAD 5 to MAD 30 for a ride. As a precaution, do not hop into a taxi having no counter.

Train

The city of Rabat offers two stations: Rabat-Ville is located in the city centre, and Rabat-Agdal is located two kilometres from the city centre. Both serve most major Moroccan cities. The tramline L1 serves Rabat-Ville station. From Rabat-Agdal, reach Casablanca in an hour for a price between MAD 37 and MAD 47 (second class).

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Rabat, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Tourist Office of Rabat

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Rue Zallaqa, corner of Oued Al Makhazine street, Rabat
  • Telephone: +212 (0) 537 278 300
  • Website: http://rabat-tourisme.org/

Regional Tourism Delegation (DRT)

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: 22 avenue d'Alger, Rabat
  • Telephone: +212 (0) 537 660 663

Regional Tourism Board (CRT)

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: 24 avenue de la Victoire, Rabat
  • Telephone: +212 (0) 537 779 077

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation. Rabat counts several hospitals and medical institutions as well as medical practitioners.

VACCINATIONS

No vaccine is mandatory to stay in Rabat. However, it is recommended you protect yourself against hepatitis A and B, and typhoid.

For more information, contact your Air France International Vaccination Centre:

  • Address: 38, Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr
  • Telephone: +33 (0) 1 43 17 22 00
  • To make a vaccination appointment:
    - online: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr/eappointment/form
    - Phone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

 

WATER

Tap water is safe to drink in Rabat.

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Administrative formalities

Most nationalities visiting Morocco do not require a visa and are allowed to stay in the country for 90 days, if carrying a valid passport (30 days for citizens of certain countries).

However, some foreign nationals are subject to visa formalities before entering Morocco. For more information, visit the website of Morocco’s Consular and Social Affairs:

www.service-public.ma/web/guest/home

 

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Morocco, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few useful phrases in Moroccan Arabic that may be useful for your stay in Rabat:

Hello: As-salam alaykom

Good evening: Msa l'khir

Goodbye: Bislama

Yes: Naâm

No: La

No, thank you: La, choukran

Thank you: Choukran

I don't understand: Ma fhemtch

Can you repeat that ?: Hal tastatieun al'iieada ?

Please: Min fadlek

What time is it?: Chahèle raha saha ?

Excuse me: Asif

Airport: Matâr

Train station: Mahatt

Taxi: Sayarat ojra

Hotel: Funduq

Hospital: Mustashfaa

Bank: Banka

Telephone: Hatif

I am (...): Ana

I'm looking for (...): Abhath

What is the price of (...)?: Chhal el-tamane?

Do you have (...)?: Hal?

Where can I find (...)?: Ayn Tajid?

Where can I buy (...)?: Hayth lishira?

I would like (...): Awadd

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Good to know

00 212
+ phone number (without the 0)
-2 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow
Daylight Savings Time start date: last Sunday in March

Daylight Savings Time end date: last Sunday in October

BANKS
Generally Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. (9:15 a.m. to 2 or 2:30 p.m. during Ramadan)
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during Ramadan)
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping

In Morocco, the tip is not included in the bill. It is therefore considered polite to leave a percentage for the service from 10 to 15% of the total bill. Salaries are relatively low, so tipping the housekeeping staff (maids, porters...) in hotels is appreciated.

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