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Is Morocco A Third World Country? (Is It Safe And Worth Visiting?)

Is Morocco A Third World Country? (Is It Safe And Worth Visiting?)

Well, there’s no entirely accurate answer to this question as the term ‘third world’, is outdated due to many factors, but Yes – Morocco can be generally categorized as a third world country. ‘Third world’ refers to nations that are economically underdeveloped compared to developed countries, such as the ones in the NATO alliance. Although Morocco once suffered extreme poverty, today, the nation is developing and making great strides forward.

As of 2021, Morocco’s GDP per capita is $3,350, which is similar to most south asian countries. This means the living standards are mediocre. A traveller can experience utmost luxury and at the same time witness poverty in certain cities. Common bribery and corruption have stagnated the overall growth of the country’s infrastructure development, yet, Morocco remains to be one the most attractive tourist destinations in the world.

Is it safe to travel to Morocco?

Busy City in Morocco

Tourism is one of Morocco’s major trades. So undoubtedly it is a safe environment for tourists. However, this being said, it doesn’t eliminate all dangers one could face. Just like many tourist destinations, scammers and pickpocketers are commonly found in Morocco, so it’s best to always be on alert of your belongings when travelling alone. Alcohol consumption is allowed in Morocco; however, it should be done in licensed hotels and bars. Public drinking is only allowed for tourists.

One scenario that many tourists face is being offered Hashish. Hashish is a type of smoke that’s commonly used by locals in major cities. Some tourists visit Morocco for this particular reason. Although Hashish is not illegal, it is neither legal. Authorities only tolerate it, so it’s best to avoid it when you’re offered. Don’t worry when rejecting in such a situation. The locals won’t persist as it could get them in trouble.

You might also be interested in: Things to do in Morocco

How big is Tourism in Morocco?

Tourism is one of the largest economic contributors of Morocco as well as the continent. In 2019, Morocco claimed 47% of the total Tourism in Africa, and the rate is estimated to be higher in the past two years. Its cultural versatility attracts tourists from around the world, and its historic glory is renowned. Morocco boasts of its colourful mosaic walls and exquisite mosques that are famous photographic locations for many influencers and vloggers. As the country is located in proximity to Spain, many European tourists decide to head over to Morocco for a quick vacation.

What are the Blue and Red cities of Morocco?

Blue City
Blue City

The city of Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue Pearl, is a famous tourist destination in Morocco’s Northern Region. Located in the Rif Mountains, its commonly referred to as the Blue City. The Medina walls and streets of Chefchaouen are washed in various hues of blues and is simply captivating to look at or even to capture a photo.

On the other hand, Marrakesh – the second Capital of Morocco has gained attraction as the ‘Red City’ of Morocco, which lies by the foothills of Atlas Mountain. Built in the 12th century by Almoravids, Marrakesh’s red-clay walls stretch 19km up to the UNESCO site Medina. Commonly referred to as ‘Al-Hamra’ (red) by locals, the hue of the pink walls deepens during sundown, and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Does Morocco belong to Africa? 

Morocco is located in North Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Although it belongs to the African continent, it is rarely recognized as an African country and often mistaken as a Middle Eastern country. The reason for this misconception is the skin colour of the people of Morocco. Unlike those from Sub-Saharan Africa, Moroccans take up a much lighter, Middle Eastern shade.

The nation is separated from Spain – just a ferry ride away – by the Gibraltar Strait. The Moroccan culture is greatly influenced by the Europeans, even though it’s a Muslim country. Travellers can witness extravagant medieval architecture in most of the major cities. The city of Fez is one of the world’s oldest, operating historic city home to the famous UNESCO Heritage site, Medina and a few other Madrasas (religious theoretical schools) that preserves the antique glamour. What fascinates travellers is the fact that these cities are still operating as they did a few hundred years back. Some store owners are descendants of the families who opened up businesses in the early ages.

What other countries are located bordering the Mediterranean Sea? 

The Mediterranean basin is one of the most important seas in the world. Its estuaries, brackish water lagoons, seagrass meadows and other features have benefited many European countries and bordering nations. Currently, there are 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, some of which belong to Europe, some to Northern Africa. The countries are Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

The Mediterranean climate is associated with mildly wet winters and hot summers, but in general, all Mediterranean countries are known for their warmth and sunny seasons caused by the high volume of water in the sea basin. Countries like Morocco, which borders the Mediterranean Sea, are famous for fruit cultivation such as Lemons and other citrusy produce.

How many International Airports does Morocco have?

Marrakech Airport

Morocco is home to over 33 airports, but there are 12 major airports. List below:

  • The Mohommed V International Airport in Casablanca
  • Nador International Airport in Nador
  • Menara Airport in Marrakech
  • Al Massira Airport in Agadir
  • Ibn Batouta Airport in Tangier
  • Saiss Airport in Fez
  • Rabat-Sale Airport in Rabat
  • Angdas Airport in Oujda
  • Mogador Airport in Essaouira
  • Tan Tan Airport in Tan Tan
  • Ouarazazate Airport in Ouarazazate
  • Cherif Al Idrissi Airport in Al Hoceima

Out of these airports, there are about 8 airports that are commonly used. These are based around Casablanca, Marrakesh, Agadir, Fez, Rabat, Tangier, Nador and Oujda.

What should I be aware of when travelling to Morocco? 

Conservatively dressed Tourist

When it comes to travelling to Morocco, clothing is one of the main factors tourists should pay attention to; As Morocco is a Muslim country, visitors have to dress appropriately. Especially women are expected to dress conservatively when visiting holy places. Overall, when travelling to rural cities, it’s best to blend in with the crowd in terms of your dressing style, so you get to experience originality and won’t attract unnecessary attention. Some madrasas and mosques don’t permit non-Muslims. If you are a non-Muslim, it’s better to know in advance which ones you’re allowed to visit so you can plan your vacation accordingly.

You should also keep in mind that locals speak Arabic as their first language. However, as it’s a tourist destination, many are able to conversate in simple English but don’t expect refined conversations from store vendors and taxi drivers. Learn a few phrases in advance and be patient.

Apart from these, public display of affection is also frowned upon; Especially for unmarried couples. Even if you are travelling as a married couple, it is best to avoid kissing in public places where there are a lot of locals and children. Keep in mind to not act willfully in religious locations such as mosques as it could be deemed disrespectful. There is no harm in capturing photos as many tourists do, so the locals are quite used to it. 

Additionally, you should know that homosexuality is illegal in Morocco as it is a Muslim country. It could even get you arrested. If you are travelling with your partner, ensure to keep your affectionate acts low when in public places.

Conclusion 

So now you know that Morocco – although is defined as a third world country – is a beautiful tourist destination that one must visit at least once in their lifetime. It is a safe country for tourists, but as always, travellers must be cautious of their own personal safety and belongings. Morocco belongs to Africa, but many people aren’t aware of that because it borders the Mediterranean Sea, and lays closely to Spain. Morocco brings the highest percentage of foreign revenue from Tourism, to the African continent. The culture of Morocco is influenced greatly by Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It’s surely a gem when it comes to its versatility.