Moroccan Currency – The Moroccan Dirham
Before traveling to Morocco its an idea to familiarise yourself with the country’s currency and its rate of exchange so that when you are using the money you are aware of its value and you won’t fall foul to possibly being ripped off, Moroccan Dirham (pronounced “DEER-hem”) is the currency of Morocco. The Dirham is commonly abbreviated as “dh.” One santim (pronounced “san-TEEM”) is worth 1/100 of a dirham and is abbreviated c. It is rare to see a coin smaller than 20c, however, you will come across 50c, as well as 1dh, 2dh, and 10dh coins. Paper notes come in denominations of 20dh, 50dh, 100dh and 200dh.
Exchange offices, Banks, & ATMs
The dirham is officially designated as a closed currency meaning that it can only be legally traded within Morocco. While it is technically illegal to take dirhams outside of Morocco, the import and export of the currency is tolerated up to a limit of 1000dh.
All international airports in Morocco have a currency exchange counter. Exchange rates are fixed by law and charging high commissions is forbidden, which means that there are very small differences in fees between banks and exchange offices.
When using a bank remember to bring your passport and always ask for a receipt following a transaction. Note many banks close during lunchtime and that during Ramadan and summertime, many banks are only open until 2pm or 3pm.
The best option for travellers is to withdrawal funds using a debit card at one of the many ATM machines (commonly called a guichet automatique) located throughout the country. While ATMs tend be more scarce in rural areas, they are plentiful in the cities. Before you travel check with your bank to ensure that your PIN will work and to find out about any fees or commissions. Save exchange and ATM receipts in order to facilitate the exchange of any leftover dirhams back into your local currency.
Credit cards are accepted in modern shopping centres, some restaurants and large hotels. Contact your bank before you travel to enquire about any fees.
In Morocco it is customary to tip however there is no set amount and is often depending on the type of establishment and circumstances as you travel throughout Morocco you will get used to and how much you are expected to tip.
The amount should be on your personal perception and satisfaction of service and your financial status or generosity,
Tipping of the following persons and roughly these amounts are expected bellboys (10dh and 20dh), room maids, waiters (at larger restaurants, check the bill to see if a service charge has been added. If not, 10% of the bill is a nice tip to reward good service, although Moroccans generally tip slightly less. In a smaller restaurant or cafe, anywhere between 2dh and 5dh), at museums tourist attractions and monuments the curators should be tipped. Masseurs in Spa’s, tour guides and tour party drivers (100dh and 200dh per day) if anyone helps you find your hotel or a restaurant would also expect a tip. It is seen as polite to tip taxi drivers however this is not expected but greatly appreciated.
In the souks and smaller shops bargaining is expected