Business dos and don'ts in Morocco

Rvo,  Thursday, 5 October 2017

Moroccan hospitality 

A mix of Arabic and Mediterranean influences characterizes the Moroccan business culture. Personal relationships play an important role in doing business.

General

First build up a relationship of trust. Things only come about after that. Be patient and take plenty of time for appointments. Confirm your agreements shortly in advance. Discussing business usually happens in the office, less during lunch or dinner.

Morocco has a high level of hierarchy. Therefore, know the function of your business partner and show respect for his position. Give everyone a hand at a meeting, including the youngest employee. Moroccans are known for their hospitality. They will soon invite you to their home.

Refusal is very rude in Moroccan culture. People know many ways to say no or to indicate doubt. Therefore, wait and ask for confirmation before closing a deal. Sometimes it is best to ask for multiple confirmations.

An increasing number of Moroccan women are active in government and business. For Western women, doing business in Morocco is usually not a problem.

Language

French is the common language. The younger generation is also becoming increasingly proficient in English. If you are not able to speak the French language yourself, please inform in advance whether your interlocutor speaks English. Or hire an interpreter. Use also business cards with the French language. The best are business cards with French texts on one side and Arabic on the other. English-language letters and documentation are usually not responded to.

Best travel time

Doing business in Morocco is best done outside of ramadan. During ramadan, working hours are shorter and many Moroccans are absent. Are you in Morocco during the ramadan? Then it is better not to smoke, drink or eat in the presence of your Moroccan interlocutors.

Clothing

Wear light, clean clothing in summer. For men this is a costume and tie. For women long trousers or skirt. Compared to ministries or state-owned companies, smaller companies often have a less formal clothing code. In the winter you need warmer clothes and rainwear.

Business Gifts

A gift helps build a relationship. Think of chocolate or a souvenir from your own country. Do not offer alcoholic beverages. Moroccan businessmen often do not unwrap a present in your presence.

This article of is based on . Translated from the Dutch language by Jos Deuling.


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