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Home> Destinations> Africa> Fez> Overview


Updated: 2014-07-29 / (visitmorocco.com)





City Introduction

Fez, Morocco's famous historical and cultural city and the third largest city, is the oldest among the four ancient imperial cities, and indisputably the symbol of Morocco's center. The city took its shape soon after the Arab swept off the North Africa and Spain, and became the country's religious and cultural center. The Arab region located in the old Fez is one of the world's largest medieval cities, the winding alleys in the city are crowded with all kinds of manual workshops, restaurants and markets. Mosques, schools, dye-works and tanneries are scattered in the city. As the oldest emperor city in Morocco, Fez has established sister-city relations with 12 ancient cities including Lahore (Pakistan), fiorentina (Italy), Crowdopa (Spain), Strasbourg (France) and Wuxi (China).





History and Culture

Fez, is the first Muslim city in the history of North Africa, and has been Morocco's religion, culture and art center for more than one thousand years. Fez River forks here and thus gives birth to a land suitable for farming; therefore, "Fez" stands for "golden axe" and "fertile land" in Arabic. Fez, a city on a hillside, overlooks a vast plain and plays a role of strategic town. Fez is made up of the old city (El-bali), new city (El-Jdid) and new urban area (Villenouvelle). El-bali is one of the world's largest existing cities of typical medieval style, and has been on a par with Barak Kashgar (southern Moroccan city), Cairo (Egypt's capital) and Damascus (Syria's capital) in the Arab countries. As the Medina of Fez, El-bali possesses profound religious, traditional culture and philosophy foundation, which was designated as "world cultural heritage" protection area by UNESCO in 1981 and listed in the world's major cultural relics emergency rescue project. El-bali, covering an area of 250 hectares, was built by Idris II in 808 A.D. It is Morocco's first emperor city, whose 17-km city wall is well preserved, and retains a strong Arab color. Fez is the sacred place and culture exchange center of Morocco, as well as the home to Moroccan national spirit.





Natural Environment

Fez, surrounded by hills on the outskirts, was built in a small valley. The hillside is covered by lush olive trees, and across the hills there is a boundless plain where enjoys crisscrossed rivers, tranquil waters, pleasant climate, lush vegetation and abundant natural resources, so it is given the name of "fertile land".






Morocco boasts a diverse climate. It is the Mediterranean climate in the north, hot and dry in summer, moderate and moist in winter, and the average temperature in January is 12℃, 22-24℃ in July. The precipitation is 300-800 mm in the north. It is the subtropical mountain climate in the middle area, which is moderate and moist, with an air temperature changing with altitude. While the eastern and southern area enjoy a tropical desert climate with an annual average temperature of 20℃, and annual precipitation less than 250mm. With pleasant climate all the year round and lush flowers and trees, Morocco has earned its reputation as the "cool homeland under the Scorching Sun". As a picturesque country, Morocco is also given the name of "garden in North Africa".





Useful Information

Notes for travelling in Morocco

1. Local currency: 1 Moroccan dirham = USD 0.12 = 0.95 (RMB)

2. Local voltage: 220 V, Europe double-cannon plug. Domestic tourists have to take a changeover plug for electronic devices.

3. Local time: 8 hours later than Beijing time

4. Local climate: Subtropical Mediterranean climate and desert climate, the temperate in April is ideal for tourism. The daily average temperature is 26℃, with the minimum temperature of 16 to 18℃; it is hot at noon.

5. Local customs: Morocco is an Islamic country where eating pork is banned. And tourists need to take off shoes during visiting the mosque or museum.

6. Guidance for dressing: Long-sleeved unlined garment is appropriate, and jacket should be prepared for the early morning and evening. Ladies should wear a long skirt over knees and coat over shoulders in public places, and over revealing and short clothes are taboo here.

Information of Embassy and Consulate

Office location: No.16, Avenue Ahmed Balafrej, Souissi, Rabat.

Office hours: From Monday to Friday 9:00-12:00 and 14:30-17:30 (excluding holidays and festivals).

Consulate opening hours: 09:00-11:30 for March 15 - April 15, and 09:00-11:30 for September 15 - October 15. At other times, 09:00-11:30 for every Tuesday through Thursday (excluding holidays and festivals).

Telephone Number of Embassy: (00212-537)754056/92、751897。 Fax of Embassy: (00212-537)757519、653793。

Emergency contact of Embassy: 00212-661193314。 The Embassy website: http://ma.china-embassy.org.





Visa Information

Materials for applying for tourist visa:

1. Original of passport (with a validity of at least half a year)

2. Two 2-inch photos in color with white background

3. One front-and-back photocopy of Identification Card

4. Proof of Employment

5. Bank statement

Materials for applying for business visa:

1. Original of passport (with a validity of at least half a year)

2. Two 2-inch photos in color with white background

3. Documents about Foreign Invitation

4. Original of letter in English by Chinese side

5. Chinese company qualification credentials

6. Proof of Contact (contract with Moroccan side)

7. One front-and-back photocopy of Identification Card





Currency Exchange

Dirham is Morocco's current currency, which is issued by the central bank, and the Administration of Exchange Control of the Treasury Department is in charge of foreign exchange control. The face values of Morocco dirham notes include: 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 dirhams and coins with face value of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes and 1 dirham. 1 dirham is equal to 100 centimes. Please check real-time daily dirham foreign exchange rates before your travel.






Islam is the official religion of Morocco. More than 99% of the residents believe in Islam, mainly Sunni; and the rest of the population believes in Christianity and Judaism.





Tourism Service Number

International code: 212, also 00212, 00 212, 00-212, + 212, +212-, + 00212, 212, 0212, 000212, etc.

Example: The order of dialing a number in place A in Morocco from China by using a fixed-line telephone or mobile phone is "00212-place A's district code-place A's number", hyphen "-" is not required in actual dialing.






Please don't shoot the local military facilities, as well as local women due to the Muslim traditions.

Wireless communications: China Mobile is available in Morocco, but you need to open international roaming service (please consult the China Mobile service hotline 10086 for detailed information). 10086)

Morocco is a country with good public security in the North Africa, where people are simple and honest. Poor people, as in other North African countries, will not be seen here. The roads are wide and tidy, but you still have to take care of your belongings when wandering in markets. Remember to take the hotel contact card, record the contact information of Chinese-speaking tour guide and your own identity documents. Please be advised that Morocco is still a developing country that its tourist reception is still poor when compared with Europe and other developed countries.

Due to the environmental protection demands, tooth cleaning things (toothbrush and toothpaste), shaving supplies (razor and shaving cream) and bathing plastic slippers are not supplied in local hotels, please bring your own.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Declaration of Independence Day: January 11 Labor Day: May 1

National Day (the day when the king ascended the throne): July 30 Return Day: August 14

King & People's Revolution Day: August 20 Youth Day/King's Birthday: August 21

Green March: November 6 Independence Day: November 18

Mohammedian calendar festivals: Mohammedian calendar New Year, Hari Raya, Eid Al-Adha and the Prophet Birthday (dates of festivals change each year as they are calculated according to Mohammedian calendar).

August every year sees staff in Moroccan governments and enterprises have a vacation.


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