Morocco is located in the northwest corner of Africa. It’s a country that boasts a diverse range of landscapes, including deserts, mountains, forests, and coastlines. The population continues to grow significantly every year, and there are lots to do and see, meaning there are some interesting facts about Morocco to learn!
It’s a cultural hub within the Islamic world for architectural wonders, a rich history, and impressive scholarly pursuits. No matter what you already know about this marvelous dream destination, these fun facts about Morocco will surely surprise and delight you!
Fun Facts About Morocco!
Morocco was the first country to recognize America as an independent nation
In 1777, Morocco was the first country to acknowledge the United States as an autonomous nation, and they authorized American ships to pass safely through the Atlantic Ocean. The Moroccan-American Friendship Treaty of 1876 is the longest-standing agreement of its kind.
There are more active cell phones than people in Morocco
More than 44 million cell phones are in active use today in Morocco. The population is only 35 million to date. This is the most common way to access the internet within the country, and it’s generally considered very tech-savvy citizenship.
Morocco is home to the oldest educational institution in existence
The University of Al Quaraouiyine was established in 859 in Fez. It served as the leading institution for Arab education for a long time. Islamic legal and religious studies are today’s main focus of this prominent education center.
Morocco has several official languages
The two official languages of Morocco are Standard Arabic and Standard Berber, a dialect with Afro-Asiatic origins. French is also widely used by about a third of residents, and it’s taught in school.
Moroccan Arabic specifically is known as Darija and is its own native dialect. Spanish is spoken in the country’s northern region, mostly due mostly to historic ties.
Moroccans can celebrate three separate News Years
Morocco is a land of many festivals and holidays. There are even three New Year’s that is for everyone to celebrate. One is from the Gregorian Calendar, the Amazigh New Year or Yennayer, and the last is the Islamic New Year, Fatih Muharram.
It’s one of only three countries that border both the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans
Morocco is known for its breathtaking beaches along scenic sandy shores. The country has two stunning coastlines, one on the Atlantic Ocean side and the other on the Mediterranean sea. The only other countries that can also say they have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines are Spain and France.
Morocco has many popular agricultural exports
Morocco grows an abundance of citrus fruits, like mandarins and clementines. Some are sold at local markets, but most are sent elsewhere. Around 112,000 tons of dates are exported every year as well.
They are also the only exporter of Argan Oil, made from a tree endemic to Morocco. Agriculture makes up a huge percentage of the economy here.
Morocco is home to the highest ski resort in Africa
Morocco is a land of many impressive elevations due to its mountainous terrain in both the Atlas and the Rif ranges. On one of these towering peaks, you’ll find Oukaimeden, the highest ski resort in Africa. The altitude here is over 10,000 feet, and people flock to fly down these snow slopes.
Morocco has a national costume called Djellaba
When exploring Morocco, you’ll see that most people are dressed in ordinary clothing like much of the world wears. However, a national costume is occasionally worn for holy days and celebrations.
It looks like a unisex overall, and it comes in all kinds of colors. It also has cold weather variations, including a pointed hood to keep you warm.
In Morocco, the symbol of love is the liver
Traditionally in Morocco, the liver is the organ that denotes love and romance. The typical shape used in other parts of the world is the heart. A healthy liver promotes well-being, so it makes sense that it could also be considered the ultimate symbol of love. A phrase translating to “you’ve conquered my liver” is a very popular way to express affection in Morocco.
Old Fez is the largest active medieval city in the world
This is one of my favorite fun facts about Morocco! Fez was founded in the 9th century, making it the world’s oldest medieval city that is still active today. It’s full of fountains, mosques, palaces, and madrasas from this ancient era, making it a popular tourist spot. It was the capital then, though it changed to Rabat in 1912.
Morocco has a solar project that’s bigger than the capital city
The Noor Power Plant is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant project, which is one of the most interesting facts about Morocco. It’s located in the Agadir district of Morocco.
The region receives some of the highest levels of sunlight anywhere around the globe, so the conditions are super ideal. It covers a total area of 2,500 hectares, much bigger than its capital city of Rabat.
The national sport of Morocco is soccer
No matter what you call it, soccer, football, or koura, has its fair share of fanatics. They have their own national soccer team called the Lions of Atlas.
They were the first Arab team to make it to the second round of the World Cup in 1986. Their traditional rivals are Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt. It’s so fun to catch a game while in the country.
On a clear day, you can see Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar
Spain is only 15 miles from Morocco, right across the Strait of Gibraltar. This means you can see the coast of this neighboring European country on a clear day. One translation of the name in Arabic means the Gate of Morocco.
Morocco is a cat country
The answer would be quite obvious if Morocco had to choose between being a cat country and a dog country. When wandering the streets, you’re likely to encounter hundreds of stray cats everywhere you look. These cute critters are generally loved, fed, and cared for by locals. Dogs, however, are scarce, to say the least.
Two-thirds of the world’s phosphates are in Morocco
Morocco has an abundance of natural resources. One of the most common in the country is Phosphate. It’s mainly used for chemical compounds and to make plant fertilizer for farming. Some others include iron, zinc, copper, cobalt, silver, and gold.
Muslims make up 99% of Morocco’s population
A staggering majority of Morocco’s citizens are Muslims, at 99%. Around two-thirds are of Sunni descent as well.
The official name is the Kingdom of Morocco
Morocco’s technical title is the Kingdom of Morocco. It’s not a moniker many people use anymore, but it was named fairly recently in 1956, after the French rule ended. There are only seven other kingdoms in the world today.
Lions once roamed Morocco
Barbary Lions were once found in the forests and mountains of Morocco. They are said to have gone extinct in the country during the mid-Twentieth Century when the very last group was spotted.
It’s the only species that was native to Northern Africa and can now just be seen at conservation sites. The Barbary, also called Atlas or Berber Lion, also happens to be the national animal of Morocco.
A relative of Prophet Muhammed founded Morocco
Morocco is said to have been first founded by Prophet Muhammed’s great great great grandson Idris I in 786 under the Idrisid dynasty.
The oldest human sculpture was found in Morocco
Discovered in 1999 along the north bank of the Draa River, it was the oldest sculpture of the human body in existence. It’s six cm long and made out of quartzite rock. It dates back 500,000 years ago and has been named the Venus of Tan Tan.
A whole valley of roses can be found in Morocco
The Valley of Roses, or the M’Goun Valley, is just as beautiful as it sounds. Every year 4,000 tons of fresh rose flowers are harvested to be used in the making of local beauty products. Seems like Morocco takes the saying “stop and smell the roses” seriously!
Morocco has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Morocco is quite a hub for tourist activity in Africa. It’s easy to see why, as there are many amazing cultural, historical, and architectural attractions to check out here, including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This includes the city of Menkes and the archeological site of Volubilis.
Morocco is home to the Red City
Marrakesh is commonly referred to as one of the coolest cities in Morocco. It’s also been named the Red City and is truly a sight to behold. Its iconic red buildings and walls were originally made to protect and fortify the town during the Imperial era.
There is also a Blue City in Morocco
Chefchaouen is known as the Blue City because the entire medina and much of the mountain valley have been painted a pale blue. It’s probably the most photographed place in all of Morocco.
Morocco is not part of the African Union
Morocco became part of the United Nations, UN, in 1956. However, it’s now not a part of the African Union after resigning in 1984. It’s the only territory in Africa that isn’t.
The film Casablanca wasn’t shot in Morocco
Even though it’s not the capital, Casablanca is actually Morocco’s largest city. It may sound familiar from the famous film of the same name. However, this cinematic masterpiece surprisingly was shot in a Los Angeles studio, not in the legendary town itself. Ironically, many other iconic movies have been filmed in Morocco over the years, such as The Mummy and Inception.
Tea is the most popular drink in Morocco
The most beloved beverage in all of Morocco is called Atia. It’s a refreshing mixture of green tea, sugar, and mint. Offering the drink is culturally important, and it’s considered rude not to drink it when given it.
Tourism is the second biggest industry in Morocco
Over 10 million people and counting travel to Morocco annually, mainly from Europe. The tourism industry employs around 20% of the population.
Morocco is home to the largest hot desert in the world
The Sahara Desert spans over three million square miles. It’s a part of 11 African countries, including much of Morocco. Camel treks are a trendy pastime here.
Snake charmers are real in Morocco
Odds are you’ll stumble upon snake charmers when in Morocco. These reptile handlers work for tips and are often set up in populated areas like the main squares of cities.
Though hypnotizing a cobra with a flute may seem intriguing, these animals are often not treated well and often have their fangs removed, so please think twice before supporting the practice.
The largest active and best-preserved Medinas are in Morocco
Medinas are historic quarters of cities throughout Africa. High walls and winding streets characterize them. Morocco is known for having especially lively and well-preserved medinas; the largest is in Fez. Be sure to check out the ancient Kasbahs, or forts, that were also built to protect them.
Moroccans eat couscous every Friday
Couscous is the national dish of Morocco. Friday is the Islamic holy day, and traditionally when most people tend to enjoy a tasty plate of it. It can still be ordered at any time at restaurants around the country, though.
Moroccans don’t live in typical houses
In Morocco, most people live in a traditional abode called a Riad. Usually, they are designed to look ordinary from the outside. Inside they are decked out in opulent decor and are two stories tall with an open yard in the middle.
We hope you enjoyed these fun Morocco facts! See below for more facts around the world!
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