Halal tourism is a relatively new term and style of travel. It refers to meeting the needs and desires of Muslim tourists by providing services and amenities that Muslim travelers desire. There is no standard definition of defines an experience as falling into the category of halal travel, but several components stand out. In the most recent poll by Crescentranking, one of the first companies to provide rankings of Muslim-friendly destinations, they listed Morocco as the sixth most “halal friendly” travel destination.
What Halal Tourists Want
This list is by no means inclusive of all the desires halal tourists cite. Rather, this list represents many of the basic wants and needs for those seeking halal travel in Morocco:
- Halal food. Particularly meat that has been killed in accordance with Islamic law. Some muslims also understand halal as having no pork on the menu or possibility of cross-contamination.
- Alcohol-free environments.
- Dedicated prayer spaces, a broadcasted adhan, and/or Qu’ran recitation.
- Separate pools, sun areas, spas, and other relaxation areas for men and women.
- Family friendly attractions and services.
- Acceptance of traditional Islamic dress in the destination.
Halal Travel in Morocco
In Morocco you will find a mixture of hotels that are in line with Islamic values and those that have more in common with a European or North American hotel or resort. Likewise you will find restaurants in both categories, though without a doubt the majority of restaurants are halal and pork-free.
Large cities like Marrakesh, Rabat, and Fez will have more options than smaller cities, however smaller cities typically remain true to the religious and cultural values of Morocco. There are all-inclusive packages offered across the country that are appealing, but keep in mind these often are aimed at holiday-makers looking for unlimited sun and alcohol, which don’t mesh with a halal travel experience. Regions, such as the Sahara and High Atlas Mountains, are experiences of a lifetime and are places where it is incredibly easy to keep halal.
How to Have a Halal Holiday in Morocco
Where to Stay
Choose a riad for the most authentic Moroccan experience. Let your hosts know your preference ahead of time. Most riads are small, having only three or four rooms for other guests and so it’s much easier to have a personalized experience. If you’d like an exclusive experience you can rent an entire riad for your stay. There are many smaller properties that are very affordable and include a small pool or plunge pool. You can choose whether you’d like it to be self-catering or have staff who cook and clean give you as much privacy as you desire. Even for halal travel in Morocco, there are different possibilities.
What to Eat
The good news is nearly all of the meat served in Morocco is halal so you won’t have any problem finding meat that is safe to eat. However, in larger cities more and more restaurants are serving pork on their menus. You’ll want to check with the staff to see how things are prepared and to ensure there’s no cross- contamination. The same can be said for alcohol. While it is legal to sell and serve alcohol in Morocco it is tightly regulated and only a certain number of licenses are issues to restaurants and hotels. A little inquiry ahead of time will let you know what is and isn’t available.
What to Do
If you’re interested in relaxing there are several spaces that are halal-friendly. Many spas and hammams are segregated by gender, and if you’d prefer a more private experience it is easily accommodated. As Morocco is a Muslim country, the staff is aware of religious protocol and won’t bat an eye at your request. That being said, the majority of public swimming pools and beaches are open to both genders. Public pools often have a time of day reserved for ladies, though this is more rare with luxury accommodations and hotel pools. It’s also worth noting that some hotel pools do not allow women to wear an Islamic swimsuit (sometimes referred to as a burkini) or street clothes.
You’ll find dozens of mosques across every city in Morocco, prayer times are clearly announced and nearly all facilities have dedicated prayer spaces. Moroccan people are welcoming and tolerant of visitors from all walks of life and you will feel at home when you visit, making this true halal travel in Morocco!
If you’d like to have a halal holiday in Morocco, get in touch with us today. Our on-the-ground team understands the needs of the Muslim traveler and is ready to help you plan a vacation that not only ensures you have a great time, but makes sure your halal travel in Morocco is extraordinary.