With its fascinating history and unique blend of Africa, Europe and Middle East, Morocco is truly the gateway to the Mediterranean.
The history of the region comprising present-day Morocco has been shaped by the interaction of the original Berber population and the various foreign peoples who successively conquered the country. The Phoenicians were the first to trade and settle in this area, followed by the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and the Byzantines.
The Arabs invaded Morocco in 682 in the course of their drive to expand the power of Islam. Under successive Moorish dynasties, the Berber tribes were united and the Islamic faith and Arabic language adopted. The first Arab rulers of the whole of Morocco were the Idrisids who were succeeded by both Arab and Berber dynasties. Among the most notable were the Almoravids and the Almohads. Under the latter, Morocco became the centre of an empire that embraced Algeria, Tunis, Libya and large areas of Spain and Portugal.
The Almohad empire began to disintegrate with the fall of Granada to the forces of Ferdinand and Isabella. A period of disorder and civil war between Berbers and Arabs followed. Rules of various dynasties reigned briefly and ineffectually over parts of the country. Morocco experienced a revival under the Saadians, when the country benefited from the influx of nearly a million Moors and Jews who were expelled from Spain after 1492.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, pirates from Morocco and other Barbary states of North Africa, preyed upon the shipping that plied the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the depredations and because Morocco shared control with Spain over the Strait of Gibraltar, the country figured, with increasing weight, in the diplomacy of the European maritime powers.
In 1904, France and Spain divided Morocco into zones of influence and a treaty established these zones as protectorates. Active opposition to foreign domination began almost immediately and in 1943 Moroccan nationalists formed the Istqlal party, which soon won the support of Sultan Mohammed V and the majority of the Arabs. The sultan was deposed in 1953, but in 1955 the French permitted him to return to his throne and, a year later, recognized Moroccan independence. Tangier was incorporated into Morocco and Spain returned Ifni, one of the largest Spanish enclaves. Sultan Mohammed V assumed the title of King, and at his death in 1961, the throne passed to his son Hassan II. A constitutional monarchy was established.
During the 70’s, Morocco exerted much pressure on Spain to relinquish Spanish Sahara. Moroccan control over certain Spanish-ruled areas was restored, though attempts to claim other Spanish colonial possessions through military action were less successful. The phosphate-rich disposal was disputed by the Polisario front, a Saharan nationalist movement, which sought to bring about the establishment of the independent nation of Western Sahara. Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara and the Spanish-occupied enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are both issues that remain unresolved.
In the 1990’s, King Hassan promulgated “Hassanian democracy,” which allowed for significant political freedom while at the same time retaining ultimate power for the monarch. In 1999, King Hassan II died and his son was crowned King Muhammed VI. Since then, Muhammed VI has pledged to make the political system more open, allow freedom of expression and support economic reform. He has also advocated giving more rights to women, a position opposed by Islamic fundamentalists.
Strategically located along the Straits of Gibraltar, Morocco is a regional hub for transportation, transit and business.
Morocco is located in the north western corner of Africa, and because of its geographical location, it is known in Arabic as El Maghreb el Aqsa – the extreme west. The country has four main geographical regions: an area of highlands, called Er Rif, paralleling the Mediterranean coast; the Atlas Mountains, extending across the country from south west to north east; a region of broad coastal plains along the Atlantic Ocean; and the plains and valleys that merge with the Sahara along the south eastern borders of the country. Morocco’s topographic diversity also makes for its diverse and exceptional climate: from beautiful beach resorts to desert sands, mountains and coastal climates.
Morocco’s resources are primarily agricultural, but mineral resources are also significant. Among the latter, the most important is phosphate, its leading export. Other minerals include coal, cobalt, iron, lead, manganese, petroleum, silver, tin and zinc. Its geo-strategic location, social and political stability, skilled labour pool and trade agreements with the EU, US, Africa and the Middle East make Morocco a preferred regional business centre. Although the Moroccan economy remains heavily dependent on the export of raw materials and agriculture, modern sectors, particularly tourism and telecommunications, are increasing their economic importance. Significant industries include textile and leather goods manufacturing, food processing, and oil refining.
Morocco is steadily progressing toward greater modernization and globalization, pursued by the government through a series of structural reforms, aimed at stimulating growth and creating jobs. Morocco’s coastal areas and the mineral-producing interior are linked by an expanding road and rail network and port facilities are being further developed. Casablanca, an Atlantic seaport and the country’s largest city, is the focal point of business and industry. Rabat, the country’s second largest city, is the seat of government. Tangier, another major seaport, serves as the country’s gateway to Spain and Europe. The “Imperial Cities” of Fez, Marrakech, and Meknes are popular tourist destinations and important centres in the mineral trade.
Morocco is an ideal destination for both singles and families, and has much to offer. From the traditional medinas with their maze of narrow streets and small shops, to modern shopping and residential districts with tree-lined ‘French’ boulevards. French predominates as a second language, and almost all official communication as well as commerce and conversation is conducted in French. Spanish is widely understood and spoken in the area of Tangiers, while English is not widely spoken. Islam is the official state religion and is an integral part of daily life and profoundly influences manners and personal conduct.
Rabat and Casablanca are very liveable cities, with good roads and housing, a large international community and many opportunities for recreation. There are sports, shopping, nightlife and travel to a wide range of exotic destinations, such as the desert, mountains, and beaches – along with the Imperial cities of Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and Rabat (plus Tangier). In addition, Spain, France and Portugal are easily accessible, as is the Rock of Gibraltar.
Morocco’s moderate climate and its developed infrastructure make it an increasingly attractive destination.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Morocco please contact our marketing department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Casablanca holds a special attraction in Morocco. Several factors have participated towards its expansion: its closeness to the capital Rabat, its central position on the Atlantic coast, the dense concentration of commercial, industrial and financial institutions and finally its port installations.
Casablanca hosts headquarters and main industrial facilities for the leading Moroccan and international companies based in Morocco. Industrial statistics show Casablanca retains its historical position as the main industrial zone of the country.
The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world, and the largest port of North Africa. It is also the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
An unfurnished property will be totally empty; this means no kitchen furniture, and at times no bathroom fixtures.
A semi-furnished property will include kitchen furniture, light fittings, beds, duvets, carpets and also bathroom furniture.
Furnished properties are quite common, and can include anything from the basics such as kitchen furniture, table, chairs, beds, duvets, carpets and bathroom furniture to everything you could possibly require in a property. Soft furnishings are frequently included. A fully furnished property frequently includes dishwasher, washing machine, smaller/supplementary furniture, decorations, garden equipment, cable TV, ADSL or ISDN phone lines, alarm systems.
Your Relocation Coordinator will confirm whether or not the property has these facilities.
It is always worth trying to offer a slightly lower figure than the asking price or request to have other furniture installed or work done on the property. Generally, if the requests of a prospective tenant are high and costly, the landlord will agree to do the works requested with an increase in the rent. It is not likely that a landlord will agree to undertake work on the property, install extra furniture and lower the price..
This depends on the Relocation Package you have selected: HTLC Network Basic Package includes 8 properties and the Standard Package includes 15 properties. Our Basic Package includes 8 properties, Standard and Executive Packages include 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
When you choose a property you can ensure that it will not be rented to someone else by making a ‘preliminary contract’. A holding deposit is frequently requested in these cases. This sum is usually decided in the preliminary arrangements, especially if the lessee requests certain adjustments, renovations, furnishings etc. to be carried out on the property.
A holding deposit is required if the property is in high demand or if there will be a period of time before the lease can commence. It is advisable to pay this fee only in the event of being certain that you will sign the contract.
– Real Estate agency fee: usually 1-month rental value + VAT. This is paid both by landlord and tenant.
– Security deposit: usually 1-2 month rental value
– Rent is usually paid monthly
– Registration of the lease: registration taxes and fee are usually paid by the landlord
The expenses of usage or the utility fees (such as: heating, electricity, water, sewage, telephone) are almost always to be paid alongside the rental fee. Exceptions may occur in those residences in apartment buildings (apartment), where the utility fees, such as garbage disposal, cleaning, security, swimming pool and garage usage are part of the condominium fee. This may vary in each individual case.
Once a property is selected, Emc Network will negotiate on your behalf. When an agreement has been reached, a legally valid contract is prepared. An appointment is arranged for the tenant (or company representative) and landlord to sign the contract. The contract is read through and the Emc Network’s Local Counsellor will translate as necessary.
All the copies of the contract should then be signed. As soon as you enter the apartment, we will arrange a thorough inventory/property inspection together with the landlord and your Local Counsellor.
Provided that the property and any furnishings are returned in the state in which they were initially rented (HTLC Network will ensure a thorough inventory is taken of the property and furnishings upon entry) and the correct notice period is served to the landlord, HTLC Network will be able to negotiate a full deposit return when you vacate the property.
In Morocco the tenant is responsible for general maintenance whereas the landlord is responsible for major repairs.
Basically this means that all plumbing and electrical fixtures that are outside of the walls or visible are the responsibility of the tenant (leaking taps, door bell that does not work etc.). The landlord is responsible for the plumbing and electrical system within the walls of the property; e.g. heating pipes. It is however, the tenant’s duty to inform the landlord immediately about any repairs that need to be carried out. In the case of misuse, or deliberate damage to the property, unless otherwise stated in the contract, the tenant will be held responsible for the expenses incurred.
Only with written permission from the landlord. Small changes (e.g. hanging of towel rails in the bathroom) may be made but the property is to be handed back in exactly the same state it was consigned. Therefore, any holes made in the walls must be filled and painted over before leaving the property, unless a different agreement is made with the landlord.
In case alterations have been made to improve the property without the written permission of the landlord, the landlord has the right not to reimburse any expenses the tenant has had in relation to the work. In cases where the landlord does not approve o the changes made, he/she has the right to require the tenant to put the property back into its original condition.
HTLC Network will ensure a diplomatic break clause is inserted into the contract for the protection of the tenant. In the contract it is often possible to include a notice period even as short as 1 month.
The Deposit shall be returned to the Lessee upon return of the premises and cost settlement, usually within 15 days from the date the Agreement is terminated or it will be used as the payment for the last months of lease with the mutual agreement of both parties.
– Utility payments are never included in the rent. Tenants are responsible to pay for electricity and water according to consumption. Electricity will include also a tax that consists of the subscription to the Moroccan national media broadcasting service.
– Gas: Piped gas does not exist; gas cylinders can be purchased in stores.
– Condominium includes cleaning of the stairs, lighting of the common parts and elevator.
Please note that many technicians do not speak English.
A personal ID card (passport, residency card or ID card) is the only necessary document in order to obtain a phone line.
A personal ID card (passport, residency card or ID card) is the only necessary document in order to obtain a phone line.
Normally it will be installed within 48 hours.
There are a number of possibilities: you can have the connection through the normal phone line, through a DSL line, wireless or through a cable TV connection (broadband).
Bills will arrive monthly. Bills are consigned by an agent usually through the letter box or even under the door.
Driving in Morocco is rather easy; the main streets are wide and very spacious, but sometimes, mainly in rush hours, driving is a little bit complicated. Watch out for motorcyclists, cyclists and taxi drivers! The traffic rules are not always the same as in Europe. Some natives tend to straddle the road, but be sure to stick to the right.
Parking is more complicated particularly in those narrow streets in the city centre and in the new city “la nouvelle medina”, it could take up to 15 minutes to find a place for your car.
In order to drive in Morocco you must posses a valid foreign driving licence accompanied by a valid IDP (International driving permit). If the IDP expires, it is necessary to convert the foreign license into a Moroccan driver’s license.
A small Japanese or European model to use in the city is recommended. Some foreigners opt for 4wd vehicles, but parking and manoeuvring a bulky 4×4 can be quite complicated. Purchasing a 4×4 would certainly be useful for out-of-town use.
A foreign registered car can be driven in Morocco for 6 months. It must then be registered locally.
A Residence Card (Carte de Séjour) and a valid Work Permit for Foreigners (Contrat de Travail pour Etrangers) .
We can apply for the work permit on behalf of the employer and transferee with a POA. We accompany the transferee to the Police and assist with the registration for the Residence Card.
Dependant family members can apply for Residency Card on the basis of being accompanying family members; they do not have the right to work in the country. If they want to work, they’ll require a Work Permit as well.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered locally.
HTLC Network will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of the Company’ s document demonstrating position within the Company.
The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.
Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by EMC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
HTLC Network aims to equip your workforce to settle into their new environment as soon as possible. Upon arrival they are presented with a local Information Pack. They are given access to our on-line City Specific Resource Guides that provide general local information as well as specific local information once a suitable property has been located.
We have a 24hour emergency helpline throughout the duration of the relocation. We provide a 90 day complimentary phone line that can be extended throughout the duration of the assignment.
Our aim is to teach the Transferee how to live in his new city and to equip him to be as independent as possible.
Area: 446,550 sq km
Time Zone: GMT
Capital city: Rabat
Bordering countries: Algeria, Western Sahara, Spain (Ceuta and Melilla)
Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
Stateform: constitutional monarchy
Legislative Branch: bicameral Parliament
National Holiday: 30 July
Currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Population: Approximately 33.2 million inhabitants
Religion: Muslim majority, Christian and Jewish
Languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French is often the language of business, government and diplomacy
Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber