Archive for November, 2011

Events in Marrakech: December 2011 through February 2012

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Marrakech Events December 2011

International Marrakech Film Festival 2011 – firmly established in the local calendar, this is the main event for December in Marrakech.  Attracting ‘A list’ stars, it is an important occasion for Morocco’s successful film industry, based in Ouarzazate, where the Atlas Studios have played host to countless films from Lawrence of Arabia to Gladiator.

Olive Festival 2011 – another major event, this charming festival takes place in the middle of the month in Rafai, in the Fez province. You can enjoy the traditional olive-picking ceremony, numerous ‘Diffa’ feasts and folklore events performed in a vast area of olive groves.

Marrakech Events January 2012

Marrakech International Marathon 2012more than 5000 international runners take part in the annual Marrakech International Marathon and Half Marathon for which the Pink City offers an exceptional setting for this gruelling athletic event putting it among the most attractive of all marathon circuits.

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The Marrakech International Film Festival 2011

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Culturally significant as the biggest event in the calendar of Morocco’s highly successful film industry, the Marrakech International Film festival brings together writers, actors and directors from many nations. Last year’s Marrakech Film Festival saw a number of Hollywood big hitters including Francis Ford Coppola, Harvey Keitel, Keanu Reeves and Martin Scorsese.

This year’s 11th annual Marrakech International Film Festival takes place between 2nd and 10th December.

With attendees from around the world, including several hundred from the media, the film festival is testament to the importance of the Moroccan film industry, based at the Atlas Studios outside the desert town of Ouarzate, which goes back as far as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and beyond. More recent productions have been ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Gladiator’ by Ridley Scott, a regular visitor, ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Babel’.

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Some basic tips for tourists in Marrakech

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

A veritable hub of entertainment, the main square of Marrakech never fails to leave an impression but many other aspects of this historic city have changed little since medieval times. The sights, sounds and even smells of the place are likely to stay with you forever.

Moroccans are famous for their hospitality and most will delight in helping tourists on their way but here are some basic tips:

* Learn a little Arabic. A little effort goes a long way (and will certainly boost your bartering skills). ‘Es salaam alaykum’ – hello or, literally, ‘peace be upon you’. ‘Afak’ – please (if you’re talking to a woman it’s ‘Afik’, to a group, ‘Afakum’). Finally, ‘Shukran bezzef’ – thank you very much.

Carry some loose change. Tipping is an integral part of Moroccan culture and certainly helps in all sorts of situations. Tipping between 5% and 10% of a restaurant bill is the norm. Also tip taxis, guides and small boys (5 or 10 dirhams) who offer their services for helping you find your way out of the complex maze of streets in the old parts of town.

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