Marrakech Holiday Money Moroccan Dirham Notes

Moroccan Dirhams

If you are planning a holiday to Marrakech in Morocco one of the things you need to consider is what currency should you use, and from where can you obtain it?

The official currency of Morocco is the Dirham, which is denoted as Dhs or MAD and officially you can only obtain it once you have arrived in Morocco, at the airport or from one of the many Banks or ATM’s in Marrakech.

The exchange rate for the Moroccan Dirham is about 12.8 Dhs to £1. Dirham notes are available in 20, 25, 50, 100 and 200 Dhs and coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 Dhs. You have to be careful using the coins as there are several types of the 5 and 10 Dirham coins. As a Dirham is composed of 100 centimes, there are also low denomination coins for small change e.g. 10 centimes is less than 1p. A 50 Dirham note is roughly equivalent to £4.

Sterling notes, or a debit card can be used at the Marrakech airport to obtain Moroccan Dirhams, the exchange rate at the airport is comparable to those in the town centre so you should at least get some local money on arrival.

Most larger hotels in Marrakech will also exchange currency and you will find over 20 ATM’s in the Medina in Marrakech. It is illegal to exchange money other than in an official exchange so do not be tempted to accept an offer from someone in the street.

If you are taking Sterling notes to exchange, ensure they are not Scottish or Irish, have no ink marks or damage to them and that they are not a new design. Do not take lots of UK coins to use for tips, as local people find it very hard to exchange them, use local currency.

Credit Cards are not widely used in Morocco and if they are accepted, it is normally the Visa or Mastercard, there is often a surcharge added. Advise your credit card company before you leave the UK that you are having a Marrakech holiday so they do not refuse a transaction. Make a separate note of your credit cards details and the telephone number of your credit card company in case you need to contact them while abroad.

ATM’s will be found easily on your Marrakech holiday and in larger towns in Morocco. There will be a charge for using your Debit Card which will vary depending on your bank. Alternatively, use a pre-paid Currency Card which is a safe and very convenient method of taking money abroad. Travellers Cheques are no longer accepted in most of Morocco or North Africa.

Marrakech Holiday Money 50 Moroccan Dirhams

Some hotels, riads and restaurants may only quote prices in Euros € and at a lower exchange rate than the official one. Therefore ask what the price in Dirhams is and in most cases pay in the local currency as it will be cheaper.

At the end of your holiday in Marrakech or Morocco you are legally not able to take more than 1,000 Dhs out of the country so you need to exchange them at the airport or prior to leaving the city. Most retail units or Duty free shops at the airport will not accept Dhs so be prepared to pay either using a credit card or in Sterling (£) notes.

For a selection of the best Riads and Hotels in Marrakech, read the amoreTravel reviews – ‘Best Hotels in Marrakech’