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Obtaining Moroccan money - Very Urgent!

by ladysail Online Now Mar 1, 2008 at 9:26 AM


I am going to post this in several places in order to try to figure this out. I went to my local currency exchange place and bought Moroccan dirhams...or so I thought...I said that's what I wanted. I have some 100 and 200 dirham bills. But, I have been reading that one cannot buy Moroccan money outside the country. What is happening?

Are these not real Moroccan dirhams...I know that the dirham is the currency for several Arab countries..and these look like the pictures that I've seen of Moroccan money.

Should I take them back, exchange them back into dollars, put the money in the bank, then withdraw through the ATM's in Morocco. I want to bring enough to buy a small carpet.

Please help me to decide! Thank you very much.

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4 Answers
  • qaminari's Profile Photo

    Re: Obtaining Moroccan money - Very Urgent!

    by qaminari Online Now Mar 1, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Note last paragraph here: If you exchange them back into Canadian dollars you will have lost twice on the exchange so I don't really see the point.
    Incidentally I really don't think it is helpful to post a question in more than one place, you could have simply placed it in the Morocco forum without selecting a location. I am seeing all your questions in the World forum, because everything put it at a lower level is copied to the relevant higher ones.

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  • ladysail's Profile Photo

    Re: Obtaining Moroccan money - Very Urgent!

    by ladysail Online Now Mar 1, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Thank you, Lyn, for your quick response. I sort of panicked when I started getting responses to the effect that MAD are not able to be purchased out of the country.
    We leave this Friday and wanted the problem resolved quickly.

    I didn't realize that questions go up the line. As I only read for one particular area....even here in Ottawa....I wouldn't know about the World forum. I wanted as much exposure as quickly as possible.

    I feel better now. I see that the MAD that I have is legal tender and will bring it with me. I'm interested in buying a carpet/rug, so I have quite a bit and didn't want to find out that the vendors would not accept it.

    For sure converting it back to Canadian, and then withdrawing it back out in Morocco doesn't make sense...but if that's what I had to do..then I'd do it. I'm so used to buying my money beforehand in the countries I've visited that when the Exchange place had MAD, I bought it too!

    Thank you very much for your answer, you've put my mind at ease!

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Obtaining Moroccan money - Very Urgent!

    by angiebabe Online Now Mar 2, 2008 at 6:43 AM

    I am surprised that you have been able to get them as legally they are not supposed to be able to be obtained out of Morocco but I guess the banks have exchanged them with tourists or Moroccans who have been able to sneak them I suppose. but people generally dont get checked for moroccan money. So take them with you - for other uses - there are lots of other great items that might entice you - ceramic bowls, leather lamps and puffes and so on - (but with leather try to heat it in the shop, say with a flame or a lighted bulb and see if it starts to smell with the heat which shows its not good leather - and then usually its not a problem to buy carpets with credit cards - every carpet shop ive ever known is set up for international buyers using credit cards.

    have a read of my carpet tips on my Telouet page and my Morocco page if you like - i love moroccan carpets and there are some lovely ones about but theres a real glut - theres a lot of factory line made ones now that are not such good quality - rugs and kilims - and a lot of the salemen dont know much about them either - so the carpet people ive been in with buy from them too and get better deals because they dont know they are selling good ones for cheap quality prices.
    even better though is if you can go to outdoor weekly markets where the women who make them bring them from home to sell and get to you before the dealers who then put huge mark ups on them.
    Tahanout or Immouzzer near Agadir might have weekly markets while you are there that you might be able to get to rather than the tourist shops and markets.
    the ones they call cactus silk ones are nice too and they will show you how they burn or dont burn so quickly if they are rayon compared with 'silk' (which is just fibre from the cactus plant) but are quite pretty and can be quite expensive especially for good and intricate ones.

    but whatever you do - haggle! they consider it your choice if you choose to accept a silly price that they charge which will generally be 2 thirds above the actual price it should be! and they like Americans and Canadians, Japanese and the Swiss - the highest in the pecking order of wealth and thereby the starting prices to try at!

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  • ladysail's Profile Photo

    Re: Obtaining Moroccan money - Very Urgent!

    by ladysail Online Now Mar 2, 2008 at 8:12 AM

    Thank you Angiebabe for all your valuable information. I did read your carpet suggestions a while ago. I will definitely haggle. We are only in Agadir and Taroudannt for the I won't have time to visit different markets.
    The cactus silk carpets sound nice. I guess I'll just have to be vigilant in whatever market our guide takes us too. Have read up about the quality and price of the carpets...and the knot count, etc. Just don't know how much time will be devoted to touring the souks. I certainly don't mind paying the worth of the carpet, but getting ripped-off is so upsetting. I'll just have to play it by ear and intuition.

    I'll let you know how I make out. Thank you again for your help.

    Yes, my money is real Moroccan dirhams. Like you said, it was probably exchanged by returning visitors. I'm relieved to know that the money part is settled!!

    Have a good day!

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