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Monday, 27 October 2014 12:00 AM

Shopping Holidays in Morocco

In the Saturday Times, 25 October 2014, Laetitia Trouillet wrote an article on Where To Shop In Marrakech. Previously we have covered what items you may typically find in the shopping in a Moroccan souk which covers several ideas in Laetitia Trouillet's article.

A specific shopping holiday in Morocco sounds a little decadent but, with budget airlines and only a 3 hour flight to Morocco, a long weekend break in Morocco isn’t such an extravagance and can be a wonderful fun break with a small group of friends or a loved one.

Whilst every city has a souk to explore, which sells a huge array of locally created products, for a shorter holiday we would naturally focus on cities with international flight connections – Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca and Agadir all have direct flights from the UK, but I would recommend the first 3 cities as having the most to offer holiday makers looking to hunt a bargain.

Equally if you are focussed on Marrakech I would recommend getting away from the medina for a day or 2 if you have enough time.

Shopping in Morocco

Haggle, haggle, haggle.

When in Morocco do as a Moroccan does. Haggling is part of the shopping and cultural experience no matter if you have tried it before or not. You can't haggle to a price at which the vendor will make a loss - the vendor will not sell to you unless he or she is happy with the price - and if you do not haggle the price will rise for the next tourist. Remember that once a price is agreed the deal is done and you should not then decidce not to buy after all.

Where To Shop In Marrakech

Every city and town has a souk, normally brimming over with stalls selling locally produced items that may be of interest to you.

Laetitia Trouillet named a few stores in her article around Marrakech, she being named as the “best-known shopping consultant” there – I am not sure how many other shopping consultants there are in Marrakech.Here are her recommendations :

Mustapha Blaoui, 144 Rue Bab Doukkala, “for everything Moroccan, from furniture, candlesticks and carved boxes to the famous metal lanterns.”

Fadila el Gadi, 33 Rue Majorelle, Laetitia Trouillet states that she “wear her clothes  a lot – lots of black and navy, very stylish and modern with a Moroccan spirit.”

Lup 31, 11 Rue Okba Bnou Nafia, Sidi Mimoune, “here you’ll find quirky, eclectic homeware from designer Ludovic Petit: mirrorer trays, coloured tea glasses, embroidered cushions, carved boxes.”

Lalla, Galerie du Souk Cherifia, Sidi Abdelazziz, “specialises in bags. Snake-print leather clutches with neon details …; Zarbia rug bags”.

Au Fil d’Or, 10 Souk Semmarine, “Georgio Armani … is said to come here for the beautifully finished bespoke linen shirts and handmade cashmere jackets”.

33 Majorelle, in front of the Majorelle Gardners, “come here for work from local designers – beaded clutches, embroidered make-up bags, vintage Arabic film posters, fez lampshades, delectable swishy scarves, teapots with tasselled lids, woven raffia slippers”.

Naturally Morocco Says

Other than designed clothes and clutches (not my speciality), all the items noted are sold in and around the souks. In our previous article on shopping in a Moroccan souk. I mention checking quality before buying, but the souks have a huge selection of scarves, furntiure (difficult to get home), coloured tea glasses, lampshades, tea pots with tassles etc.

Unfortunately the biggest problem is how to get larger items home on a budget flight.