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I will be in Morocco for New Year's: what are the rules surrounding alcohol?

Firstly is alcohol even available? If so do I need a permit or is it just a case of showing your passport at the store?

I imagine public drunkenness doesn't go down well either.

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3 Answers 3

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Firstly is alcohol even available? If so do I need a permit or is it just a case of showing your passport at the store?

So as to sell alcohol, stores, bars, restaurants, etc. have to pay quite high taxes. This explains why you will not find alcohol everywhere in every possible place. However, around tourist spots, you will not have much trouble to find some.

Note that there are local beers in Morocco. The country is also producing wine, which is not exclusively meant for exportation ... You can even find some really good wine.

If I recall correctly, there is a rule in Morocco that forbids selling alcohol to Muslims or that forbids Muslims to drink alcohol.

I imagine public drunkenness doesn't go down well either.

Right. Staggering around the medina of Marrakesh is not that popular. Bawling in religious neighborhoods or in the vicinity of a mosque even less so. It is a matter of respect and etiquette.

Anyway, if you want to get trashed, do it at your Hotel's bar.

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In bigger cities like Marrakech and Casablanca, you find hotel bars which sell alcohol but these places are typically quite expensive from what I found. If you aren't staying at a hotel, you probably don't want to spend that much. Supermarkets still do sell alcohol: in Marrakech, the 'Asima' supermarket in Bab Doukkala does sell alcohol. Expect huge queues though since it's one of the few places in the city where alcohol is sold. Prices aren't that bad and you can get local Moroccan wines cheap.

Some smaller towns such as Essaouira also have restaurants / cafes that do sell beer, as well as one shop that I saw near the city limits that sells alcohol.

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Yes, the only place I saw alcohol sold was at the hotel bars and restaurants, but we didn't go to any supermarkets. I think you would have a tough time finding it anywhere if you stay in the medina. –  smackfu Mar 8 '12 at 18:53
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From Wikitravel:

Although a predominantly Muslim country, Morocco is not dry.

Alcohol is available in restaurants, liquor stores, bars, supermarkets, clubs, hotels and discos. Some Moroccans enjoy a drink although it is disapproved in public places. The local brew of choice carries the highly original name of Casablanca Beer. It is a full flavored lager and enjoyable with the local cuisine or as a refreshment. The other two major Moroccan beers are Flag Special and Stork. Also you can find local judeo-berber vodka, mild anise flavored and brewed from figs.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal even if you drank just one beer.

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