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What’s the time in Morocco? Perhaps not what you think it is

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With Royal Air Maroc joining oneworld in April, a short break in Casablanca looked interesting.  Doing my research, I came across something I didn’t know.

In 2018, Morocco decided to stop using GMT as its ‘base’ time.  The time in Marrakech and Casablanca is not necessarily the time you would expect.

As you know, in the UK we operate on GMT time during the Winter but, between March and October, jump forward by one hour to BST, ie British Summer Time.

There is plenty of discussion about whether this is the right thing to do or not, and you may get a different answer in Northern Scotland to Southern England, but that is how it works.

At short notice, Morocco decided in 2018 that it was not going to return to GMT time during the Winter.  28th October came and the clocks remained where they were.  The time in Morocco is now permanently operating on GMT + 1.

This was not a totally random decision.

What is West Africa Time?

Most African countries operate something called West Africa Time.  This is also on GMT + 1.  It is a logical decision because – as these countries are nearer the equator – the amount of daylight each day does not vary much throughout the year.

Countries operating on West Africa Time include Algeria, Angolo, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, both Congos, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia.

The main hold-out is Namibia, which does operate Daylight Saving Time.

Morocco believed that there were important business and social benefits from matching its core African neighbours.   So now you know why Morocco time is not necessarily the time you were expecting.

You can find out more about Morocco’s move to British Summer Time on the BBC website here.


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