Morocco´s calendar follows the GMT+0 time zone (Western Europe: Portugal, United Kingdom…) and there isn´t a definitive or established change of calendar for the months with more hours of sunlight. Below we show the time difference between the countries of Central Europe (Spain, France, Germany, etc…) with the GMT+1 time zone and Morocco for the year 2009:
Two calendars coexist in Morocco: the universal or Gregorian (year 2009) governed by the sun and the Muslim or Islamic calendar (year 1429-1430) governed by the moon). It has between 11 and 12 days less than our calendar and the months begin two days after the full moon. The first calendar (the universal) governs the administrative and productive life of the country while the second calendar (the Islamic) governs the religious life.
COMMERCE OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES
In Morocco, there aren´t any set rules governing the opening and closing times of shops, restaurants and banks. When we travel to the interior of Morocco, the climate, especially in the summer, is the main factor that sets the life´s rhythm of the citizens. In the north the opening and closing times are more like those in Spain, while in the south they are more “French” like. It is not the same in a large city (Rabat or Casablanca) than in Tangiers or Asilah. And, if this wasn´t enough, during the month of Ramadan everything is topsy-turvy. (See the paragraph about the Ramadan)
Asilah´s stores open their doors from 9.00 or 10.00h, close half an hour for lunch, from 13.30 to 14.00 hours. They open again in the afternoons at 16.00 or 17.00 hours and don´t close till 20.00, 20.30 or 21.30 h. Most of them stay closed on Friday mornings and part of the afternoons, but on the other hand, they open on Saturdays and Sundays. The opening and closing times of the “medina” are not set in advance, they open and close according to consumers´ demand, the climate and their own customs or habits.
Banks open from Mondays to Fridays, from 9.00 to 16.00 h. On Fridays they close at midday for the hour of prayer. All banks have automatic cash machines.
In Asilah, as in Spain, lunch time is much later than lunch time in other countries. Breakfast, the first meal of the day, is usually between 9.00 and 11.00 h. Lunch is served between 14.00 and 15.00 hours and dinner between 21.00 and 22.00 hours. Nonetheless, the restaurants schedules can be tailored to the clients´ working and tourist life, so, one can have lunch from 13.00 h to 16.00h, while dinner is usually served from 21.00 till 23.30 hours.