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Unmarried In Morocco

Hi all,
I have just booked a holiday for me and my 3 kids to Marrakech, we thought that my partner couldn't come along due to work, but that's changed and he has the time off. I was reading that if a couple enter the country with different surnames it can flag up as it's illegal there, and you can be prosecuted. Myself and my partner have been together 15 years and have 3 kids together and wouldn't like anything to happen due to this especially with the kids being with us, so I have a little anxiety about adding him on now. Is this something I should be worried about?
Thanks in advance

Posted by
7608 posts

Assuming you are not a Morrocan national, and the country relies on tourism this would not apply to you.

Posted by
3494 posts

There are several notes on the internet that say some hotels will refuse to rent a room to unmarried couples due to the laws, even if you are not Moroccan. Hotels do check passports at check in. Guess it would be a good idea to check with your hotel on this.

Posted by
6245 posts

This is not a real-world concern. Wherever you saw that it's nonsense.

I've traveled pretty extensively in Morocco with my spouse, stayed in all kinds of places, everything from fancy international chain hotels and traditional riads to funky backpacker hotels in big cities to small inns way out in the hinterlands, and we have very different last names (and are a racially mixed couple, too). Nobody gave us a second glance.

Cross this off your list of things to worry about. Morocco is not Saudi Arabia, it's not run by ISIS. It may appear and feel exotic (it should, it is), but it also gets vast numbers of European tourists, and as is about as "westernized" as anyplace in North Africa. You won't have any issues about your names.

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
273 posts

Not a problem, in my experience. I went to Morocco with my boyfriend and no one even asked, and have many friends that have been there, married and not married, who don't share the same last name (as in many countries), and it has never been a problem.

Posted by
5257 posts

Muslim tradition is for the wife to keep her father’s name. As married Muslim couples rarely have the same last name, none of this makes any sense.

Posted by
32065 posts


Your profile doesn't list your location, but I'm assuming you live in the U.S.?

You may have already done this, but be sure to have a look at the U.S. State Department website concerning travel to Morocco. The Canadian government website has slightly stronger warnings, and this is mentioned in the section on "Laws & Culture*.......

"Adults travelling with children should always carry written permission from both parents, or a legal document granting them custody or allowing them to travel alone with the children."

If your partner doesn't go, be sure you have some documents with you.

Regarding the marriage question, as you've been together for 15 years, that's somewhat the same as marriage in some jurisdictions (although it's not usually called a "marriage"). If they question your status, you could always point out that many people these days retain their original names, even in a legal marriage.

Posted by
996 posts

We recently returned from Morocco. While my other half and I have the same last name, we were traveling with people whose last names didn't match. They experienced no problems at all, whether in hotels in Marrakech or out of the way places on the edge of the Sahara. Your biggest worry will be making sure that you always have enough cash on hand, as credit cards aren't always accepted.