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Travel Advice : Western Sahara

British ConsulateThere is no British Embassy or High Commission for Western Sahara so you would need to contact the British Embassy in Rabat for assistance if you are having problems in the area. The Western Sahara area is a disputed area and dangerous. You should stay far away from the disputed borders sure to kidnappings and unexploded ordinances.

Money

Credit cards are accepted mainly at the main hotels in the area. You will find ATM machines in Laayoune, Dhakla and Smara but nothing beyond those. The Moroccan Dirham is the local currency and this is non-convertible.

Health

Healthcare in Laayoune, Dhakla and Smara are passable however anything complicated needs to go either to the capital city or to the Canary Islands for treatment. Always ensure that you have medical insurance with a medivac option when visiting Western Sahara or Morocco. You need to dial 150 and ask for an ambulance. Note that in the desert areas medical care is none existent.

Visas

Travel is restricted and while organised groups are generally permitted. Note that British tourists can stay up to 3 months without a visa however always ensure that your passport has been stamped in as leaving might be a problem without an entry stamp. Always check your passport as it is good old common sense.

Local laws and customs

Respect the local traditions, customs, laws and religion at all times especially during Ramadan. Women traveling alone is not recommended. Always dress modestly with no skin showing and long dresses or long trousers. See the rape statistics for areas when the British Embassy has had to step in listed here. Homosexuality is considered a criminal offense in this neck of the woods. Sexual relations outside marriage are also punishable by law as well carrying a Bible in Arabic.

 

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