Alec Hills - Jul 12, 2021
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Discrimination and infringement of women's rights have been reported from Morocco. Recently, four women were refused access to a five-star hotel in Marrakech at the time of booking because they were "unaccompanied" by their husbands or a male member of their families. The hotel, for its part, brandished the "strict application of Moroccan law".

In Marrakech, discrimination of women now extends even to hotels when the women are single and/or unaccompanied. Recently, a group of people composed of two families with children and four women, including singles, were refused accommodation in a 5-star hotel Domaine Abiad in Marrakech.

"We made the reservation on a platform, which was then confirmed," says Samed, one of the members of the group. Married and father of two children, he adds that by reading the hotel rules, the group was surprised by a condition that pushes him to contact the establishment. In fact, the platform automatically sends, in case of confirmation of the reservation, an email with the conditions of the stay, the rules and various brochures.

Yes, to Families, No to Single Women!

"We discovered by chance the regulation which, in its first sentence, announces that the establishment does not accept women of Moroccan nationality, not accompanied by their husbands or a member of the family," explains Laila B., one of the single girls of the group. Under the mention "important remarks", the hotel declares indeed that it applies "strictly the legislation of the Kingdom of Morocco on tourism" and confirms its position in the document accompanying the reservation.

"Access to the establishment will be strictly denied to any Moroccan woman not accompanied by her husband or family. Proof and justification will be requested at check-in."

An Unfinished Apology

The troubles of the group with the said establishment did not stop at this level. By publishing screenshots on social networks on violated women’s rights, something that caused a lot of controversies, the hotel sent a message to "apologize and made mention of a bad formulation," reports Samed. His friend says, on his part, that "the owner of the hotel called the mother who made the reservation and first told her that they intend to offer us an arrangement and find a solution so that everyone can come.

Following the information published on social networks about the incident and the reactions of Internet users, the owner of the hotel came to the frontline and allegedly threatened the group by a lawsuit.

Hotel Representative Acknowledges a "Serious Fault" and Apologizes

Reacting to user reviews following this controversy, a hotel representative apologized to the customers, disgruntled on the Google review page. Describing the incident as a "serious misconduct", the Domaine Abiad manager announced that it had decided to take several measures applicable from now.

It cites the "suspension of the director of communications until further notice", effective until this matter is "clarified with members of the general management". The establishment promises to offer a free night for any weekend spent (2 days or more indirect booking) for the months of July and August 2021 for all women who felt offended by writing a review on Google in order to show the hotel’s commitment to the status of Moroccan women in the Kingdom. "We take this matter very seriously and promise not to let anyone discriminate in any form".

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