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Gaston Hakim, Casablanca

Who are you ?

My name is Gaston Hakim and I’m the owner of www.Vivre-au-Maroc.com, a blog where I share my story of expat life in Morocco. I share all my experience of the country by giving advice to people who would like to expatriate in Morocco or just travel in Morocco.

What is your expat story?

Born in Casablanca, to a French father and a Moroccan mother, I let myself be lulled by my double culture, enriching every moment that whetted my curiosity about others. After 19 years spent in Morocco, a new page is turned.My studies allowed me to travel in France, Germany and even into Canada. I’ve encountered so many different cultures, met new people and experiences to live.

No matter how far away I went, I always came back to Morocco where I actually live in Casablanca. However, I realized that many prejudices and misinformation circulates about expat life in Morocco. The mainstream media does not take the time to go into detail and they often treat the subject without having any experience.

Fascinated by this country, I created the blog Vivre-au-Maroc.com to share all my experience of life and travel in Morocco. This blog aims to answer any questions you may have about Morocco to prepare for an upcoming trip or to consider you expatriate to live peacefully in the sun.

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Are there many other expats in your area?

There are plenty of French expatriates in Morocco. In fact, it’s one of the largest expatriate communities in the country. In less than 3 hours by plane from Paris, Morocco is really an ideal country to experience something new without being too far from France. The education system is also ideal since the AGENCY FOR FRENCH TEACHING ABROAD has a good network of school, college and extensive high school which are present in most of the important city of the kingdom.

What do you like about life in Morocco?

First, the cost of living is cheaper than France but the quality of life is much better in Morocco. The kingdom has very many different and beautiful landscapes to explore. Finally, Moroccans are very friendly people and are not stressed a lot.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Administrative procedures are very complicated in Morocco. They can take a lot of time and they can be sometimes be really complex, hopefully Moroccans speak French fluently. The circulation is also complicated since it is very difficult to move to Morocco by car and the roads are not always in very good condition.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

First they must really learn about the country before coming. It’s better also to have a real expatriation project knowing exactly where to go, where to work and how to live every day. Life and holidays in Morocco are very different. Before you take the plunge, I recommend people to rent an apartment and come to live in Morocco for 3 months to make a real experience before making the big decision !

What are your plans for the future?

Morocco is a country that is changing positively. Largely unaffected by the economic crisis and very stable compared to other Arab countries. Expatriates have numerous tax advantages to investing and living in Morocco. For the future, I want to make my life in Morocco and invest in a property with seasonal rentals with tourists.