Coworking in Morocco is a great choice for digital nomads searching for a base. We stayed at Dar Digital Nomad in Ouarzazate for two weeks, and in this post, we’ll share all about this space and our experience. This coworking and coliving space is located near the heart of the city and has everything you need for a great stay.
There are many reasons why there are more and more digital nomads choosing Morocco as their base. The country has plenty of things to do, the tourism infrastructure has been in place for years, and still, it remains an incredibly affordable option when compared to other digital nomad hotspots in Europe and even in Asia.
Before our time coliving and coworking at Dar Digital Nomad in September 2019, we had visited Morocco once for a short stay in Marrakech. Even though we were very impressed by the architecture and beautiful sights spread across Morocco’s most visited city, we were also a bit overwhelmed by the number of tourists and the pressure from locals to basically spend all our money in the city. Still, we knew the country was much more than what we experienced in a few days in Marrakech, so when we were invited to return and try out the Dar Digital Nomad coliving and coworking in Morocco, we immediately said yes.
Dar Digital Nomad in Ouarzazate
Dar Digital Nomad is a coliving and coworking space in Ouarzazate, a city located in south-central Morocco. The space was developed by João Leitão, a Portuguese travel blogger and entrepreneur who has been based in Ouarzazate for more than 10 years. As someone who has spent most of his life traveling and working online, João knows the needs and wants of digital nomads well from his own experience, which he used to design this space.
Dar Digital Nomad: What You Can Expect
This coliving and coworking apartment has two shared bedrooms, a living room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a bathroom. Each bedroom has two spacious bunk beds the size of regular queen size beds, and a big closet. One of the rooms is for male guests and the other for female guests, but other configurations are possible upon request and availability. The living room has a designated coworking space with four spacious desks and comfortable office chairs, a meal space, and a lounging area with sofas and a TV. Dar Digital Nomad is equipped with a high-speed internet connection of 100 MB download speed and 12 MB upload speed.
The Dar Digital Nomad apartment is located in a quiet neighborhood in Ouarzazate, making sure there’s plenty of silence for everyone to focus on work. Still, it’s very near the city’s main sights and all the things you may need during your stay. It’s a small space, thought out for only four people at a time. Even though spaces for large numbers of digital nomads are gaining popularity around the world, we love that Dar Digital Nomad is a small coworking and coliving space. This means that you’re able to create more meaningful relationships with the people you’re sharing the apartment, instead of just networking with a bunch of people at a time.
The goal of Dar Digital Nomad is not to replace a hotel or a hostel, but instead to provide you with a homey environment, completely hassle-free. In sum, you just book your spot online, and you don’t really need to worry about anything else. All information related to prices is available online: there’s a minimum stay of 15 days (200€ per person), but 30-day bookings are more affordable (340€ per person). This way, you get the comfort of renting an apartment, without the issues related to contracts, utilities, and so on. At the same time, you get to share the apartment with other digital nomads, create genuine connections, learn from them, and focus on your productivity.
Dar Digital Nomad: Our Experience
We stayed at Dar Digital Nomad for two weeks during the second half of September 2019. As travel bloggers and content creators, we wanted to make sure we found time to travel and sightsee, but as digital nomads with other online obligations, we also needed to find time to work on our computers. Thankfully, Ouarzazate is the perfect place for that. There’s enough to do in and around the city, but not too much to do that you feel overwhelmed and end up not working as much as you needed. Even though we were able to do quite a lot, two weeks still didn’t feel like enough, and we are hoping to return with more time.
During our time coworking in Morocco, we shared the apartment with Kasoest, a couple of full-time travelers sharing their adventures on Youtube. Even though we share a common interest in travel, we work on different platforms and use distinct strategies. During those two weeks, we were able to learn a lot from Ester and Kasoma, to share loads of ideas, and to actually become friends (we talked about a lot more things than just work)! Check out their Instagram and YouTube channel.
Below we share the reasons why we think Ouarzazate is such a great base for digital nomads in Morocco. During our time at Dar Digital Nomad, we were able to both travel and live like locals. We created our routines in the city, focused on work, and by the end, both the city and the apartment felt very familiar. We were comfortable, felt safe, and very happy to have this experience.
Coworking in Morocco: Why Choose Ouarzazate?
Ouarzazate is located in the south of Morocco, and the city has its own small airport, with connections to national (Casablanca, Marrakech, and Zagora) and international (Paris, Bordeaux, and Madrid) destinations. There are three companies operating these flights: Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, and Transavia. With Ryanair, we were able to travel from Porto to Madrid to Ouarzazate and back to Porto for less than 100€ / 100$ per person. By car, the airport is less than 10 minutes away from Dar Digital Nomad.
It’s also easy to get to Ouarzazate by bus. There are daily CTM buses from Marrakech costing less than 100Dh / 9,36€ / 10,41$ per person, with a journey time of approximately 4h30. There are also connections with other Moroccan cities, including the coastal city of Agadir. Ouarzazate’s bus station is conveniently located in the city center, and less than 10 minutes walking to Dar Digital Nomad.
It’s also important to note that nationals from almost 70 countries can enter Morocco visa-free for up to 90 days, making it a great hassle-free digital nomad destination for many people.
Life in the city
Before leaving for Ouarzazate we were not sure what to expect from the city. We had been to Marrakech before but knew this would be a very different experience. Life in Ouarzazate is incredibly relaxed, the locals are friendly, the streets are very clean, and the crime rate is close to zero. During our two weeks living in Ouarzazate, there was never a moment we felt unsafe, even though we had our flashy photography gear out most of the time. On the contrary, people were very welcoming and friendly, even asking us to take their pictures (something that would probably never happen in Marrakech!).
Ouarzazate is very different from the main touristic cities in Morocco, but we still discovered quite a few things to do in the city. We’re preparing a post on the best things to do in Ouarzazate, but make sure you don’t miss the central square at night, the Kasbah, the Museum of Cinema, and at least one of the cinema studios (either Atlas Studios or CLA Studios, both located on the outskirts of the city).
We loved wandering around the city and finding cute buildings and cafés to unwind and have our mint tea (despite the heat, we were both able to adopt this Moroccan tradition!). We were surprised by the number of restaurants in the city: there are plenty of options both tailored for locals and for tourists. You can easily find traditional Moroccan food, but also pizza, burgers, and even Chinese food.
Near the Dar Digital Nomad apartment, you can find all the things you need for a comfortable stay in the city. Just a few steps away you can find small grocery shops, and if you walk for a few minutes you can get to the supermarkets, ATMs, and many restaurants. If you walk for 10 minutes, you’ll find yourself at the main square, Place Al-Mouahidine.
As for the weather in the city, it’s mostly nice and sunny all year round. If you’re sensitive to the heat, try to avoid July and August, as these are the warmer months. We were there in September and even though it was indeed hot, we had no major issues. The apartment is air-conditioned (of course!), and you can easily avoid the warmer times by going outside in the morning and late afternoon.
If you’re looking for an opportunity of coworking in Morocco and you’re on a budget, Dar Digital Nomad really is the place for you. To add to the fact that a spot at the apartment is incredibly affordable compared to other similar options, Ouarzazate in itself is a very budget-friendly city.
We always account for every cent we spend and are glad to share our budget posts with you, detailing exactly how much we spend. To give you an idea, during our two week-stay in Ouarzazate, we spent a grand total of 1550Dh / 140€ / 155$ on food for the two of us. That means that each of us spent less than 54Dh / 5€ / 5,5$ per day on food, including our expenses at the supermarket, and the money we spent at cafés and eating out. And in all honesty, we weren’t particularly budget-conscious: we bought and ate what we wanted (including some Western brands in the supermarket, which are notoriously more expensive), and ate out quite a few times (both in the local spots and in the more tourist-friendly restaurants around the city). Bear in mind that we don’t particularly eat a lot (we frequently shared one menu), and we didn’t buy any meat at the supermarket. Nevertheless, even if your habits are different from ours, we think you’ll still find that Ouarzazate is indeed a very affordable city to live in.
Some of the prices for food:
- Moroccan bread: 1Dh / 0,09€ / 0,10$
- Traditional Harira soup at a local restaurant: 4Dh / 0,37€ / 0,42$
- Margarita pizza at a restaurant: 35Dh / 3,28€ / 3,63$
- Moroccan tagine at a restaurant: 35Dh / 3,28€ / 3,63$
- Mint tea at one of the cafés in the main square: 5Dh / 0,47€ / 0,52$
- Mint tea at a high-end hotel: 20Dh / 1,87€ / 2,07$
- Touristic menu at a nice restaurant (appetizer, main dish, and fruit for dessert): 100-110Dh / 9,36-10,30€ / 10,37-11,40$
- Mille-Feuille at a French pastry: 7Dh / 0,66€ / 0,73$
- One liter of Coca Cola at the supermarket: 7Dh / 0,66€ / 0,73$
- Non-Alcoholic Dutch beer at the supermarket: 15Dh / 1,40€ / 1,56$
- One egg at the supermarket: 0,9Dh / 0,08€ / 0,09$
- Kilo of grapes at a fruit shop: 8Dh / 0,75€ / 0,83$
Our costs for transportation in the city were also quite low, as we found it easy to walk almost everywhere. We did use the shared petit taxis you can find all around the city that cost only 5Dh / 0,47€ / 0,52$ per person per trip in the city during the day.
For phone data, we each bought a Maroc Telecom SIM card with 5GB of data which included some free local calls for 70Dh / 6,55€ / 7,26$. There is a high-speed internet connection at Dar Digital Nomad, so we only used data when we were outside and traveling.
Most attractions were also quite affordable, except for the visits to the cinema studios. The entry to the Atlas Studios costs 80Dh / 7,49€ / 8,29$ per person, which is certainly nothing out of this world, but it’s still a bit compared to the prices for other attractions.
All in all, if you’re considering coworking in Morocco, know that at Dar Digital Nomad in Ouarzazate you can do it for less than 500€ / 560$ a month including rent if you’re very budget-conscious, and can certainly live an incredibly comfortable life in Ouarzazate and travel around for less than 1000€ / 1100$ a month.
Opportunities for travel
Ouarzazate is known as the door to the desert, and it’s the city where many tourists stop on their way to the stunning sand dunes you’ve seen countless times on the internet. If you’re dreaming of going to the desert, there’s no better place to base yourself than Ouarzazate. That’s what we did, and we had two incredible days, not only experiencing the magical Erg Chebbi dunes but also getting to see much more of Morocco along the way.
There are plenty of other travel opportunities from Ouarzazate. You can visit other Moroccan cities (Marrakech is less than 5 hours away and easily accessible by local bus), travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, and drive the route of the thousands Kasbahs. There are plenty of other gems near Ouarzazate, and we recommend you don’t miss the beautiful and peculiar Fint Oasis, which is located only 16km away from Dar Digital Nomad.
The man behind Dar Digital Nomad, João Leitão, also owns a travel agency, which is conveniently located right below the apartment, so if you need any help planning a trip there’ll be someone downstairs to assist you.
Things to take with you
- A reusable water bottle with a filter: we use Water to Go and absolutely love the product! Even though we were told tap water in Ouarzazate is safe to drink, we used our Water to Go for extra security and to ensure the taste of the water was good. The fantastic filter also meant we were able to fill it up everywhere we went, and we ended up saving countless bottles of water. Plastic pollution should be a concern we all have, and this is a really easy way to help the planet.
- The Revolut card. If you are a digital nomad you’ve probably heard about this card countless times, and for good reason! Change currencies, avoid banking fees and conveniently do everything you need through a mobile app with your free Revolut card.
- Travel Insurance. Even though we’ve never had to actually activate our insurance plan, but we’ve been very close. We truly believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry! We use IATI Seguros.
Coworking in Morocco: Our Experience at Dar Digital Nomad
Coliving and coworking in Morocco at Dar Digital Nomad was one of the best experiences we’ve had where we were truly able to combine our passion for travel, and our need to have a space to live comfortably and to focus on our work and productivity. We were also pleasantly surprised by Ouarzazate, a great digital nomad base in Morocco for all the reasons we mentioned above. The city may not have a big digital nomad community yet, but we tend to prefer smaller spaces such as the Dar Digital Nomad apartment.
If you’re thinking about spending some time at Dar Digital Nomad, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send us a message!
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We were invited to stay at Dar Digital Nomad by João Leitão, but all opinions remain, of course, our own.