Banks & Currency Exchange There is a string of banks along avenue Mohammed V with ATMs and bureaux de change (though they rarely exchange traveler's checks) open Monday to Friday 8:15am to 3:45pm. The Banque Populaire branch between the police station and the post office (tel. 0524/868573) has a separate bureau de change open Monday to Thursday 8am to noon and 2 to 6pm, Friday 8am to noon and 3 to 7pm, and Saturdays and public holidays 9am to noon and 3 to 6pm.

Car Rentals There are quite a few car-rental firms based in Ouarzazate. The local companies can often have the best deals, but make sure they offer a 24-hour assistance service and that your car is equipped with a good spare tire and the tools with which to change it. Also, be sure to read the fine print with regard to driving off the tarred road. If you want to drop the car off in Marrakech or elsewhere, you may have to shop around.

Most companies are found on avenue Mohammed V or coming off its west end at place du 3 Mars. Avis is just east of place du 3 Mars on avenue Mohammed V (tel. 0524/888000 or 0661/491459); Budget is at 28 av. Mohammed V (tel. 0524/884202); Europcar (tel. 0524/882035) and National/Alamo (tel. 0524/885244 or 0666/782786) are both at place du 3 Mars; and Hertz (tel. 0524/882084) is at 33 av. Mohammed V.

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Newloc Cars & 4X4 Rental, 30 rue du Marché (at the western end of the pedestrian-only section; tel. 0524/887853 or 0662/836864; kabbajnfl@hotmail.com); Galaxy Car, 8 av. Moulay Rachid (opposite Obelix restaurant; tel. 0524/885598 or 0667/595854); and Desert Evasion, 2 av. Mohammed V (tel. 0524/888682 or 0661/243106), are very reputable local firms with both sedans and 4X4s. Plan on paying up to 450dh per day for a small, four-door sedan, less for rentals of 7 days or longer. Some companies offer 4WDs for around 1,350dh to 1,500dh per day, and about an extra 400dh per day for a driver/guide.

Doctors Dr. Kabir Lahcen is located in the Clinique Chifa, avenue Moulay Rachid (tel. 0524/883588), above Pharmacie Chifa.

Drugstores Pharmacies are dotted throughout the city center and open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 12:30pm, 2:30 to 7:30pm, and 8 to 10:30pm, and Saturday 8:30am to 12:30pm. Pharmacie Centrale is located at 31 av. Mohammed V (next to Hertz; tel. 0524/882601), and Pharmacie Chifa is on avenue Moulay Rachid, next to the Supermarché Dadès (tel. 0524/883588). The all-night Pharmacie du Nuit (tel. 0524/882490) is located at the beginning of avenue Mohammed V, opposite the post office, open nightly 10:30pm to 8:30am.

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Hospitals The public hospital, Hôpital Bougafer (tel. 0524/882444), is located at the far east end of avenue Mohammed V between the city center and Taourirt Kasbah.

Internet Access Ouarnet is at 19 av. Mohammed V; Cyber Marché (tel. 0524/887853) is within Newloc Car Rentals, 30 rue du Marché, at the west end of the pedestrian-only section; and Cyber Vallée des Kasbahs is on avenue Moulay Rachid, next to the Supermarché Dadès. All are open daily from around 9am to midnight, and charge 10dh per hour.

Laundry The small Point d'Eau Lavanderie (tel. 0524/882809) is next to Hotel Amlal on rue du Marché, open Saturday to Thursday 8:30am to 8pm. There are only a couple of washers and one dryer; an attendant will wash, dry, and fold a 5-kilogram (11-lb.) bag for 50dh.

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Maps & Newspapers Supermarché, 13 av. Mohammed V, sells a selection of country maps and guidebooks, as well as 1- to 5-day-old U.K. and U.S. newspapers.

Photographic Needs Labo Ennakhil, 16 av. Mohammed V, and Agfa Image Centre, 2 av. Moulay Rachid (opposite Obelix restaurant), are open daily 9am to noon and 3 to 8pm and sell a range of film and a few memory cards.

Police The Commissariat de Police (tel. 19) is on avenue Mohammed V, 100m (330 ft.) west of the post office.

Post Office The main post office is on the corner of avenue Mohammed V and rue de la Poste, opposite the turnoff south to Zagora. It's open Monday to Friday 8am to 4:15pm and Saturday 8 to 11:45am. There's a small postal agency next to the Taourirt Kasbah with the same hours.

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Restrooms There are no public toilets in the city center. Your best bet is to ask at Restaurant Dimitri or the cafe-restaurant next to Hotel Amlal.

Safety The city center of Ouarzazate is a very safe place to walk around day or night. If you are self-driving, be sure to lock your car as there has been an increase in petty theft and car break-ins.

Telephone Ouarzazate's city code has recently changed to 0524.

Tour Operators There are many tour operators located in the center of Ouarzazate, all offering the same excursions down the Dra Valley to the Saharan sands south of M'hamid. Abdelouahid Aabi's Desert Evasion, 2 av. Mohammed V, opposite the police station (tel. 0524/888682 or 0661/243106; www.desert-evasion.net), is one of the most reputable. I also recommend Ahmed Hajja's Zbar Travel, 4 Bab Sahara, place al Mouahidine (tel. 0524/885610 or 0668/517280; www.zbartravel.com). For a private tour of the region, contact Nawfal Kabbaj (tel. 0524/882809 or 0662/836864; kabbajnfl@hotmail.com). A very amiable and relaxed guide, Nawfal speaks excellent English and specializes in themed tours of the region such as archaeology, birding, and botanical tours, along with the other mainstream destinations.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.