Dahab: Wikis

  
  

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Dahab
Dahab shoreline
Dahab is located in Sinai
Dahab
Location in the Sinai Peninsular
Coordinates: 28°29′35″N 34°30′17″E / 28.49306°N 34.50472°E / 28.49306; 34.50472
Country  Egypt
Governorate South Sinai Governorate
Time zone EST (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)

Dahab (دهب) is a small town situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, located approximately 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab is considered to be one of the Sinai's most treasured diving destinations. Following the Six Day War, the town was occupied by Israel and is known in Hebrew as Di-Zahav, a place mentioned in the Bible as one of the stations for the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. The Sinai Peninsula was restored to Egyptian rule in the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1982. The arrival of international hotel chains and the establishment of other ancillary facilities has since made the town a popular destination with tourists. Dahab is served by Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport.

Contents

Tourism

Beach promenade

Dahab enjoys large numbers of tourists. It is world-renowned for its windsurfing. Reliable winds provide superb flat-water conditions inside Dahab's sand spit. Further away from shore, wavy conditions couple with strong winds to provide formidable conditions for keen windsurfers. SCUBA diving and snorkelling are also popular activities with many reefs immediately adjacent to waterfront hotels. The nearby Blue Hole and Canyon are internationally famous dive spots. Land based activities include camel, horse, jeep and quad bike trips. Mount Sinai is a two hours drive, with Saint Catherine's Monastery being a popular tourist destination.

windsurfing, lagoon

Historically, most visitors to Dahab have been backpackers travelling independently and staying in hostels in the Masbet area. In recent years, development of hotels in the Medina area has facilitated the arrival of a wider range of tourists, many of whom visit Dahab specifically to partake in the windsurfing, diving and other activities.

The word Dahab is Arabic for gold and is possibly a reference to the geographic locality; gold washed down from the desert mountains may have accumulated on the alluvial flood plain where the town was built. The name may also be a reference to the colour of the sands to the south of the town itself. Some locals attribute the name to the colour of the sky, just after sunset.

One local story concerning the town's name is that it stems from the floods that wash through the town every five or six years. Larger than average seasonal storms in the mountains cause a great rush of water to surge down to the sea, dragging with it great amounts of sand. During this time, the town is cut in two by the flood, and the bay is stirred up and the sands turn it a golden yellow. It typically lasts a few days, and has caused damage and loss of life in the past as people were unaware of the sudden onset and the force the water moves at. Nowadays locals are ready when they see the clouds over the mountains, and anyone lucky enough to witness it will remember it for a long time.

Climate

With its pleasant weather all over the year, Dahab gained its worldwide fame. Yet, weather in summer is hot and during winter it is much milder especially during nights. Dahab has a very dry climate and rain is rare, even during the winter months.

Dahab image gallery

See also

External links

Coordinates: 28°29′35″N 34°30′17″E / 28.49306°N 34.50472°E / 28.49306; 34.50472


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Easy living on the beach
Easy living on the beach

Dahab (دهب) is a town in Egypt, located some 85 km (53 miles) north of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Gulf of Aqaba, near the southern tip of Sinai.

Understand

Dahab was once an isolated coastal village which first turned into a hippie hangout in the 1980's. During the 1990's the town became something of an "alternative resort", mixing cheap accommodation, laid back lifestyle and "informal" tourism with certain commercial structures, turning into the "Ko Samui" of the Middle East.

Cheap accommodation positioned right by the beach, inexpensive food and drink and a relaxed atmosphere combine with the natural wonders of the Red Sea (swimming, snorkelling, scuba- and freediving) to make it a heady enticement for the young and young at heart.

Since about a decade Dahab suffers from attempts to modernize it and to turn it into a "real" resort place. This is ok, as long as the distinction between Assalah (backpackers) and Laguna (resort) is kept in mind. The problem is the mix up. Prices in Assalah are artificially increased which makes it less and less interesting for backpackers, though some egyptian-run camps still keep affordable. In contrast to that, many resort tourists and families won't feel comfortable with the lacking conveniences and the handmade look as well as among the "hippies". So they will be way better off in Laguna / Dahab City or Sharm el Sheik. Note the grotesque, forever unfinished concrete structures all over Assalah as a sign of this mismanagement.

Orientation

Dahab has two distinct parts. To the north is the former Bedouin village of Assalah on a kilometer-long beach, full of backpackers and cheap accommodation this area is similar to many other diving resorts that cater for backpackers. The major parts are Masbat and Mashraba, where you will find everything you need. Here is also the Bay. To the south lies Laguna or Dahab City/Medina, where the resort hotels reside. Here is also the Bus Terminal.

Get in

If you arrive at Sharm el-Sheikh airport heading to Dahab, the hardest part is to get from the airport to the Sharm bus station. Taxis tend to charge a fancy 80 to 100 LE for this 10 km ride. Try heading towards the airport site exit and say you'll pick up a taxi (or microbus) outside. They'll tell you it's impossible and that there is no bus to Dahab anymore - just go on. Many taxis don't get an airport permission. If you can talk them down to 30 LE for the ride to the bus station you're good!

Bus schedule Sharm to Dahab is 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 14:30, 17:00, 20:30 Bus schedule Dahab to Sharm is 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 15:00, 16:00, 17:30, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30, 22:00, 22:20

Dahab Bus Office:+20-69-3641-808

To avoid the hassle you can take a taxi the whole way up to Dahab (though that is WHY they hassle you), don't pay more than 150 - 180 LE for the whole cab (they'll start at 300 - 400 or higher)! Exchange money before you pass the airport customs, having only Euros or Dollars will weaken your position. Most accommodation will also arrange a pick-up on request, but prices can vary.

Buses connect Dahab with Sharm el-Sheikh (20EGP - 1h), Cairo (65/75EGP - 9h) and Suez daily. Alternatively, Eilat and the Israeli border at Taba are only around 2 hours away by taxi (300-400EGP) or 3 hours by bus (21EGP). You can book bus tickets from most of the hotels and hostels, or simply turn up at the last minute. Hotels will also arrange a taxi (5EGP) to the bus station, a short drive out of the tourist strip, about 2km.

Dahab Bus Station
Dahab Bus Station

Often, on arrival at the Dahab bus station, you will be basically pushed into the back of a jeep that will "volunteer" to take you to your hotel. These are not free - they will demand a ridiculous amount of money for the privilege. Don't give them more than 5 to 10 EGP, depending on where you want to go. Higher rates will destroy prices and enforce inflation.

Dissociate yourself from the strange situation and seek out a real taxi instead - if you find one. The "real traveller" walks, it's a bare 30 minutes: Standing in front of the bus station (buses arrive in the back) facing the entrance, looking at the "East Delta Travel" sign: turn right, go a few metres, turn left into "Dr. Ahmed Zwel St.", walk about 200 metres. Turn right into "El Nasr Road". After about 300 m turn left at the pharao statue into "El Mashraba St.". Follow the road. After 400 metres you'll pass a two dolphin statue, go straight on, you're almost done. Soon the road makes a 90 degree left turn, you will see construction sites and the beach. Turn left, following the road and walk into Assalah.

Also if you take the bus to Taba, the bus conductor has been known to demand an extra 5 EGP to take you to the border, from the bus station. Again avoid the rip-off and walk the all of 600m on foot.

Minibus rental from Nuweiba or Sharm-el-Sheikh costs 200 pounds.

Get around

Shared taxis, in essence mini-buses, are a cheap way to travel locally. Shared taxis tend to conform to a timetable, so they become useful if you have missed the day's bus to the nearby spots like Sharm el-Sheikh, or if you need to get into Dahab when arriving from the Aqaba ferry. To get to Dahab from Eilat, if you don't have a car, take a taxi to the border, walk across, and grab a shared taxi on the other side.

Getting around Dahab itself on foot is quite simple, the promenade runs right along the seafront and all the usual amenities are located along it. Bicycles would be an excellent way of getting around, but most rental bicycles are poorly maintained and as such are in terrible shape. Many businesses are distinctly unenthusiastic about the bicycle-rental aspect of their commercial operation, quoting inflated prices and creative time definitions ("1 day" = 6 hours). Even large and supposedly reputable operators are not immune from deficiencies in this area.

See

Dahab itself has practically nothing in the way of sights, but you can easily arrange tours to some nearby points of interest.

  • Ein Khudra, a Bedouin oasis.
  • Coloured Canyon
  • Three pools, a bedouin oasis known as Wadi Gnay and lovely area for snorkeling, diving or just relaxing
  • The lagoona, a long sandy stretch close to Dahab City is the place for wind surfing, kite surfing or to admire the view. Take drinks and snacks with you as there are no cafes on the lagoona point. This is a great spot to spend a day away from the town centre.
  • Petra (Jordan) is easily organised from Dahab
  • Jerusalem (Israel) day-trips are also organised from Dahab
  • St Catherines and Mount Sinai Day trips or night trips are very popular and organised by most hotels, but prices vary.
  • The Old Port Dahab has some interesting history. There are ruins of an old Nabatean Port along the coast in Mashraba. It shows there was a community here dating back about 1600 years.

Do

The most "traditional" thing to do in Dahab is not to do anything. It's one of the best places in the world to indulge this most exquisite passion and a lot of Dahab's reputation among travellers roots in it. Anyway, if "doing" something to you means "activity" there's also a great variety of options which can be classified in two categories:

Diving and Anything Else

Diving

Diving is extremely popular in Dahab and the reefs here are still in relatively good shape. Known dive sites includes Abu Helal, Blue Hole, The Bells, Canyon, Coral Garden, Eel Garden, Lighthouse, Moray Garden, Islands, Three Pools, Gabr El Bint, Ras Abu Gallum.

Travel Warning

WARNING: Dahab's most infamous dive site is the Blue Hole, 107 meters deep with an arch opening onto the reef face at 58 meters. This site is considered to be the most dangerous scuba diving site on earth, regularly killing inexperienced and experienced divers foolish enough to risk it. A high number of instructors and divemasters have met their fate in the Blue Hole, as well, including many who had successfully passed the arch dozens of times. Should you be interested in attempting this dive you MUST go through technical dive training and visit the Blue Hole on the correct gases. Diving this site on air alone is near suicidal, so even if a very experienced person offers to take you through, do not at any price do this unless you have technical training and are using it.

You can dive the Blue Hole normally - it is one of the top ten diving spots in the world. Bells / Blue Hole is extremely popular and beautiful. But be aware that it's crowded because lots of buses from Sharm come here. A normal dive in the Bells, some kind of chimney which goes down to 30 metres perpendicular (very exciting experience!), needs you to possess an advanced open water certificate. Otherwise you are not allowed to go to 30 metres! Free-diving is the new kid on the block in Dahab thanks to the very convenient Blue Hole site and an ever increasing range of world top freedivers coming for training such as Lotta Ericson, Natalia Molchanova, Sebastien Murat, Sam Still, Andreas Guldner...

  • Reef 2000 Diving Center, [1], by Bedouin Moon Hotel, is a PADI 5* Gold Palm Resort and an IANTD technical facility. It offers a wide range of courses, from beginner- to technical diving courses.
  • Dahab Divers,[2]. PADI 5 star Golden Palm Resort and Diving School in the heart of the bay (Lighthouse) in Masbat, +20 69 3640381, +20 10 1113481 (mobile), email dive@dahabdivers.com. Friendly staff, nice atmosphere, good equipment, good prices.
  • Bedouin Divers, [3]. Familiar dive center directly at the coast of the Red Sea in the Mashraba area of Dahab. Bedouin Divers is in the Bedouin Lodge Hotel, which acts individual and can arrange for you everything: Daily Diving, PADI Courses, Camel Dive Safaris and Boat Dives
  • Big Blue Dahab, +20 (0)69 3640 045, [4] is a fully equipped 5 Star Gold Palm Padi resort only meters from the reef, a relaxed and welcoming environment ideal for both snorkeling and diving. Emphasis on safety and fun with an environmental awareness. Small dive groups with highly qualified instructors and divemasters to enjoy a full range of Padi courses and guided dives at affordable prices.
  • Blue Realm. Tel. +20 69 364 1413; mobile +20 12 744 4873; e-mail info@bluerealmdiving.com; [5]. Great native-run diving center (English, Dutch, German, French and Arabic available: the owner's wife is actually Dutch). They charge for two dives €45 (plus extra for gear rental). Package discounts are available. A 5-day PADI Open Water course here is €260, incl. equipment
  • Desert Divers, [6]. The owner, Said, became Dahab's first Bedouin to learn to dive some 15 years ago. The place is right on the beach in the main bay (Masbat Bay, between the bridge & Lighthouse Reef). Excellent for diving (PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Resort)Also camel Diving Safaris, from 1-5 days with the Sinai's most experienced guides. Diving is fine but equipment rather run down
  • Dive Pro Dahab, [7] is a company established by divers for divers to help them get the best out of their dive vacation. Located all over the red sea enables it to supply divers with services wherever they go.
  • Dive The Gap, [8] is a gap year and career development scuba diving company that operates out of a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Resort and National Geographic Centre in Dahab. Dive The Gap is a UK Company that mainly operates in Dahab, and has a range of scuba diving programmes to suit everyones tastes and budgets. Almost every PADI course is available from Open Water to Instructor and PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with a full range of PADI specialities, diving safaris and recreational diving. Also packages are offered and a team located on site. Call 020 8133 4401 (+44 20 8133 4481) and you will be put through to the team in Egypt at no extra charge!
  • Marine Garden Divers, [9]. Friendly and clean Divecenter and Bedouin Camp under Dutch management. Just 75 meters north from the Light House Reef and Masbath Bay. All rooms with fans and some with own shower and toilet, few have seaview. Prices from 3 to €10 a night for the room. Offers all diving activities and organize desert- and shoresafari's off-the-beaten-track. Offers airport transfers.
  • Mirage Divers - Diving center, [10]. Owned and run by a very professional Bedouins and they always do their best to offer a real social diving holidays which combine both safety and fun whilst experiencing a whole different culture in a truly unique atmosphere. Their groups are always small and there is a very high personal attention to all the divers, info@miragedivers.com , Tel&Fax +20693641476
  • Nesima Diving Center, Tel. 069 3640320, [11]. French-run diving center generally judged to be the best in town. They charge a premium pricewise though, as two dives will cost you €47 (plus €20/day for gear rental). Package discounts available. A 5-day PADI Open Water course here is €302.
  • Poseidon Divers, [12]. Get into technical diving or simply do fun dive or courses in a safe and professional way. It is the only PADI Career Development Centre [13] in town as well as a PSA and TDI Instructor facility (the only one in Egypt), you will get no shortage of divers if you do your PADI DiveMaster or Instructor course here which is a definite plus for the quality of your course.
  • Red Sea Relax PADI 5 Star National Geographic Instructor Development Resort, +20 (0)69 3641 308, [14]. New British run diving operation enjoying a prime beach side location in central Dahab, meters from the teeming reefs but also convenient for Dahab's center and modern amenities. As a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Diving Resort, on site accommodation is available with a choice of either discounted en-suite rooms, or a bed in the dormitory complex- offered totally free for divers! Professional instructors offer a host of diving activities. PADI diving courses range from beginner through to professional Open Water Instructor, or for those already qualified daily diving takes place to any of the 20 spectacular local reefs. For those more adventurous Boat excursions and Camel Dive Safaris are easily arranged.
  • Sea Pioneer Dive Club, [15]. Our Dive Centre is directly opposite the central Lighthouse diving area in Dahab. We are less than a minute's walk to the beach for confined and open water dives. In addition to intro dives, the PADI courses we conduct include Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, Dive Master and many specialities. We can also arrange accommodation and airport transfers on request.
  • Freedive Dahab, [16]. Founded by Lotta Ericson, Swedish Champion and former World Record. In 2006 Linda Paganelli, Italian Champion and National Record holder, joined and together they built up Dahabs only Freediving Shop. You can order Monofins or Elios Suits and buy a wide range of Freediving Articles like Masks, Noseclips, Weightbelts and Neoprene Glue. Linda, Lotta and her team can provide AIDA Freediving Courses from Beginner to Instructor Courses. They offer equipment for rent and organize your Personal Training experience. Freedive Dahab also organizes National and World Record attempts and Competitions like the Triple Depth [17] competition.
  • BlueSkunk Freedivers, [18]. Offers a very complete and progressive range of course: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Deep, ... It is not the goal of the course to push towards a new personal best as they emphasize technique development and depth adaptation before increasing depth! Safety first
  • Zen Sea, [19]. Offers fun dives, PADI courses and yoga diving.  edit
  • Climbing is also an option in the Sinai, although the brutal climate takes its toll and this isn't particularly suitable for beginners. Deep in the desert, Mt. Sinai (St. Catherine) has incredible tradclimbing and world-class bouldering (absolutely no bolting in St Catherine please). The main area near to Dahab, including sportsclimbing (bolted routes), is Wadi Gnai:
  • Vast amounts of perfect bouldering on granite boulders in shaded, sand-floored valleys
  • Single and multi-pitch equipped sport routes for all levels of climbers in Waterfalls and Fake Connection
  • Almost endless possibilities for trad climbing lines on bomber granite
  • Plus new routing possibilities for sport climbs in many easily accessible areas.
  • Desert Safaris[20] are organized by loads of small safari shops all along Dahab's Masbat Bay. In addition to day tours (see Get out), you can arrange to get deep into the desert with the Bedouin, who'll take you for up to 2 weeks!
  • Bedouin Safari Dahab. [21]. Here, Bedouins from the South Sinai can arrange for you the individual desert trip you are looking for.
  • Yoga: [22] Whether ashtanga, hatha or kundalini, yoga is increasingly popular in Dahab. Yoga on nearby Mount Sinai is a regular draw, as are full-moon retreats into the nearby wadis (desert), taking advantage of the silence and space of the Sinai desert. More and more people are coming to Dahab on holiday and yoga for Christmas has become a top travel destination.
  • Wind surfing Dahab has about 270 days a year of wind, so wind surfing here is becoming as popular as diving. There are a few wind surfing schools around Laguna area offering all levels of courses. There are one or two options at the beach, and although the conditions are not so favourable, it is cheaper than at the Laguna. In Mashraba, prices are approximately €10 per hour rental, add an additional €10 for lesson inclusion. For more information about windsurfing in Masharaba: [23] .
  • Kite surfing also becoming popular in Dahab but can only be done around the lagoona area.
  • Shisha try Egypts favorite pastime, smoking a shisha water pipe with flavored tobacco whilst watching the world go by.
  • Kayaking a great way to explore the reef. Sea Kayaks are avalible for hire from Sheikh Salem House [24] From 50 egp per hour, or try a guided night kayak - great for hot summer nights.
  • Quad-bikes trips into the desert.
  • Horse and camel riding
  • Enjoying sun, sea and juices in the restaurants with plank beds, which you can use free of charge.

Buy

Great buys are the usual Egyptian suspects: water pipes, rugs, oriental lamps, shirts in different lengths with embroidery, backgammon games, silver jewelery, etc. Prices are geared for tourists, so haggling is a must, pay max. 50%-60% of the first price offered, anything else is a rip-off. If you are not sure about the price, go to the next shop, they all offer more or less the same things, and start bargaining again there.

Look out for Bedouin Handicrafts, some beautiful pieces are avalible. Hand embroidered and made in Dahab, St Catherines and El Arish by Bedouin women. Sheikh Salem House has a good selection of items as does some of the other Bedouin establishments in Dahab.

If your stay extends with or without intention your shopping behaviour will focus on the Ghazala Market where you can find anything you need to uptate your on-the-road-equipment from functional to convenient.

Eat

The trick to eating cheaply in Dahab is to avoid seafront establishments and use restaurants inland, along and beyond the pedestrian zone, where identical meals are regularly on offer for half the seafront price.

  • Budget places. In the side streets, you can eat at very low prices (4-24LE) such as falafel, koshari, chicken at the "King Chicken".
  • Ali Baba Restaurant, [25]. Ali Baba Restaurant is a very high-standard restaurant. It has certificates for cleanliness and is constantly re-inventing itself.  edit
  • Blue Beach Restaurant. Located at the Blue Beach Hotel on the beach front, provides comfortable eating with an extensive and interesting menu. The food is well cooked and the steaks in particular are renowned in Dahab. The restaurant is inside and provides warm shelter in the winter and a cool environment in the hot summer months. Can also cater for large groups.
  • Dai Pescatori, Tel (002) 0127972361, [26][27]. Owned and managed by Egyptians. At Sheikh Salem House at the very northern end of the promenade, good italian food, especially the mixed appetizers, and the semi-fredo desert.
  • Eel Garden. At the northern end of the promenade, sitting on nice bedouin coussins, friendly staff, good food European and Egyptian you won't find everywhere, e.g. mashi, couscous, sahlab. Weekly BBQ. Sunbeds and private beach.
  • El Dorado. [28] Also at the northern end of the promenade, with its own beach. Owned by Italians, who serve excellent Italian fare, with pizzas to die for! Especially popular with the locals. Be careful when receiving the check, as the owner of the place has his own ideas about what to charge, should you have any special request.
  • Friends Restaurant. [29] One of many effectively identical beachfront restaurants offering the same Arabic fare at the same prices.
  • Jumas Wadi Bidar Bedouin Dinner Traditional Bedouin dinner cooked in the desert on an open fire. Juma a Bedouin from the Muziena tribe makes excellent food in his wadi close to Dahab with views of Dahab town and Saudi Arabia. Prices start from 80 EGP per person for a tasty feast including transport. Booking via Desert Divers, Sheikh Salem House or Blue Beach. There is also the option to go to dinner on a camel, by jeep, by horse, hike (30 mins from Dahab town centre or even by quad bike!).
  • The Kitchen Restaurant. Brand new restaurant,on the boulevard, next to the big supermarket. Indian, Thai and Chinese restaurant. Also for take-out and delivery.".
  • The Lazy Camel Cafe Assalah Beach at the end of the beach footpath just north of the Eel Garden Dive Site. Serves a great mix of Bedouin/Middle Eastern/European food including home made beef burgers, Bedouin wrap sandwiches and daily chefs specials. Free wireless internet for customers and one of the nicest views in Dahab.
  • Leila's Bakery. German bakery, tasty breads, sandwiches, salads and cakes.
  • Lobster Seafood Restaurant. A few minutes beyond "King Chicken," offers free soup, bread and salad with a main course, and may offer a complimentary cup of tea, too.
  • Nemo Restaurant. [30] Restaurant on the boulevard. Offers nice food and even has some German 'speciaties' on the menu. Complimentary appetizers, desserts and shesha's!!
  • Nirvana. Real Indian food with real flavor. Excellent curries, snacks, vegetarian dishes and excellent Indian Tea (Chai).
  • Quickly Restaurant. On Mashraba Street. Local & International food. Cheap food, but huge portions and much more tastier than the tourists places along the beachfront. Upstairs chilled out lounge with good tunes. Free wireless. Favourite amongst local divers, backpackers.
  • Rush. Located up a small alley between the bridge and Tota. In a palmtree garden with a small swimmingpool this restaurant serves excellent food, the style is creative "fusion". There's also a bar with local and imported alcohol. In & outdoor seating. Every Friday night there's a party with Dj's.
  • Same Same but different, +20106466863. good food, good service, fresh seafood Catch of the day, good steak & B.B.Q lamb kebab special Vegetarian menu free starter with a main course .. you can bring your own Alcohol Drinks.. free wifi adelbluehole@yahoo.com  edit
  • Star Of Dahab. In the sea side of mashraba. A good place to eat some fresh fish. tel +2 069 3640130, mobile +2 010 111 3481.
  • Three Fishes. At the southern end of the promenade. Good italian restaurant, run by Paola, an Italian.
  • El Fanar, El Masbat, South Sinai, Egypt, 0122525853. Delicious food in a bedouin environment. Great service from friendly staff. Order the chicken kebab or kofte off the menu and starter (pita and dips) and watermelon and tea are included. Cheap drinks too.  edit

Drink

There is little alcohol in these parts, although overpriced beer can be arranged in many restaurants. You can buy beer, wine and liquor in special shops called Drinkies. One is located at Azzahla market square.

Some egyptian alcohol brands mimics the names and labelling of better known liquors elsewhere. Restaurants will often advertise Stella beer, which isn't Stella Artois, as well as Sakkara, Luxor and Heineken. Sakkara, the domestic brand, is very tasty.

  • Dahab Partys, every week different venues hold different party nights. Current nights include Wednesdays at the Sphinx Pool Bar - House and Dance Music, Fridays at RUSH Village Bar for House and Dancey grooves.
  • (kind of) DiscothequesRush and The Tree.
  • Churchill's Sports Bar and Grill, Tel (002) 069 3641 309, [31]. British Sports bar and Grill specializing in quality British fare, and value for money beverages. Drinks include Sakara, Stella and the cheapest draught Hieneken in town. Quality wines and "Premium" Spirits made under licence from Hieneken also available. Traditional "Pub Grub" and Steaks a favourite with residents and tourists alike. Two "big screens" show all Premiership, Rugby, Grand Prix fixtures and other faclities include free use of the the big screen Wii Sports, Pool table and WiFI Internet throughout. Located directly on the promenade close to the Lighthouse area of Dahab.
  • Elzar Bar, next to the ruins of the old harbour on the beachfront. The best place in town for anyone wanting to get pissed late at night. Chris the Aussie barman is always on hand until the sun comes up serving a variety of alcoholics including the drunken Welshman and unconfrontational Dave the Canadian nice man.
  • The Furry cup, at the Blue Beach Hotel, where local Westerners hang out at the sound of U2, Coldplay, etc. The only place in Dahab where you can get Western hard liquor brands instead of the fakes.
  • Funny Mummy. Giant colourful curtains and carpet seats offer a great atmosphere if you just want to relax and enjoy some of Egypt's good fruit juices (albeit not the cheapest option in town). Avoid the menu though as it tends to over-sell and under-deliver.  edit
  • Same Same, 0020106466863. but different good place for drink &shisha  edit
  • Churchill's Sports Bar and Grill, Red Sea Relax Resort (on the promenade 50m down from Lighthouse), +20 (0)69 3641 309, [32]. 0800-0200. Lively establishment, with a good mix of tourist and resident trade. Serves draught Heineken on tap and British orientated cuisine at very reasonable prices. Premiership football and other major sports shown on the big screen terrace and downstairs in the air con bar.  edit

Sleep

Dahab has a plethora of cheap accommodation. All are rather the same, generally offering bungalow/chalet type accommodation at very reasonable prices. For the those on an extreme budget, most have areas where you can sleep on mattresses in the open air, usually for under a dollar a night, including a blanket and pillow.

Budget

Room prices for a simple camp room (no AC, no bath) should be no more than 20LE., less if you book ahead for a week or longer. If anyone asks more don't hestitate to go to the next camp, there are plenty.

  • Auski Camp, Yasser is the most aimable and helpful camp host in Dahab. Room prices start at 20 LE. Like anyone else in Dahab the staff can arrange all trips and tours. It's next to the Sphinx hotel with direct beach access. [33]
  • Bish Bishi, (in Mashraba opposite The Sphinx Hotel), +20 69 640727, [34]. Jimmy is the owner and is well-known throughout Dahab. Rooms are reasonable, LE30-80 depending on what you want. A double on-suite is currently LE60. They do food, laundry, trips etc and so you be well looked after. If you are flying into Sharm they can collect you from the airport for €25 (1 hour away). Last visited in November 2008 and had gone downhill.
  • Dahab Dorms, (part of the Red Sea Relax Resort near the Lighthouse), +20 69 3641 308, [35]. New dorm complex part of a larger Resort near the Lighthouse Reef at the north end of Dahab Bay. Excellent panoramic views of the Bay or Resort pool directly from the dorm rooms. Very reasonably priced, the accommodation and breakfast is free for the those choosing to dive with the complex. On site facilities include an award winning dive centre, a safari and transfer office, restaurant / bar, private beach and if the sea is too salty- a 100m pool!
  • Dolphin Camp, www.dolphincamp.net (tel +20 69 3640081). Offers very good, clean and great value rooms right on the beach in Dahab. The rooms range from 6 to 25 euro including breakfast - some with bathroom, AC and fridge. If sleeping is within the range of your intentions avoid the rooms next to the disco. The camp is well run and the staff are really helpful and laidback. They can arrange excellent desert trips and excursions to St Katherines monestery and Mt Sinai almongst others.
  • Sindbad Camp, [36] Sindbad is one of the last traditional Bedouin camps in Dahab. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and a full Bedouin Staff. All rooms have a fan and some of them also have own shower and toilet (LE45+ for a room). Most rooms have seaview. There is also a very good restaurant on the beach. It is located 50 meters north of Light House Reef and the bay of Dahab. But just around the corner so it is very quiet. You can book it trough their neighbors: [37].
  • Star of Dahab, tel.+20 69 3640130, +20 10 111 3481, (starofdahab@hotmail.com), [38]. A pleasant family-run guesthouse at the southern end of Assalah, offers basic lodgings at basic prices, and new, more expensive rooms with sea view. Excellent beachside location,with a sea side shade, restaurant (good food), and a dive centre as well. but it's a bit of a hike to the center of Assalah.

Mid-range

Star of Dahab, tel.+20 69 3640130, +20 10 111 3481, (starofdahab@hotmail.com), [37]. A pleasant family-run guesthouse at the southern end of Assalah, offers basic lodgings at basic prices, and new, more expensive rooms with sea view. Excellent beachside location,with a sea side shade, restaurant (good food), and a dive centre as well. but it's a bit of a hike to the center of Assalah.

  • Bedouin Moon Hotel, [39],Perfect accomodation for divers, located north, by the beach, in oriental style.
  • Ali Baba Hotel, tel. 069 3640876, [40]. Egyptian-run hotel in a mixed European/Oriental style. Minibar, sea view, balcony, and air-con for around 25€/room/night, there is also a "suite" (double size with bathtub) for 33€.
  • Bedouin Lodge Hotel, tel. 069 3641 125, [41]. Bedouin owned hotel directly at the coast of the Red Sea in the heart of Dahab (El Mashraba). Simple rooms equipped with bathroom, AC or fan. Small beach, sun roof, restaurant, dive shop. The dive centre here is excellent and offers PADI at good rates.
  • Blue Beach Club is located between Eel Garden and Lighthouse. Clean ensuite, air conditoned rooms at reasonable prices and a fresh water swimming pool are available. [42]
  • Dahab Divers is a clean and obviously newer hotel and dive centre. Rooms are air conditioned, and there are excellent showers - a rarity in Egypt. Official price is €37 per night, but is negotiable. Extremely helpful staff. Also an excellent place for diving.[43]
  • Jewel of Dahab جوهرة دهب tel 002 010 2733883/7913816, info@jewelofdahab.com,[44]. Located in the middle of El mashraba st. apartments with sea views, 1 minute from the beach. A nice place to relax and absorb the local culture. They also arrange safari and diving for affordable price. Double and triple rooms available with AC and private bathroom from 100-150 LE per apartment per night.
  • Stay Young, [45] 002 010 2702770, stayyoung@fiksdal.be Is a part of Jowhara hotel that offer cheap accomodation and has hand painted murals on the walls. This is an impressive art project that just opened in August 2009. The rooms start at 60Le, 80Le, 100Le for single, double and tripple room with private bath and AC.
  • Neptune Beach Hotel, tel. +20 (0)69 3640 568, [46]. Neptune Beach offers comfortable accommodation directly on the beach in central Dahab. Choose from a Twin or Triple ensuite, air con or fan from around 160 LE per night. All rooms equipped with minibar. A Terrace Restaurant and Post Shop compliment the facilities.
  • Penguin Village and Diving [47] is a well-run 30-room hotel right on the water, which has a good restaurant and a dive shop. It's popular with travellers in their 20s and 30s who are looking for a reasonably priced place, but who aren't on a really tight budget and not too picky on cleanliness. Rooms are around E25 for a double. Single with Fan and Ensuite is 70EP, with air-con 80EP. Also at off-season double rooms with shared bathroom are available for only 20EGP.
  • Red Sea Relax Resort tel. +20 (0)69 3641 308, [48] A brand new Resort at the north end of the Dahab Bay, beachside and close to the teeming Lighthouse Reef, colourful beachside cafes and traditional bazaars. Specializing in diving, safari and therapeutic activities, the resort offers a choice of sea view rooms, a restaurant, dive school, and transfer office
  • Marna House, Located in Mashraba, european style, intersting rates.
  • Sheikh Salem House, tel (002)0127304871, [49]. Budget Boutique Hotel set in a beautiful house owned by a Bedouin Sheikh of Dahab and his family. Managed by a Bedouin team and an English lady. Set in a quiet spot at the northern end of the promenade, right on the beach with a sandy beach. Budget rooms with amazing views and shared bathrooms from 45egp, deluxe suites with air conditioning, tv and satellite, kitchen from 150egp or €23 per suite per night. Wireless internet for guests. This is a great place for those wanting to stay in unique accommodation with a home like feel, and get to know Dahabs Bedouin Community and Culture.
  • Villa Barbara - a big house on the beach with a big yard, a patio, a kitchen, 2 bathroms (with water accumulativ heaters), four bedrooms for 9 persons, from the terrace upstairs you can see the sea. There is only one house between the Villa and the sea, there is a reef nearby.

furnished to European standards. from €25-€45/ night

Stay safe

Drugs, particularly marijuana, are widely available in Dahab and famously cheap. This does not make them legal, so consider very carefully if you want to risk at best large fines and at worst lengthy prison terms in Egypt's notoriously squalid prisons before indulging.

Women travellers are pretty safe in Dahab. As a matter of courtesy to the local customs, even though you will see quite a few girls with short skirts and tight t-shirts, please respect the fact that Egypt is a conservative country, and dress appropriately in the city. However, at the beach a bikini is no problem.

Snorkeling along/past the reef can be very dangerous when very windy: strong underwater currents develop, and it is very difficult to come back onto the shallow reef. If you are in doubt, please always ask a dive-center nearby if it is safe to snorkel.

Get out

This is the tough part. First timers usually arrive in Dahab to chill for a few days, some of them stay for weeks or months, and there are people who stay for years, become a dive instructor, run a restaurant etc. Dahab is a place you quite stick to despite the permanent attempts of "resortification", growing pollution and increasing prices.

  • If you can't understand the hype and look for a place more shanti head North to Nuweiba and Tarabin or even further. This is more like Dahab was like ten years ago. Bus schedule Dahab to Nuweiba and Taba: 10:30, 15:00, 16:00, 18:30 Dahab Bus office: +20-69-3641-808
  • Mount Sinai, 2 hours away by car, is a popular overnight trip from Dahab. Any guesthouse can arrange return transportation for around LE 60. Alternatively, gather a group of people, charter a taxi and beat the crowds by climbing during the day and seeing the sunset instead. It gets cold, so bring a jacket! If going to the summit during nighttime, make sure to bring flashlight, preferably worn on your head. There are some shops and teahouses along the way, so don't worry about the provisions.
  • The 10:30AM bus to Nuweiba arrives there early enough to be able to get onto the 3PM fast boat to Aqaba, Jordan. It is not possibible to do a day trip to Jordan so an overnight trip should be planned. The bus continues on to Taba, to cross to Eilat in Israel.
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