Dahab and South Sinai, Egypt
Dahab meaning ‘gold’ in Arabic, lives up to its name, with sandy beaches and turquoise blue water this really is the perfect place for learning about the underwater world. Dahab is located on the South East side of the Sinai peninsula approximately 80km from the well known tourist resort of Sharm el Sheikh. This once isolated, Bedouin fishing village is now a popular choice amongst divers not only for its excellent dive sites including the well known Blue Hole and Canyon, but also because it has managed to retain some of its original charm and characteristics which makes Dahab such a well loved location.
With only a short flight from Europe to the nearest airport in Sharm el Sheikh it makes this location easily accessible, with coral reefs comparable to that of the Caribbean and not to mention the all year round glorious weather!! Below the water’s surface there is a fantastic array of corals and reef fish, with turtles and rays spotted frequently, and for the lucky few the occasional visit from dolphins and sharks. Above the waves, camels and goats roam the streets giving visitors a taste of the traditional Bedouin lifestyle but with a modern promenade laying host to numerous bars and restaurants, Dahab has lots to offer for all.
The weather is sunny for the majority of the year, however temperatures can exceed 40ºC in the summer months of June – September, making it a little too hot for general beach holidays but perfect for diving with water temperatures reaching 25ºC. Dahab is often much cooler than other Egyptian resorts due to the cool breeze that is frequent here, making this a haven for other watersports.
Average air and water temperatures in Dahab
Food and drink:
Although Dahab has managed to retain much of its traditional feel, with goats and camels freely walking the back streets, the front promenade has been brought up to current times. There are an array of brightly coloured shops, bars and restaurants where you can experience the local cuisine in the form of fresh fish, kofta, tahini and salads (washed and prepared with bottled water), or if you prefer your home comforts, many of the bars have European menus. The water is not drinkable but bottled water is cheap and restaurants now use this to prepare food or ice for European tourists. Alcohol is allowed in Egypt though many of the restaurants do not serve this, but they are happy for you to bring your own from one of the local bars.
Visas and currency:
Western Europeans can purchase visas at the airport upon arrival for 15USD, this allows them travel throughout Egypt.
The local currency here is the Egyptian pound (LE) although most dive centres and hotels will accept Sterling, Euros or US dollars (but be aware that you will not get the best exchange rate with businesses). There are several easily accessible banks in Dahab to exchange money or travellers cheques, or to use the ATM.
It is highly recommended you ensure your Tetnus and Polio vaccination are up to date, we would also recommend Typhoid and Hepatitus A injections before travel. This is only a guideline please contact your doctor for the latest information or recommended vaccinations, also be aware that some injections are required 3 months before travel so try not to leave it to last minute!