City of Dahab - Sinai
Dahab is an attractive touristic city in South Sinai. It is considered to be the second most famous city in Sinai, after the world wide popular city of Sharm El Sheikh, according to the number of tourists who visit Dahab annually. Dahab in Arabic means gold, and the city was named "Dahab" because of its golden sand beaches.
In the past, Dahab was only a small fishing town until the Egyptian government gave it more importance in the late nineties and built a number of resorts and hotels in this beautiful resort of Dahab. The government added a lot of services and facilities in different sections of the city to increase the number of the tourists who visit Dahab every year.
Dahab which consists of more than 1130 square kilometers, is located on the Aqaba bay in the Sothern Eastern of Sinai 81 kilometers North of Sharm El Sheikh, 135 kilometers away from the Israeli city of Elat , and 465 kilometers away from the Ahmed Hamdy Tunnel. Dahab has two major bays: Al Qora and Ghazala.
Dahab is famous for its golden sand beaches, from which it took its name. This is besides its fascinating diving spots, as diving is the most popular activity to do in Dahab. The city is famous for being the cheapest diving resort in Sinai in comparison to other resorts like Sharm El Sheikh and Ras Suder.
The most significant factor about Dahab is that you can find quite inexpensive, comfortable, clean hotels that range from 15 to 40 dollars per night, and you can find expensive international luxurious hotels and resorts as well. Therefore, Dahab is suitable for tourists from all countries and all social classes to enjoy the unique golden beaches and the distinctive sea activities.
Dahab consists of (from the North to the South) : Ras Abu Galuom, which is a protected area and an amazing spot for diving, the Blue Hole which is the most famous diving location in Dahab and in all Sinai, then there is the Asla area which hosts more than 75% of the city's population in three small towns: Mubarak, Al Zarnook, and Al Asla, which is the most famous section of Dahab with a lot small camps, beaches, and bedwin houses and cafes.
Afterwards, there is Al Masbat, the most famous commercial and touristic section of Dahab. This area starts with Al Fanar Street that than there is Al Masbat Bay which is full of many stores that sell all kind of Egyptian souvenirs, different diving centers, cafes, camps, and hotels. This area is famous for its Bedouin style cafes that are directly on the beach and they serve all kinds of international and Egyptian food, beverages and alcohol, and the famous Egyptian Shisha.
Then there is the Laguna area where a number of hotels and diving centers are located as the area contains one of the most attractive beaches in Dahab.
I was lucky enough to visit the area of Masbat like 15 years ago as my nephew used to live there. He rented one of these cafes and he invited us to visit him. The place looked totally different than any other resort I have been to all around Egypt. Everything is this area is simple. Tourists from all over the world gather, sing, and dance in an unusual atmosphere you rarely find all over Egypt. I was lucky as well to visit Dahab three years ago and yes the place has developed tremendously. A lot of new hotels and resorts were opened and a lot of services and facilities were added to the city.
There is also the main city of Dahab where most of the large luxurious hotels and governmental structures are located. Tourists who come to Dahab usually stay in that area, while cheaper hotels and camps are located in the Masbat area.
There are a lot of interesting activities to be done in Dahab like camel and beach buggy safari where you can ride into the desert and watch the amazing art of god in Sinai. Dahab is also famous for therapeutic centers where people from all over the world come to be cured from different diseases especially Arthritis.
Dahab has an exclusive activity that can not be found in any other city in Sinai: windsurfing and sailboats. This is because of the high speed of wind in Dahab due to the fact that the city is surrounded by mountains from all directions and this leads to creating areas of high pressure and other areas of low pressure that result in a fabulous wind speed which surfers from all over the glob love.
Another famous activity in Dahab is skydiving where tourists come from all the world to learn this adventurous sport in the many skydiving schools that are available in Dahab.
Antiquities in Dahab
What a lot of tourists as well as Egyptians do not know is that Dahab hosts a number of antiquities and monuments. There is the Dahab port located on the Aqaba bay which the Nabataeans used in the second century BC to serve as a focal point in the trade between the East and the West. The port used to consist of a rectangular shape with a gate and two defensive towers. Inside this gate, a number of rooms were built and served as storages places and there was also an administrative section. A lot of coins and copper items were found in this ancient port.
Tal El Mashraba, or the drinking hill in Arabic, is the other monument found in Dahab near the ancient port, it was discovered that camels used to come and drink fresh water from the beach itself and this was why this area was called that way. A mine was also discovered in this area where they used to take out
Famous beaches in Dahab
The most popular and astonishing beach in Dahab is definitely the Blue Hole. This place is really mind-blowing as it consisted of a huge hole inside the sea. This hole was the result of a failing star that smashed into the earth in ancient times and caused this huge blue hole that is 100 meters deep with a radius of 50 meters.
Professional divers come to the blue hole from all countries of the world because of the challenging adventure and the dissimilar sea life the place offers. However, diving in this area needs quite a huge diving experience.
The light house
The Lighthouse diving area took its name from the fact that it is located near Dahab's lighthouse. The dive site in that area is quite rich as there are reef round, with pinnacles and reefs providing a good variety of life, we found a large octopus, morays, red sea walkman, crocodile fish and the usual assortment of fishies. The depth here ranges from 35 to 50 meters.
The Lighthouse is a very famous site for teaching diving for all levels from beginners level to technical professional diving. The place is also suitable for some night dives as you can see some creatures that you can never view in the morning. The lighthouse is also a perfect place for windsurfing and sailboats.
There is also the Ras Abu Galoum Protected Area with its unique sea life and a different bird watching experience.
Many one day trips can be organized from Dahab to some interesting places in Sinai. A one day trip can be organized to visit the famous Saint Catharine monastery and climb mountain Sinai and watch the sunrise, the distinctive colored canyons area, the city of Sharm El Sheikh and Natural protected area of Ras Mohamed. You can also have a one day camel safari trip or a comfortable 4X4 safari. You can even have one day trip to any Egyptian city like Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan by plane or even by bus to visit the famous monuments in these places. One day trips to the famous Petra in Jordan can also be organized from Dahab.