Taba Travel Guide
Taba is a paradise full of deluxe holiday resorts that overlook the legendary beauty of the Red Sea. It is located along Egypt's famed "Riviera," the Gulf of Aqaba.
There is little to do outside the resort hotels, just a few shops, restaurants, and a championship golf course with a free shuttle bus that runs between the hotel. However, slowly and surely, more shops and restaurants are opening up each year.
Taba is the perfect place to relax. Taba is the ideal place if you enjoy lazing by the pool or on the beach with your family and friends and a quiet drink in the evening. If you have visited Egypt before but were put off by the constant hassle of vendors and beggars, Taba will seem like a breath of fresh air.
The small town of Taba is located at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba between the mountains and plateau of eastern Taba on one side and the Gulf of Aqaba on the other. Taba is located 240 kilometers North of the famous resort of Sharm El Sheikh, and the town has a strategic position near the borders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel, whose wall is located on the edge of the City of Taba.
History of Taba
The city of Taba had a rich modern history beginning in 1892 when Khedive Tawfiq died, and the Ottoman rulers in Istanbul assigned Abbas Helmy ll to rule Egypt. Sultan Abdel Al Hamid ll wanted to lessen the British presence in Egypt, so he ordered a Farman to prevent Egypt from having shores on the Gulf of Al Aqaba. This issue was called the “Farman” and was solved when Topkapı Palace gave orders to give Egypt exact eastern borders with Rafah at the North and Taba at the South.
The Ottoman rulers wanted to put several soldiers and two canons where modern Taba is now. However, the Ottomans had to go back on this decision. Afterward, the British authorities decided to draw the exact borders of Egypt, and of course, it included Taba and its shores. In 1922, after England declared Egypt an independent state in the declaration of February 28, the borders of Egypt that had Taba took on their international legality.
After the Tripartite Aggression, England, France, and Israel left Egypt in 1956, and a peace treaty was signed between Egypt and Israel under the supervision of the United Nations. This treaty noted that the Israeli borders end at the city of Taba. When the war of 1967 occurred, and the Israelis took control of Sinai, they also took control of Taba. When the Egyptians took back control over Sinai, they could only take back certain parts of the Sinai that didn’t include Taba.
In 1979, former Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat signed the Camp David treaty that required Israel to get out of Sinai, including Taba. In 1982, Egypt took control of all of Sinai, except Taba, which was the last city Egypt took from Israel in 1989 after many political negotiations that the Egyptian president, Hosny Mubarak, had with Israeli authorities and the United Nations. Taba has become a growing tourist attraction because of its nature, which contains two small inner gulfs, many lakes, and an island. The Egyptian government and foreign and local business people have built a lot of resorts in the area to take advantage of how popular it has become to visit.
Egyptian government investment in Taba exceeded 900 million Egyptian pounds in infrastructure projects, including establishing roads and building houses. It also included a full sanitation line and a telephone landline. Foreign investment in Taba exceeded 3 billion pounds, with many resorts, diving centers, and hotels. The Egyptian government also built the Naqb Airport near Taba, which allows tourists to come to Taba and the nearby cities easily and quickly. One of the main features of Taba is the Hilton Resort, with all its facilities and amenities. The Israelis built it during their occupation and then sold it to the Egyptians after they took control of the city in 1989.
In 1988, Taba and the area around it were included in the protected area of Sinai to safeguard their unique and beautiful nature. This area also consists of the colored valley from an ancient river that passed through it. One of the valleys around the colored valley has historical inscriptions that go back to the Nabatean and Roman times.
This small museum contains three halls that display around 700 antiquities that tell the story of the people of South Sinai from the Pharaonic era until today.
The museum opens from 9 in the morning until four at noon.
The Castle of Saladin
This fantastic castle is located 10 kilometers away from the city of Al Aqaba and only 250 meters away from the Egyptian borders. It has significant strategic and historical importance as it is located near the edges of four countries: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel / Palestine. Furthermore, the castle was built by Saladin Al Ayoby in 1171 AD to protect Egypt against the attacks of crusaders coming from Europe.
The citadel contained many defense means, like a giant wall surrounding it and some monitoring towers. There was also an oven to manufacture weapons, a bread baking oven, a conference hall for the rulers to plan how to defend Egypt against attacks, housing for soldiers, storage rooms, a water reservoir, and a mosque that Amir Hossam El Dine Bagel built. The citadel was built with granite rocks taken from Pharos Island, where the fort is located.
Saladin was wise in choosing the location of his citadel on the top of two high hills with a narrow valley between them, as this made it very difficult to attack, especially with two defense lines: the outer wall surrounding the castle and the inner walls of the citadel itself.