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Dahab
© Walter Egloff / age fotostock
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Dahab

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

Located some sixty miles north of Sharm el-Sheikh, on the eastern coast of the Sinai, Dahab is oppostite Saudi Arabia, that you can see from the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba. This is a small seaside town known for its "hippie" atmosphere where young and old gather from all over the world to spend a few weeks, which used to quickly turn into several months here. Dahab is divided into two: a new part, Dahab City, where the major international hotels are located and the old part, Assalah, further north. Formerly a Bedouin village, it now has more restaurants and hotels for back-packers and travellers than local inhabitants.
The seaside resort mainly lives to the rhythm of school holidays in Italy and Germany and, increasingly, Scandinavia.
To get to Dahab from the UK, the easiest way is to land at Sharm el Sheikh (5hr flight) and from there it takes another hour to reach the seaside location.
Avoid going for a seaside stay in winter : it is windy and a quite cold.

To see

Visit the monastery of Saint-Catherine. The convent was established in a doubly holy place, at the foot of two twin mountains : on one (Mount Moses), Moses received the Ten Commandments, and on the other angels buried the martyred body of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

To do

Ride a camel in the desert, discover the Coloured Canyon with its walls made of layers of various colours by 4x4, visit the monastery of Saint Catherine, climb Mount Sinai and, of course, go scuba diving for a day. The region, very windy in winter, attracts lovers of windsurfing and kite surfing. But be careful while kiting when there is a lot of wind ... Avoid doing it in these conditions if you are only a beginner ...

pros

  • +   The natural environment.
  • +   The quality of the seabeds
  • +  The diversity of the hotel services
  • +   The wind, especially in winter, popular with windsurfers

cons

  • -   Beaches are windy, especially in winter

To think about

Remember to buy an underwater camera. The fauna and flora are magnificent in this region. Be careful with the sun and the heat.

To avoid

Because of security concerns and with regard to various attacks, we do not advise against tourist sites but it is recommended to avoid gatherings and movements of crowds, keep yourself informed of the national and regional situation and regularly consult the Foreign Office website : http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/egypt?ta=safetySecurity&pg=2. The competent authorities have detected several cases of birds infected with the H5N1 virus in some districts throughout the area. No human cases have been identified for the moment. The General Directorate for Public Health recommends that travelers avoid contact with poultry and birds, and not to visit poultry farms or markets. Follow the general recommendations for hygiene when travelling in developping countries, which aim to protect you from microbial infections: avoid eating raw or poorly cooked food, especially meat and eggs ; regularly wash your hands with soap and water or a water-alcohol solution.

To try

You should taste the mezes (tasty sauces for dipping bread), "foul" (mashed beans seasoned with lemon juice, herbs and olive oil), hoummous (cold mashed chickpeas with oil sesame paste, stuffed vine leaves, grilled meat, stuffed vegetables, stuffed lamb, fritter leaves, watermelon, dates, baklawas, dried apricots ... As for drinks, you can enjoy the karkadé, Egyptian wine or tea with mint ...

To bring back

You can buy djellabas, tunics, embroidered cotton shirts (cotton is very cheap), oriental dancing costumes with paillettes, papyrus, Turkish slippers, Bedouin jewelry, boxes encrusted with pearls, sandals, glass and ceramic ware, copperware, perfume bottles, Egyptian music CDs and spices, ashtrays made of alabaster ...
Egypt : Discover the cities
  • Cairo Cairo, Egypt,
  • Alexandria Alexandria
  • Hurghada Hurghada
  • Luxor Luxor
  • Aswan Aswan
  • Sharm El Sheikh Sharm El Sheikh