Originally, a small fishing village, Dahab shot to fame in the 1960s as a hippie haven. Today, most of the international hotel chains are rep-resented in Dahab but it still retains the chilled out atmosphere. A plethora of reasonably priced accommodation and eateries means that it is an ideal destination to spend a long and relaxed holiday.The name ‘Dahab’ comes from the Arabic for ‘gold’, which in turn refers to the golden coloured sands at the Dahab beaches.
There is no airport at Dahab, however, tourists can fly to Sharm El Sheikh and take a bus. The buses operate from 7.30 am to 11 pm and the journey takes about one hour. Alternatively, you can hire a car or taxi cab from Cairo or Sharm, and enjoy the scenery on the way.
From budget hotels to mid-range to five-star chains, Dahab has it all. Majority of the hotels come with a scenic sea-view. The more luxurious accommodation is to be found in the new part of the town, referred to as Dahab City. Apart from the famous names in hospitality, there are also mid-price ranged hotels where there are wind and kite surfing opportunities.If you are not looking to splurge, choose from a number of bed and breakfast options that are available.
Definitely a destination for all sorts of water activities and water sports, Dahab is a favourite with windsurfers, snorkelers and divers from all over the world. The coastline along Dahab provides some of the best diving and snorkelling experiences. Whether an experienced diver or just starting out, the gentle conditions and excellent visibility means that everyone can enjoy the experience. The diving is mainly from the shore, with a number of local guide outfits available to enhance the experience.The most famous sites are the coloured Canyon and the blue Hole (about 20 minutes drive north of Dahab). The tops of the reefs are teeming with life, making them fine snorkelling destinations when the sea is calm. It’s easy to find half-day tours to both sites, and your hotel should be able to provide you with transportation. One can also opt to take snorkelling and dive safaris to the nearby Ras Abu Gallum and Nabq,as well as over-nights to Ras Mohammed National Park.Diving at the Bells Diving Spot in the Blue Hole is an adrenaline pumping drive and one that requires at least an Advance Open Water Certificate. Mashraba has fewer people during the low season, but is never really busy. Also worthwhile are the reefs off the southern end of Mashraba. The water is very shallow at the reefs near the blue lagoon-so, if you are the kind who needs to frequently empty out the water from the face-mask, then you can touch bottom easily here. The local favourites are Abu Helal and the Huts – beautiful and dived much less often than the other sites.
Above The Water The stiff breeze on the water makes Dahab a popular windsurfing location as well. If you are into water sports, pedals kayaks and jet skis can be rented at the northern end of Masbat and at the holiday villages on the lagoon.
Out Of The Water
Camel safaris are a popular trip, usually to a nearby oasis, and sometimes involving a night stop. It can be a very adventurous experience with tanks, equipment, as well as, people being piled onto the camels, travelling to sites north and south of Dahab. Mount Sinai is well worth a visit, especially at either sunrise or sunset, when the colours bring the sandy mountains to life. A couple of days’ trip will allow you the opportunity to sleep under the stars and wake up at the crack of dawn for an early morning dive. A camel safari into the spectacular mountains lining the coast, especially the Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate is a beautiful experience.
If you are looking for a less strenuous form of travel than on the back of a camel, then there is the option of a jeep safari. The most popular is a trip to the Coloured Canyon,between St. Catherine and Nuweiba.
Rock climbing is another sport that one can try at Dahab. There are sports climbing in Wadi Gnai near Dahab, Trad, climbing in St. Catherine and world-class bouldering opportunities too.
Yoga & Yoga Safaris
Holidaying in Dahab means that you do not have to give up your exercise routine; in fact the fresh energy here makes it a good place to learn yoga. you can either take any of the rooftop classes or even combine it with a snorkeling or deep desert safari.
Being a beach resort, there are no sights per say, however, you can take tours from Sharm El Sheikh to Luxor to see the valley of the kings, Luxor Temple and other famous sights (14 hour trip) or fly to Cairo and check out the sights there (14 hour trip). Being a Beach idler There are plenty of cafes and shelter at the Blue Hole although there is no actual beach. It’s really nice though to sit out in one of the many resting areas and relax with a cool drink after a snorkel. The laid-back vibe at Dahab means that you can never feel guilty about spending your time soaking the sun or reading a book on the beach.
There are plenty of shops around in Dahab, especially along the edge of the sea. like most tourist-oriented towns, Dahab’s shops sell all sorts of souvenirs, clothes, sheesha pipes, jewellery bags, crafts…etc. Alabaster, jewellery boxes and beach wear make for good buys in Dahab If you are in for the long haul at Dahab, then the Ghazala Market is the place where you can buy just about anything you might need-from herbs and spices to tableware and tool kits.
Being a seaside resort, the quality and variety of the seafood is vast and most of the restaurants display the fish that they have on offer; your choice will then be cooked to perfection.but the eating in Dahab is not limited to seafood only, there are many eateries offering cuisines from all over the world, including an Indian restaurant, serving a range of spicy curries and flaky naan bread.For an unusual dining experience, opt for a 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.