Impressions of Dahab in the SinaiBy
Dahab means ‘Gold’ in Arabic and this laid back resort about one hour north of Sharm el Sheikh and less than an hour from the airport is a treasure in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. Sharm is geared far more for tourists whereas Dahab was always a more relaxed environment traditionally where backbackers would head for in search of a quieter destination. Although the popularity of the resort is growing, it is still a great place to visit for those in search of more low key destination.
Most first time visitors to Egypt will head for the major resorts of Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada but Dahab has a charm of its own that people returning to Egypt discovered. All along the main bay are a number of small cafes and restaurants, some with their own little piece of beach. People come here to sit back with a drink and gaze over the clear, blue waters of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Dahab is also a popular place for scuba divers who travel here to dive the famous ‘Blue Hole’. The dive centres at Sharm el Sheikh and Nuweiba often bring divers here for a day trip which gives an indication of the attraction of the dive site. Of all the wonderful dive sites in Egypt, the Blue Hole in Dahab is considered one site that every diver should experience. It isn’t the only dive site in the Dahab area and the water is teeming with colourful fish and beautiful coral formations.
For those in need of a bit of retail therapy, there are plenty of the traditional souvenirs available along with places to buy jewellery, perfumes and other fragrances. It is always possible to haggle with the market stall owners to try to get yourself a bargain and haggling is also part of the shopping experience in any of the regular shops regardless of what they are selling.
Dahab is also a great base to head out and explore the Sinai. Snorkelling trips are popular as are quad bikes out in the desert. Day trips to St Catherine’s Monastery high in the mountains are worthwhile, even if you opt for the very early departure to see the sun rise from Mount Sinai. For those looking for a relaxing destination with a bit of character, Dahab is certainly worth considering.