First written by marsguy and 3 others, on Tue, 2009/08/04 - 9:38am, and has been viewed by 9327 unique users


Meaning gold in arabic Dahab is one of the major diving towns of the Red Sea, and Sinai. It's a resort town for tourists and travelers on a budget in comparison to Sharm which is loaded with Class A tourists paying for luxurious facilities.

How to get there:

Dahab has no airport which probably because it's too close to an over crowded Sharm airport. You reach it only by road.

by bus

East Delta bus company operates several daily buses from Cairo to Dahab. The bus always take the Cairo - Sharm road and stop at Sharm then continue to Dahab.

East Delta is now using their new fancy buses equipped with AC, DVD, and bathrooms on the Cairo - Dahab route.The trip lasts for 8 hours approx. If you will go with the bus, the best time is to take the bus which leaves Almaza at 12:30 AM. It will reach Dahab at 08:30 - 09:00 AM.

The ticket costs 80 pounds (as of 04/08/2009)

East Delta's Telephone are
+20(0)2-24839589 for Abbasia bus station
+20(0)2-25742814 for Torgoman bus station

by car

You can take one of two roads to Dahab:

Cairo - Sharm - Dahab road

Cairo - Taba - Nuweba - Dahab road

The first road is a bit longer but it has more services. It is less beautiful than the other road and it has more security checkpoints.

The second road is shorter but it has less services and it is more difficult and dangerous to drive on. It is more beautiful and has less security checkpoints.

So your Options are:

Option 1:


  1. Thawra str.- Heliopolis, OR Ring Road (or others) from other districts,.. ..to Suez Road.
  2. Just next to the check point about 100 km, ...U-turn, then turn Rt to the tunnel road.
  3. Cross the A.H. tunnel (130 km), then easier to go strait till the end,..then turn Rt.
  4. Uyoun Mousa Check point (165 km).
  5. Ras Sudr (200 km).
  6. Hammam Faraoun (250)
  7. Abou Zniemah (280), check point km 9, Abou Rudies (300)
  8. St Cathrine crossing check point (340)
  9. El Tor check point (400) - go to the LEFT road (no need to enter El Tor).
  10. Ras Moh Park gate (470)
  11. Sharm gate (490)

All distances are approximated.

Gas stations with 92:

  • Both on Suez Road (50 &100 km)
  • Wataneia just before the tunnel
  • Shell Ras Sudr (200)
  • Mobil (220)
  • Abou Rudies (300)
  • El Tor (400)
  • Several inside Sharm.

Cleanest Toilets:

  • El-Warda El-Baida (120)
  • Manta Ras Sudr (200)
  • Manta St Cathrine crossing (340)

After Sharm gate, steep turn to left (almost U-turn), then the ring-road till the end, then turn left to Dahab road. Total about 95 Km.

Option 2:

  1. Thawra str.- Heliopolis, OR Ring Road (or others) from other districts,.. ..to Suez Road.
  2. Just next to the check point about 100 km, ...U-turn, then turn Rt to the tunnel road.
  3. Cross the A.H. tunnel (130 km), then easier to go strait till the end,..then turn Rt.
  4. Continue on the road until you reach a CO-OP gas station on your left, take the U-turn and that's your road to Taba. This road is much shorter than option 1 and it also lacks a radar it's a relatively open road.
  5. Your next stop is Nikhil, a small run down town with a single functional Gas station CO-OP, serves 92/90/80/solar. Nikhil has an ok rest house in the middle of it at the town square, they have a clean toilet and a market.
  6. Continue through Nikhil on your way to Taba until you reach the fork in the road.
  7. From that point you can either continue forward to Taba then take the coast to Dahab or you can take a right and opt for the mountain road that will lead you to Nuweiba, the choice is yours.


From Taba to Dahab


  1. Mosata7at Fjord (Arabic: الفيورد) (J is pronounced Y - Fyord) aka Marsa Murah (Arabic: مرصى مُرا).
    This is actually a bay that invaginates into the mountains, it is divided into
    several partitions by the natural topography. You can view the bay from above as
    you approach Dahab. There used to be a cafeteria in that area however it is
    under renovation. You may want to stop and take photos of the beautiful bay. Cars are allowed to go down to the bay itself and you can enjoy the day there if you wish. This place is guarded by the local police force, they will ask you for
    your ID upon entrance. There might be a nominal fee upon entrance. You might want to bring your fins and mask because there's supposed to be a snorkeling site and further out a dive site. You will also need to bring your own food and water because there aren't any outlets there, only a few shaded areas to avoid Sinai's intense heat.
  2. Castle Zaman

    This is right before Basata from Taba's side. This is a small establishment on
    the mountain side of the road that offers slow cooked food (old tradition), a
    treasure hunt room, sauna and a natural swimming pool. You must have
    reservations in advance because there's a minimum charge of 100 le /person
    otherwise and you probably won't be able to get any food if you have not
    reserved in advance.
  3. The Coast
    On the coast all the way up to Nuweiba are numerous small camps, most of them
    offer camp style lodging and huts for accommodation. Very few offer more posh
    alternatives such as the villas at Basata or Bawaki but the prices for those
    aren't suitable for budget vacationers or backpackers. The coast is mainly a
    laid back setting where you can enjoy a peaceful and quiet atmosphere, some
    beaches offer snorkeling and others offer dive sites. It's best to reserve in
    advance especially if you are going to high profile camps such as Basata. They
    are usually occupied most of the time. Eng Sherif El-Ghamrawy the owner is a
    very respectful man with a vision, I've met him on several occasions before. Basata may have a no-Israeli policy but that is not clear since tourism in Aqaba Gulf has a very open policy and that destination is popular even to Israeli tourism along the entire coast.


From St. Catherine to Dahab

There is a road that takes you directly from St. Catherine to Dahab and Nuweiba. You do not need to go back to the main road to Sharm el Sheikh. The road has a few steep turns but it is well worth the time saved. The road from St. Catherines to Dahab is around 160 km compared to the 350+ km if you decide to reach Dahab through the Sharm el Sheikh route.



Important Advice

  • Make sure you have your personal ID and military documents with you in Sinai. For non-Egyptians you must keep your passport with you while traveling in Sinai since because the peninsula has two different types of visas they check for when you cross a treaty line that splits Sinai.
  • You might not want to opt to go by car, you most probably will not use the car in Dahab, so there is no need to drive your car more than 1000 KM while you can take the bus for 80 pounds. Dahab is so small you can go to anywhere in Dahab in less than 30 minutes on foot. you can also rent a bike for a whole day for 40 pounds. However should you choose to go by car do not wait till the last minute to fuel up on gas, do it as often and as frequent as you can because you might not find the type of gas your car requires when you need it.
  • Driving during day light is recommended because the roads in Sinai are quite dangerous especially for inexperienced drivers.
  • East Delta is now using their new fancy buses equipped with AC, DVD, and bathrooms on the Cairo - Dahab route. The ticket costs 80 pounds and the trip lasts for 8 hours approx..


Where to stay


Dahab offers several accommodation options depending on how much you wish to pay. Backpackers on a budget that are willing to share a toilet with other guests can find basic accomodation options for a mere 15 le per person per day. The most common accomodation however in Dahab for those looking for pleasure and comfort would be moderate accomodation would cost 100-120 LE per room per day, this usually includes a private bathroom, an AC, breakfast and sometimes a TV. Luxurious accomodation can also be found in Dahab as well, 5* hotels such as Le Meridien, the Hilton and others are available.

Budget Hotels: 15 le per person

Auski camp

Sindbad camp

Moderate Hotels: 100-120 per room





Expensive Hotels: 175-300 per room

Oricana Hotel

New Sphinx

Star of Dahab

Nessima Hotel

Christina Hotel

4 & 5 Star hotels: 400+ per room

5* Le Meridien

5* Hilton Dahab

4* Iberotel Dahabeya

4* Swinn Inn Dahab

Where to eat

Food is very diverse in Dahab, the variation goes from traditional ethnic food to european and all the way back to indian and thai. Price is just as diverse as the food, there's your basic kiosk that makes the usual sandwiches (liver, hot dogs, cheese burgers, etc..) for 2-4 le each and the posh fish restaurant that serve exotic fish dishes such as Barracuda fillets.

Touristic area Restaurants

King Chicken

This restaurant is located infront of Nesima hotel and is the best bang for buck in the touristic area of Dahab. They serve oriental food, a chicken meal that consists of half a chicken, soup, rice and vegetables costs around 22 le. This is a pretty good considering most of us Egyptians adore food especially when it comes to quantities.

Sea Bride

This is the biggest fish dedicated restaurant in the touristic area, this restaurant has 3 floors that are full of tourists because Egyptians eat fish elsewhere because this is an expensive joint. However in light of their prices they offer the most exotic fish in Dahab. They let you pick the fish you want or whatever it is you wish to eat and you pay according to weight. The perfect Grilled Barracuda steak is recommended. They serve soup, rice and salads prior to your main course. Price range is 60-120 le per person depending on what you eat and how much of it.

Ali Baba

Great restaurant on the promenade, they serve all kinds of food; chicken, meat, seafood, pastas, etc...


Yes theres actually a place there that serves koshary; 5 le. They also have rice pudding; 3 le. This is infront of New Sphinx hotel.

Sandwich Kiosk

This shack serves your normal cheap Egyptian sandwiches; Sogo2, kofta, burger, hot dog, cheese, jam, halawa, etc... This is like the Abu Ramy of Dahab. Sandwiches are 2-4 le each. The cheapest food I've had in Dahab.

Blue Hole restaurants

These are a group of restaurants or cafes that are setup at the Blue hole dive site, they offer kilim mats to rest on and OVERinflated prices for everything. They justify their acts by saying that they are so far away and that they have expenses but whatever they say just seems like BS to me so bring your own food and drinks with you. Anyway they offer everything on the menu, pastas, pizzas, meat, chicken, fries, beverages, etc...

The Kitchen

New restaurant serving Indian, Chinese and Thai food, they serve sushi on a single day of the week. Located next to Ghazala supermarket, this restaurant is expensive, appetizers range from 10-20 le and main dishes are 40-70 le each. If you're Dahab and get a craving for some Asian food this is the place to be.

Al Capone

Posh shore side restaurant similar to Ali Baba.

Dahab Market Restaurants

In land and further towards Masbat is Dahab's main local market. Food and beverage here are cheaper than the touristic area.

Sharkawy is a local restaurant and is the mirror image of King Chicken but is a couple of pounds cheaper, the owner is a very friendly guy that serves the food himself and accomodates all your needs.

There are 3 Fish restaurants near the round about at the market, they serve fish meals ranging from 25-40 per meal which includes rice, salads, soup and a couple of grilled fish(mullet). They also have other meals which substitute the main dish for others such as bolty(tilapia), calamari and other fish. Al Yousef is the best and most expensive out of the fish restaurants in the market, Marim is cheaper than Al Yousef and Gambarena is the cheapest one of the three.

Halawany is a placein the street behind Sharkawy that sell oriental sweets such as basbousa, konafa, bala7 el sham, 3oyoum el set, etc.. The kilo sells for 30-35 le.

There is a grill house at the market that make kabab and kofta, it's located at the end of the strip.

Water: Nobody drinks tap water in Dahab, you will drink bottled water all the time.

Drinkies: Is located next to Al yousef fish restaurant.

What to do


Rock Climbing

Visiting Ras Abu Galum

Colored Canyon excursion

Sharm el Sheikh/ Ras Mohammed

Chilling out


Diving in Dahab

Diving is the most famous activity in Dahab. Diving in Dahab is different than diving all around Egypt because all of the dive sights are off shore dives meaning you do not need a boat to take you to the dive site, you just walk into it. Being the small town that it is diving centers in Dahab are more strict when it comes to regulations and rules, they have a zero tolerance attitude against compromising safety. Diving in Dahab is some what considered more expensive than other places such as Hurghada however the dive sites are well worth the extra cash. I consider the dive sites to be virgin compared to those in Hurghada. Big Blue Dahab is my dive center of choice, they are located on the promenade next to Jasmine hotel and Star of Dahab hotel. I have been doing business with them for years and look forward to doing more business with them in the future. Mohamed Ali the manager will tend to your needs. 


Dive sites

Blue Hole

One of the most famous dive sites in the Red Sea, 12 km north of Dahab. The Blue Hole has a crescent shape and measures 150 meters in width and 110 meters in depth. It is connected to the sea through a tunnel 26 meters long at a depth of 52 meters and connected at a shallower saddle that is 7 meters deep. The best way to enjoy this dive site is by doing a drift dive starting at El Bells (situated 250 meters north) and finishing the dive at the Blue Hole saddle. El Bells is a half open chimney that reaches a depth of 30 meters and has an arch at 26 meters. The reef wall is magnificent, it is vertical and in part overhanging with a rich growth of Black corals, Elephant ear sponges, sea fans and Gorgonias. Out of the blue, one might see Yellowfin Tunas, Rays, Green sea turtles and the resident Napoleon Wrasses. By going shallower you will reach the saddle which allows the entrance to the inside of the Blue Hole. Here is a beautiful coral garden teeming of life. The end of the dive will enable you to skirt around the inner walls of the Blue Hole where you may observe Octopus, many Starfish and Scorpionfish.

The Canyon

This site takes its name from a long, narrow and very beautiful canyon created by ancient volcanic activity. Access to the site is through a shallow and sandy lagoon laying a few steps form the shore line. Anyone that has dived the Canyon before knows about the exit at the end of the canyon that we used to swim through, that exit has been deemed dangerous for divers because the air bubbles from diving the canyon itself has made it prone to collapse so no more swimming through the small exit.

The Islands

The Islands dive site is a remarkable site for observing a large variety of corals especially hughe brain corals. Made out of three underwater coral islands this creates a real labyrinth to dive through. Box fish and Crocodile fish are part of the common representatives of reef fauna that can be seen through the three pools and the sand road that lead to the small immerged hard coral island that gave the site its name. A resident school of juvenile yellowfin Barracudas and blue fin Trevallies are frequently spotted. This site is accessible by car so it is ideal for snorkeling if you don't have much time on the day you arrive or on the day you leave.

The Lighthouse

Just off shore at the lighthouse of Dahab bay is another one of Dahab's dive sites; the lighthouse. This site is popular because it is one of the first dive sites you'll explore if you're a novice diver or if you're still learning how to dive. The underwater life boasts a wonderful and beautiful variety of marine life ranging from huge cabbages to spanish dancers. The shallow slope of the Lighthouse makes it an excellent site for night diving.

The Caves

Umm Sid

Rick's Reef

Golden Blocks

Eel Garden

Gabr el Bint safari dive

Abu Galoum safari dive




Rock climbing

In the last couple of years the city of Dahab witnessed widespread of climbing activities, especially in Wady Genai as there are a lot of granite rocks where you can enjoy rock climbing in addition to Bouldering.

 Wady Genai EL Raiyan


Photo of the main Entrance to Wady Genai EL Raiyan


Climbing locations in Dahab: There are two main locations, their importance was gained after being bolted, the first one is the waterfalls:

Its located 1250 meters from the main entrance of Wady Genai EL Raiyan,  it contains from 5 to 6 routes with 2 pitches.

Every route got different grade starting from easy to very difficult.

Google earth Coordinates for this climbing spot is

28 26 51.05 N

34 26 49.34 E

It is named the Waterfalls because at the top of the climbing wall you can find ancient waterfalls, as it was a pass for the flood many years ago.

The second one is the Fake Connection: 


Its located in the beginning of the new road between Dahab and Sharm EL Sheik in front of the check point, it contains from 8 to 9 routes with 3 to 4 pitches.

Every route got different grade starting from easy to extreme difficult.

Google earth Coordinates for this climbing spot is

28 27 19.68 N

34 27 32.11 E

It is named the Fake Connection because the government started to build a road from Dahab to Sharm EL Sheik at this point then it stopped, and then it continued once again. 


Ras Abu Galum (Arabic: راس أبو قلّوم) 

This is a managed resource protected area that covers 400km2 on the east coast of Sinai right between Dahab and Nuweiba. Abu Galum is a quiet laid back group of Bedouin settlements with huts as the only type of accomodation however they have clean shared toilets. There are 2 main ways to get to Abu Galum, by car off roading between Dahab or Nuweiba or via a hiking trail from the Blue Hole dive site. Abu Galum is usually visited from the Blue hole dive site, the trail begins behind the shore restaurants. You can rent a camel to take you there but walking is both faster and much more delightful since you'll get to enjoy the scenery more and take photos whenever and where ever you please. The trail mainly consists of sand and stone and is considered easy, it usually takes 60-90 minutes to get there depending on your pace. The huts at Abu Galloum are managed by the local Bedouins, each few huts are managed by a family. The first set of huts are managed by Sheikh Salman, further along the shore is Sheikh Awwad, most people recommend staying at his place. After settling down you will be offered to sip the traditional Bedouin tea, at a price of course. Abu Galum is mainly a chill out laid back place to enjoy sunsets and relax. There is no electricity there with exception of the main bedouin huts, they have electricity. There is GSM signal at Abu Galoum itself but not on the way from the Blue hole to Abu Galoum so if you need to arrange for transportation to Dahab from the Blue hole you need to do so in advance before embarking on your way to or from Abu Galoum. Make sure to bring enough bottled water with you because the water is scarce. Abu Galum is also famous for it's snorkeling and 2 main dive sites, it's said that Dugongs once inhabited this place and every now and then dolphins pass by. One of the most interesting things about this place is the "Bedouin food" the Bedouins are the only ones allowed to fish and if you're lucky they might serve some of the locally caught fish which is fresh and most of the time will turn out to be delicious. Bedouin food in general seems a little bland for my taste, too little spices.

If you decide to visit Abu Galum as a day trip then it is advisable to leave before dusk to be safe and avoid any unwanted injury on the path back to the Blue Hole however if you're timing is correct and there is a full moon you might want to choose to leave at night. if it's a full moon then your visibility should be amazing, a moon hike is a totally different experience, definitely an experience to remember. Regarding safety, it is debatable that hiking at night alone is not the best solution but definitely worth the risk. Watch out for unattended camels making their way from the Blue hole to Abu Galum, you should be able to see them coming far away.If you have a lot of bags, snorkeling gear or if you just don't feel like carrying around a backpak you can hire a camel from the Blue hole to Abu Galoum, expect to pay 35-40 le for a one way trip and 60-70 le for both ways per camel. To hire a camel you must reach the end of the cafes at the Blue hole and head towards the Mosque, the camels are usually parked in that area.

Hemeid is another host at the northern end of Abu Galoum, he runs a few huts next to the dive site which makes his location very special. Like most Abu Galoum residents he is down to earth and leads a very simple and humble life. He is a fisherman and just happens to be a great cook. After a long hard day at the Blue hole and hiking to Abu Galoum Hemeid whipped up the best Bedouin dinner I have ever had. He served fresh fish (Coral grouper - Nagel in arabic - known as Lux to the Abu Galoum residents), cooked vegetables in tomato sauce, rice with vermicile, tehina, salad and the fresh local flat bread. It was a feast suited for kings. This kind of meal is more expensive than your standard meal at Abu Galoum, be ready to pay more for the extra special treatment. There is a small kiosk at Abu Galoum that sells basic needs such as cheese, jam, soft drinks and local beer. The prices are expensive so be prepared to pay, a pepsi can costs 7.5 le, a 2 liter pepsi bottle costs 20 le and local beer is around 15 le each. Prices may vary, these are the current prices April 2010.

Snorkeling and diving are two very popular activities at Abu Galoum. The main dive site is called Dahayla and it is located at the nothern end of Abu Galoum, the entrance to the dive site is right infront of the sign that explains the dive details. The dive route is mainly shallow reaching a max of 15m depth, the dive site is very rich in corals. The reef is very rich in the colorful hard stony corals such as Acropora, Brain corals and Montipora, there are also a wide variety of sponges and a few soft species such as Zoanthids, Leathers and Ricordea. There are a lot of schooling fish in the area as well such as Mullets, Surgeonfish and even Barracudas as well as the native reef fish. A rare species endemic to the area is the Large Black Lionfish with fiery red fins, the sheer size and color of these lionfish is amazing. The red toothed Blue trigger fish is also another rare specimen available in this area but these fish are usually in the 10-15m depth range. Dugongs once inhabited this area but unfortunately they haven't been spotted recently however dolphins still visit the area every once in a while.

Another activity at Abu Galoum is watching the nocturnal marine life from above the water surface on the shore. The main dive site area towards the northern end has a lot of marine life, by shining your torch or head lamp into the shallow waters above the reef table you will be able to witness the nocturnal behaviour of many marine creatures. Crustaceans such as hermit crabs and octopuses are active at night and they come pretty close to the beach, some fish are also active during the night. This activity is ideal for those that are not courageous enough to dive at night and for non divers. You could take this night watching a little further by putting on your mask and fins and accessing the water from the main dive site entrance, you will not regret it. Night watching is only possible when the sea is calm, the slightest ripples will hamper your efforts unless you are snorkeling.

The perfect ending to a long day at Abu Galoum is nothing more than gathering around a bonfire on the shore and chatting the night away with your friends in complete relaxation. If you want to exploit nature to the max then falling asleep while gazing at the stars around the bonfire on the beach is the ultimate experience.


Colored Canyon Excursion

Tourist offices arrange this kind of excursions according to the number of
customers available. Small hotels usually gather their customers together and in
coordination with the tourist offices are able to put together this kind of
excursion. The ongoing rate is 180 le/person, this includes pickup, the
excursion itself in a Toyota Land cruiser, Bedouin guide, lunch (rice,
vegetables, salad, bread, tea and fruits). Egyptians and foreigners are charged

The journey starts from Dahab to Nuweiba and then off road to get to our
first destination, the Colored canyon. The Colored canyon is literally a canyon
that is colored. The canyon itself is colored in sand, red and dark shades. The
patterns vary from concentric circles to wavy patterns. The trail within the
canyon will allow you to appreciate the appealing beauty of Sinai's nature. Back
to the Land cruiser and back to the off roading again, this time destination:
White Canyon. On the way to the White canyon you will stop at the Mushroom rock
which as the name suggest is a medium sized rock that has the shape of a
mushroom. This rock actually has projections at the top of it that make it very
unique, a few pics here and you're off roading again.

Next stop is Ain Hudhra (Arabic: عين حضرة) which has a small Bedouin family, palm trees and a toilet and which is thought by some to be Hazeroth of the Bible. This is where lunch is served then there will be a brief rest then you'll start your final hike of the white canyon which imo was the least interesting one but the most tiring one. This hike has A LOT of sand which makes it the most tiring hike, other than the scenery there is nothing special about this hike it's just a wide canyon that's white.

Sharm el Sheikh/Ras Mohammed

95 km away from Dahab is Sharm el Sheikh. This huge expensive tourist city has everything, this place is just full of noise, lights, restaurants, casinos, resorts, etc... you name it they've got it. If you've got a car you can visit Sharm since it's an hour away, they have access to all the international brands, restaurants, cafes and they even have a Metro supermarket. Worth a visit if you're into a night of glam at Pacha, Hard Rock cafe or Little Buddh.

Ras Mohammed is a protected park with amazing dive sites, if you want to see huge Unicorn fish, great Barracudas or even sharks this is one place that migh be worth visiting. Diving trips can be organized through a local diving center in Dahab.

Chilling Out

Being the laid back place it is, chilling out and relaxing on Dahab's beautiful promenade is enough of a reason to go there. The cafes and restaurants on the promenade enable you to sit back or lie down and enjoy the sound of the water swishing at the tips of your feet. Located directly on the shore, you will be able to enjoy the sounds of nature and it's beauty whether your sipping on lemonade or smoking a shisha, they have it all.