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Dahab: A Piece of Heaven on Earth

Dahab is one of the best destinations in Egypt, specifically in the South Sinai Governorate, in the Gulf of Aqaba not far from the city of Sharm El-Sheikh, about 100 km away. The city is divided into two villages, one in the north which includes commercial markets, bazaars, shopping centers, and another in the south which is called Al-Islah which is characterized by simple Bedouin life.

Dahab which means Gold, because at sunset the color of the water becomes golden, due to the intensity of its purity and clarity. Some say that it was named after it’s yellow sand, which resembles the color of gold. The city is known as a perfect destination in the winter, during which the weather is warm and the sun is bright which is great for swimming and doing many activities.

The city has several beautiful landmarks, natural reserves, and beaches. It was at first a small village that fishermen visited, where the Bedouins lived. They still live in the city even after its development. 

There are many activities that you can do in Dahab and places to visit so you can spend more time with your friends and family. Pack your bag and head for a journey to this beautiful place and have a great vacation.

Things to do in Dahab:

  1. Abu Gallum Reserve:

Abu Ghallum Reserve contains wild and marine life that you might not find anywhere else. This beautiful reserve is located in South Sinai, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba on the road between Sharm El Sheikh and Taba in an area called Wadi Al-Rasasah and it was announced as a natural reserve in 1992. The area of the natural reserve is about 500 km2 and it is divided into two parts, 350 km² of which are land and 150 km² are water. In the reserve, the mountains are close to the beaches and Abu Gallum Reserve is well known for its underwater cave system that extends to depths of more than 100 meters.

The reserve also has a diverse ecosystem of coral reefs, marine creatures, seaweeds, lagoons, and desert and mountain ecosystems. If you visit the reserve you will enjoy the nature surrounding you with a lot of animals, birds, and about 165 species of plants. 

Image Credit: Ahmed Elnagdy
  1. Nabq Reserve:

Nabq Reserve is located between Sharm El-Sheikh City, Dahab, and Wadi Umm Adawi in South Sinai. It is 35 km north of Sharm El-Sheikh City. The reserve has a mixed environment in it, with mountains and sand dunes at Wadi Kidd. In this spot you will be able to see many animals and birds, including gazelles, foxes, and hyrax, and also many types of rodents and reptiles. Beside that there are many birds, like eagles, waders and herons. There are also 134 species of plants, such as the mangrove plant.

There are an array of activities that you can do in Nabq Reserve. For example, Diving to see the beautiful fish and rare coral reefs. Also, you can enjoy relaxing on the beach and taking in the magnificent nature around you. Don’t forget to take some lovely pictures on the beach, surrounded by landscapes you won’t forget on your journey in Dahab.

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  1. The Blue Hole:

The Blue Hole is a famous diving hole located on the Red Sea coast, near the city of Dahab and its depth is about 130 meters and the entrance is 6 meters wide. The Blue Hole is considered one of the best diving locations in the Red Sea and in the world where you can discover the submerged world and marvel at the rare and beautiful coral reefs.

However, diving in the Blue Hole comes with a warning as it is known as the Divers’ Cemetery. Many divers have actually underestimated the difficulty of diving in the area and some have lost their lives as a result. Many of these divers are commemorated with plaques on location there. 

Due to the huge presence of divers from all over the world, part of the marine ecosystem was destroyed. A group of local divers created an underwater museum that includes huge statues made of recycled materials, which helped create artificial reefs to attract tourists looking for underwater adventures.

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  1. Laguna Island:

Laguna Island is located in the center of Dahab and is characterized by the merging of the different colors of nature with each other from the golden yellow sand, blue water of Laguna Beach, and the clear sky of Dahab. 

The water there has an abundance of colorful fish and coral reefs and there are many diving training centers, which train tourists on how to dive safely while enjoying their time. You can also have a delicious meal at one of its nice restaurants and cafes. 

Image Credit: Blue Lagoon/Facebook
  1. The Canyon Area:

The Canyon resembles a natural painting that many tourists have visited over the years. The canyon was formed by winds, rains, and winter torrents. Natural erosion factors carved into the solid mountain rock and formed channels in the middle of the mountains. The canyon is about 40 meters, which gives everyone a new and distinctive experience of climbing mountains and passing through its channels and paths, and the names of the canyons vary according to their different colors.

The white canyon consists of sandy rocks that are shiny like glass, characterized by a sharp and deep vertical shape. The red canyon or Salama Canyon consists of rocks that are colored red with twilight and the rocks are very smooth and another canyon is the chlorine canyon or the colored valley, which is considered the most beautiful geological site among them all, where the colors of its sand rocks are dyed with delightful colors, such as scarlet, orange, silver, and gold in addition to purple and red and as a result of these gradient colors that cover its walls, the colored valley acquired its distinctive name.

Image Credit: Bob K./
  1. Eel Garden:

Eel Garden is considered one of the best diving places in Dahab, where many divers come from all over the world just to dive there. When you dive there, you will see huge swarms of sardines, lionfish, and scorpionfish, as well as sand eels which give this diving spot its name. The eels peek out of their holes up to one and a half meters in order to get their food. It is forbidden to get closer to them, as they are very shy animals. There are also the boxfishes that swim up to you at high speed, if sand is being whirled up looking for little crayfishes to eat.

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  1. Qeni Valley:

Qeni Valley is a nice place for a safari trip, where you will find a mix of desert and coastal environment. There are an abundance of activities like swimming, diving, cycling, and mountain climbing and also some camps offer Bedouin food and drinks that are popular in the area. 

  1. Al-Masbat:

Tourism in Dahab is not limited to beaches and diving, but many areas attract tourists like the commercial area called the Masbat area located in a street called Al Fanar. This place features many shops and bazaars where you can buy beautiful gifts, including Pharaonic statues, antiques, Bedouin clothing, and papyrus. Also, if you want to have a tasty meal, many restaurants and cafeterias offer the most delicious Egyptian food.

Image Caption: trip
  1. Camel Safari:

One of the best activities to do in Dahab is to go on a camel safari. This lovely trip can take about two hours to see the sunset at the Blue Lagoon, or to the Wadi el Bida Oasis. You can also head deeper into the Sinai Desert to the oases of Wadi Qunai or Wadi Tiwelt. There are many attractions that you can visit along the way, such as the Ain Khudra, where you can find the Rock of Inscriptions, where ancient Nabatean, Greek, and Roman pilgrims left their mark during their travels from Jordan to Mount Sinai.

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  1. Safari in Dahab:

Going on a safari in Dahab is a great adventure that you will surely enjoy, surrounded by nature in all its glory. There, you will find a beautiful mix of gold-colored sand, majestic mountains, the crystal waters of the Red Sea, and rare animals and plants.

Most of the safaris start in the early morning, where you ride a beach buggy or an SUV and move into the desert to explore the beauty of nature around you. Then, you can rest and have some Bedouin tea and food while learning about Arab traditions.

  1. Lighthouse Reef:

The Lighthouse Reef is a well-known diving site in Dahab. It is also a perfect place to learn diving and it has one of the easiest entries and exits as it is always sheltered from the wind. When you dive in the Lighthouse Reef you can observe the seahorses and Pegasus sea moths and you will also see beautiful and colorful reefs. You’ll find a reef wall that you can follow and cruise over. You will see some scorpion and crocodile fish and at night you will see anemone crabs, nudibranchs, octopus, and moray eels.

Image Credit: Patrick Pohlmann/
  1. Sunset from the Dahab Harbor:

While you are relaxing at your hotel beach, you can enjoy seeing the amazing sunset while along the colorful sky and reflected in the water, and don’t forget to take some lovely pictures with your friends and family.

Image Credit: Iris/
  1. Pharaoh’s Island:

While it is located in Taba, you can go there on a day trip from Dahab. It has a great history that goes back to the middle ages. It was used in the Byzantine, Ayyubid, and Mamluk eras. The island is surrounded by coral reefs on all sides. Standing on its shores, you can enjoy a wonderful view and explore the lighthouse at the southern fortress site on the island which served as a guide for merchant ships passing in the Gulf of Aqaba to serve Byzantine trade.

There is also the fortress where Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi resided for a time which is named after him as well. There was a development project for the island that was conducted and was concluded in 2012. It is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Image Credit:
  1. Asla Area:

It is the place where most of the people of Dahab live. About 75% of the city’s population resides there. Dahab is divided into three parts: the city of Mubarak, al-Zarnuq, and al-Islah, and there is also the Coral Island located on the border and it contains the remains of a historic castle.

  1. Ralph’s German Bakery:

If you are a lover of baked goods then Ralph’s German Bakery is the best choice for you. There are two stores, one in Assalah Square and one near Lighthouse Reef. The bakery serves German coffee and mouthwatering pastries made according to the master baker’s traditional Bavarian recipes, and you can have breakfast or lunch and pick up freshly baked bread for a beach picnic.

Image Credit: trip
  1. Al-Malil Area:

Al-Malil is on the coastal road, and it includes some small hotels, cafeterias, and homes, and along with the Masbat and Al-Mashraba areas, they are the best commercial areas in Dahab.  This area also starts from Al-Fanar Street and then Masbat Bay that includes shops, diving clubs, camps, and hotels.

Dahab is a wonderful city with beautiful nature, beaches, historical sites and commercial districts, so it is perfect for every one of your needs. Tourists come from all over the world to spend their vacation in this city where you will find many things to do, from snorkeling, diving, swimming, safaris or relaxing by the beach at one of the many hotels, camps, and hangouts around the city. You will love spending time there, It’s a guarantee that you won’t forget the city anytime soon. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start your journey to Dahab and have a great vacation in this magnificent city.  


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Dahab: A Piece of Heaven on Earth


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