Dahab, a small coastal town in Egypt’s South Sinai desert, is well known for its excellent shore diving. There are around 30 dive sites, most of which can be easily reached by car. The appeal of diving in Dahab lies in its huge variety of both marine life and dive sites. This makes it a diving destination that’s well suited for both advanced divers and beginners.
We first came to Dahab in 2005 to visit a friend from our hometown Haarlem, who was working there as a dive instructor. And fell in love… Unlike a lot of other tourist destinations in Egypt, Dahab is a very relaxed place. Yes, the boulevard is lively and of course you get invited for tea by all the merchants in the little shops, but it’s all very friendly. The tranquil atmosphere that once attracted hippie backpackers to this lovely stretch of land, caught between the Sinai Desert mountains and the ocean, is still there.
Marine biodiversity in Dahab
When you deflate your BCD and descent into the lovely clear water of the Gulf of Aqaba, you immediately feel the magic of Dahab’s underwater world. Diving in Dahab is like diving into an aquarium. The minute you stick your head underwater you see colorful fish swim by. You’ll find your usual reef fish, such as butterfly fish, clown fish, anthias, sergeant majors, parrot fish, puffer fish and wrasse. But also more ‘exotic’ species, like unicorn fish, different types of nudibranchs, crocodile fish, longnose hawkfish, seahorses, barracudas, moray eels, stingrays, frogfish, scorpion fish, stone fish, octopus, garden eels, various types of crab, shrimp and lobster, and the rare red sea walkman.
Diving in Dahab is suitable for all certification levels
Dahab is fun for divers of all certification levels. Due to easy access shore dives those who are just certified will have a great time exploring the shallow reefs and gently sloping walls. Often visibility is over 100 ft (30m) and you can spot lots of great marine life as well as beautiful hard and soft corals. During your surface interval you can enjoy the Bedouin hospitality, relaxing on many of the colorful cushions with some lovely sweet tea. More experienced divers will enjoy the relaxed diving circumstances, but can also find challenge in the deep dives at Canyon and Blue Hole, the labyrinth at Islands or the abundant marine life in more remote dive spots at Abu Galum or Gabr el Bint.
Diving safari in the South Sinai Desert
If you have a little more time to spend, a diving safari is a great experience. Either in pick-up trucks or on camels you travel through the desert and set up camp somewhere on the shore. Your Bedouin guides will know the best places. Usually there’s only a very basic shelter (or only a roof) and you sleep under the stars. The roof serves to provide some shade during the day. A safari like this allows you to discover new dive sites and to dive at night or early in the morning, something you’d normally not do at very remote dive sites. During the day your Bedouin guides will catch some fresh fish and they prepare a lovely meal over an open fire in the evening. It really is the perfect way to experience the best Dahab has to offer!
Other activities in Dahab
And diving isn’t all you can do in Dahab. The number of activities in endless, making this an ideal destination to visit together with non-diving family members or friends too. Of course, you can just go swimming and enjoy the sunshine, but if you’re looking for some action, why not try kite surfing, go mountain climbing, do some yoga or go on a camel or jeep safari. What are you waiting for?