This Bedouin village on the Gulf of Aqaba has grown from being a haven for backpackers, desert trekkers, grifters, divers hippies to a cleaned-up, laidback, less glitzy and less expensive alternative to Sharm El-Sheikh. There are now a number of high and midrange hotels in Dahab city, including the Coralia club Dahab, Ganet Sinai, Helton Dahab. Each has all the standard amenities and share a great cove and beach, but budget travelers can just as easily enjoy the communal atmosphere of the many camps and hostel-style hotels such as penguin and fighting kangaroo camps that line the seaside Assalah, the main tourist village.
Much of the attraction of Dahab is its relaxed atmosphere. Many vacationers spend hours sitting in Bedouin-style seaside restaurants, sipping juices and enjoying mezzeh. Most of the restaurants serve the same fare of western-style seafood and other dishes.
For those who want more excitement you can enjoy a safari tour in the desert by camel, horse, jeep or all-terrain vehicle, with the stunning Colored Canyon, various oases and St. Catherine’s Monastery all within a few hours drive or ride, Dahab is well situated as a starting point into the peninsula’s interior.
The lighthouse and the Eel Garden are just a short walk north of Assalah. Of all the dive sites in Dahab area, the blue Hole is particularly stunning: A 25 minute drive north of Assalah puts you at a long strip of Bedouin-style café/ restaurants lining the beach. A huge semicircular reef keeps the current at a minimum, so the fish can leisurely bob about in mute awe. A bridge stretches over the reef, allowing scuba divers, snorkelers and regular old swimmers to plunge right into the cove and its dazzling collection of exotic fish and corals.
The water sport in Dahab are not limited to the divers, kayaks, peddle boats, wind surfing and kite surfing are all popular pastimes. Heading north from the Blue Hole you can reach the Ras Abu Ghallum protectorate by camel or four-wheel drive. Ras Abu Ghallum has a wonderful beach and friendly Bedouin village. Dahab is 8-10 hour drive or bus ride from Cairo, but just two hours from Sharm.