Hike Dahab

Where the desert and sea collide

Some tips for Dahab

So you're waking up in Dahab and you want to go exploring. First, feel safe. There's little that is dangerous other than the suicidal taxi drivers and the occasional crazed goat stampede. Sure, there's quite a bit of hassle as you walk past the plethora of beach restaurants in the bay but a polite and firm, "La, shukran" (no, thank you) is fairly effective or "Malesh badin" (maybe later) will put them off until you pass again.

Diving: There are so many dive shops in Dahab it gets a bit overwhelming. I've spent five years working here as a dive instructor and am happy to point you in the right direction. Just drop me a line outlining what you're looking for (try-dive, course completion, fun diving etc.) and I'll try to help out.

Dahab's Yoga Schedule

 Location Day & Time Type of Yoga Teacher Cost
 Blue Beach Hotel Sundays @ 6:00 pm Ashtanga Jana 60le
 Coral Coast Hotel Mondays @ 10:00 am Ashtanga Jana 60le
 Blue Beach Hotel Mondays @ 7:00 pm Int. Ashtanga Birgit 60le
 Blue Beach Hotel
 Tuesdays @ 7:00 pm
 Beg./Int. Hatha Ksenia  70le
 Blue Beach Hotel Wednesdays @ 6:00 pm Ashtanga Jana 60le
 Coral Coast Hotel Thursdays @ 10:00 am Ashtanga Jana 60le
 Blue Beach Club
 Thursdays @ 7:00 pm
 Ashtanga Birgit 60le
 Coral Coast Hotel
 Thursdays @7:00 pm
 Kundalini Sara 100le
 Blue Beach Hotel Fridays @ 7:00 pm Adv. Ashtanga Jana 60le
 Coral Coast Hotel
 Saturdays @ 7:00 pm
 Beg./Int. Hatha Ksenia 70le
 Coral Coast Hotel
 Sundays @ 10:00 am
 Kundalini Sara 100le
 Blue Beach Hotel
 Sundays @ 7:00 pm
 Ashtanga Jana 60le

Massage: Going for a massage on holiday is a treat but in Dahab try to pick your massage professional carefully so you don't get the infamous "booby massage." In Dahab a massage usually runs between 200-250le. There are many western trained professionals around town just ask at Coral Coast or Blue Beach Hotel receptions. Just ask where they're trained!

Community Market: Every Friday at Sheik Salem (the end of the beach boardwalk going north) there is a community market selling crafts, baked goods and other items. It's a great way to get a feel for the Dahab community.

Plastic Bags: Unfortunately, the garbage system in the Sinai is extremely poor and  recycling is nonexistent. Please plan ahead and bring a backpack or cloth bags with you to Dahab. It will make a difference if we all just take a few less bags. To say you don't want a bag in Arabic is, "Mish auwser keese."

Airport Transfers: If you're looking for a transfer to/from the airport I have a nice Bedouin guy that drives a decent speed who can take you. It's 200le for the transfer (not per person!). Drop me a line if you want me to sort it. 

Taxis: The taxi drivers will attempt to take advantage of you. It's a fact all over the world. Generally speaking, you should pay 10le from the big hotels into Dahab or 3-5le for shorter journeys. Your best bet is to have the exact change, don't bargain and simply hand the money over after exiting the taxi saying, "shukran." 

Bike: Dahab is small but a bike makes it even more accessible. Consider grabbing a bike and exploring around town. You can rent bikes in the bay at Desert Divers (10le/hour, 50le/day or 200le/week). Ask for Pieter. There is also a place in the Mashraba area but I'm not sure of their rates.

Our Reefs! Please! While you're in town please ask where to enter for snorkeling or swimming. Local people (often identifiable by walking a dog since we all end up with a dog eventually) are very happy to tell you the best place for an easy entry onto snorkeling sites. Or watch the divers get in since their guides are directing them.  Also, think twice before you pick up shells in the Red Sea. We have many many cone shells, which have a poisonous dart that is quite lethal. Also, Eel Garden has spectacular snorkeling but is only for a calm day. On windy days a wicked cross current pulls you offshore. The neighbouring restaurants will tell you it's no problem since they want to rent you a snorkel and mask. It is a problem on windy days. Consider snorkeling in the bay on these days or go with a snorkel guide who is familiar with the conditions.

Sports: Are you a sports fan and can't quite go your WHOLE vacation without seeing a game? Most people congregate at the Furry Cup (Blue Beach) Bar to watch football and rugby. I'd like to say they show the hockey game but sadly, in five years, I've only had them put on one game. So, fellow Canadians, I'm afraid we are up the creek without a paddle on that one.

Horseback Riding: Blue Beach Stables has the loveliest horses in town. These horses are as much the owners' pets as they are riding horses. The stable is trained and cared for to a western standard. They also provide hard helmets and (if you can fit your calves into those riding boots) riding boots. I guided for them in the past and would highly recommend them if you're looking to go riding. It's 100le per hour and you can arrange a ride by either going to Blue Beach Hotel reception or emailing reservations@bluebeachclub.com.

Accommodation: There are a number of options for accommodation in Dahab. Obviously there are the big hotels like Swiss Inn, Meridien and the Hilton. Alternatively see the Dahab Holidays page on our website for a full range of holiday apartments in Dahab that includes some of the local hotels.

Tipping: Tipping is always a hard question that I'm asked quite often. Generally speaking, you'd tip in service industries. How much? Well, I'm a firm believer in tipping when you've had good service and not as an obligation. Sometimes in Egypt people will try to bully you into tipping. Stand firm. Bullying shouldn't be encouraged and if it works on you then they'll continue harassing others. But it's always nice to give a tip since the wages people make aren't particularly high. Rounding up a bill is an easy approach or just using the 10-15% rule. If you're impressed with a particular individual, give the tip to them directly. More often than not tips will disappear unless you give them directly. Also most hotels and businesses have a tip box that is shared out every few weeks.

How to Ride a Camel: I run a hiking company because I'm not overly fond of camel riding. Don't get me wrong, I love camels. I feed them my veggie scraps and watch them with interest since they're intelligent and complicated creatures. That said, I do understand that people feel the need to ride camels in Egypt. So, if you do, here are my camel riding tips:
1) Don't try to steer the camel. It only listens to that little five-year-old Bedouin boy walking beside you. And really, the camel knows the way anyhow.
2) Bring a fleece, sarong or something soft to put between your spine and that awful wooden horn on the back of the camel saddle.
3) Hook your knee over their shoulder. Don't ride a camel like a horse or you will end up sore... especially the boys! Watch the Bedouins and you'll get the idea.
4) Don't be too alarmed when the camel turns it's head and looks you in the eye. It's a little disarming the first time you experience it!

Maps: There's a free map of Dahab kicking around town that includes snorkeling/dive sites and windsurfing areas. You can pick it up at most hotel receptions or the German Bakery.

Kayak Rental: There are two places in town that rent kayaks that I know of: Red Sea Relax dive centre and Fantasea/Coral Coast. If you get a flat-calm day in Dahab, grab a kayak and go look down onto the reefs. It's incredible. Kayak rental runs 8-10 euros per hour.

Restaurants: People are always asking me for recommendations on restaurants.  In my opinion (and I do LOVE food) the yummiest places to eat in Dahab include (and just check the Dahab map to find these places):

Carm Inn:  Run by a Dutch woman and offering a selection of international foods.
Nirvana:  With its Nepalese chef the Indian cuisine offered here is some of the nicest and authentic flavours in town.
Blue Thai House:  Always Excellent! Thai food made by the sweetest Thai ladies!
Eel Garden Stars:  One of the few places in town that offers a few genuine Egyptian dishes.
Yum Yum Sandwiches: Everything on offer in this little Egyptian sandwich shop is vegetarian but delicious and a typical part of the local diet.

Other things you might like to try:
Egyptian pizza (ask for it specifically or they'll give you a bad rendition of Western pizza) is a layered like a strudel, brushed with egg and topped with a local Roumy cheese.
Koshary: A mixture of rice, noodles, spicy tomato sauce, fried onions, lentils and chick peas. You find the koshary carts waundering around town at midday.
Sahlab: Is it a dessert or a drink? You decide. Made from ground orchid root, this mixture is served hot with a variety of fresh fruit and often a drizzle of chocolate.

What should it cost?: The first few days in a foreign country it's hard to get a grasp on the currency and what things should cost. Here are a few prices that should help: 

 Water (1.5 litre bottle) 2 le Box of 10 rehydrant satchels 3-5 le
 Large crisps 4-5 le Milk (1 litre) 9 le
 Can of soda pop 2-3 le Egyptian-made cookies 6 le
 Package of almonds 18 le Chocolate bar 5 le

Please note that anything imported to Egypt often costs more than in your own country due to import taxes. Also, fruit is nearly the same price as in the west if not more.