dahab, south sinai
Nestled on the shores of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba, Dahab, named after the Arabic word for gold, borders the Gulf of Aqaba, and is an hour’s drive through spectacular desert from the airport in the more commercial resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
But the vibe in Dahab is very different. The village is a small, vibrant mixing pot, Bedouin culture is still very much in evidence in Dahab. Here you walk side by side with them, the men white robed, the women swathed in black and the children, multicoloured and mischievous, are always ready to strike up a good deal for a bracelet or two.
For countless years they have been proud people with their own strict codes of conduct and hospitality. Whilst in Dahab you should take part in a traditional dinner in the Sinai Mountains. A Bedouin meal under the stars, with music and song, is an unforgettable and serene experience.
Egyptian traders and shopkeepers sell their crafts, food and wares to the growing number of holiday makers who are enjoying Dahab’s friendly, personal vibe.
The bars and cafes almost hover over the water of the bay, where there are plenty of places to eat and relax after a day at play round the pool or in the sea. If you feel like a party, there are a few lively bars in town worth a visit that can keep you up all night.
Their culture is very different to the dominant Arab Muslim religion. Traditionally the Bedouin (whose name means ‘Owner of Herds’), identify themselves with the biblical Ishmael. As a minority, the Bedouin tribes manage their land and existence in a relatively self-controlled and independent way, holding on with tenacity to their ancient customs and colourful dress, the galibia.
Dahab offers the chance to experience real culture that only the Sinai can offer. Relax and experience the unique tranquillity of the desert and the welcoming hospitality of the native Bedouin as well as the abundant and vibrant aquatic world of the Red Sea.