The visitor’s permit / visa can be obtained for European nationals at the airport on arrival for a fee of approximately 25 USD/person. All visitors must have a valid passport with at least six months left on it. Children do need their own passports. Upon arrival at Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, you will be asked if you need a “Sinai only” visa or a “full Egypt” one. If you plan on staying in Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh/Dahab/Nuweiba/Taba, St. Catherine monastery then you only need the Sinai one. If you plan on visiting Cairo, diving the S.S Thistlegorm or crossing any borders then you need the “Full Egypt” one at 25 USD/person.
If you enter the country from Israel, special procedures apply.
The local currency is the Egyptian Pound. Cash in US Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling (and Swiss Francs) are commonly accepted. Most hotels and banks will change money for you provided you have your passport for identification. Exchange rates may vary so shop around. Credit cards can be used at many shops and restaurants. Cash machines to withdraw money by credit card are also available. The local ATMs also change money.
The official language is (Egyptian) Arabic. English is widely spoken. Some of the locals also speak German, Italian or Russian.
Egypt Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). Egypt operates Daylight-Saving Time between the last Friday in April and the last Thursday in September when the clocks are 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3).
What do I need to do to stay healthy during my stay is one of the most popular frequently asked questions. At present no inoculations are required to travel to Egypt. The best advice when travelling to Egypt is to avoid eating raw greens and ice in your drinks. We would recommend using local specific medication to deal with diarrhoea/digestive. Pharmacies do sell most medication without a prescription. Sun protection is essential and due to the high air temperatures is very important to take care of sufficient fluid intake. A minimum of 3 ltr. of fluid (ideally water) per day is advisable. There are several medical facilities in Dahab. Any diving related accidents or injuries will be treated in a modern decompression chamber with a 24 hour call-out service .The chamber doctors speak several languages and have special training in hyperbaric medicine.
The Bedouin village of Dahab is about 90 km North of Sharm el Sheikh on the East coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The name Dahab means ‘gold’ in English and was named after the shimmering gold-coloured sandy coast. The region of Dahab stretches across a wide plateau of rock and sand and emerged from a small oasis where Bedouins once settled. Diving camps were set up in the areas and in the past few years developed into a diving and holiday paradise. The atmosphere is relaxed, most travelers come for scuba or free(apnea) diving, others to wind surf, kite surf or just taking it easy. In centric area called “The Lighthouse” bay there´s a great array of cosy bars, typical Shisha places, restaurants and lots of shops all situated along the seafront.
Flights to Sharm el Sheikh
There are several daily/weekly direct flights from most European countries. The flight time is between 4 and 7 hours (depending on the country of departure) International flights come through Cairo with Egyptair. Domestic Flights take around 1 hrs. to Sharm el Sheikh airport. The transfer from the airport to Dahab takes about 1 1/2 hrs.
We can arrange transfers by Minibus to and from Sharm el Sheikh airport for you! Contact us for details.
The Sinai Divers Backpackers Dive Center is located in Masbat in the center of the Dahab Bay. Our house reef is the famous Bannerfish Bay just in front of the centre. Small, comfortable and reasonably priced hotels, camp sites, restaurants and souvenir shops are close by. (Click into the image to enlage →)
Accommodation ranges from 5 star hotels to Bedouin style camps, guesthouses and villas. Contact us and let us know what you have in mind. We will recommend places we usually work with and according to your budget.
Another popular one of the frequently asked questions is: what to wear? Dahab is very friendly & welcoming place, still, Egypt is a Muslim country. So it is not advisable or respectful towards the local population to wear very revealing clothes like string tangas (thongs) or change by stripping naked in public. Please also don’t suntan topless. Wear at least a shirt and shorts in a restaurant (no bikini) … It’s recommended not to wear bathing clothes only unless you are directly at the beach or inside a resort area.
We dive all year round. The winter is not too warm but less crowded than the popular summer season.
During the winter (Nov. – Apr.) the temperature is around 18-25 C. In Jan / Feb night temperatures can drop to 10 C. In the summer (May-Oct.) air reaches 40 C. Humidity is generally very low so even the 45 C during the peak summer months are not really uncomfortable weather in Dahab.
What is the water temperature in Dahab is on of the frequently asked questions that we regularly get. The average water temperature in the winter is about 21°C and about 27°C with a max. of 29 C during the summer months. Depending on your personal sensitivity we recommend a 5-7mm wetsuit or semi-dry suit for the winter season, especially when doing a third dive. A hooded vest is useful as well. It is also advisable to take a hooded sweatshirt with you since it can be quite windy in winter. During the summer season, a 3-5mm wetsuit is sufficient.
Gloves are not really needed and are actually forbidden by the National
Depending on your personal preferences we recommend a 5-7mm wetsuit or semi-dry suit for the winter season, especially when doing a third dive. A hooded vest is useful as well. It is also advisable to take a hooded sweatshirt with you since it can be quite windy in winter. During the summer season a 3-5mm wetsuit is sufficient. Gloves are not really needed and are actually forbidden by the National Park regulations.
We have the full range of diving gear for rent. All sizes of 5 mm top or long John wetsuits and full 5 mm one piece for colder water temperatures. We do recommend to have your own mask which fits you well. If you wear prescription glasses make sure that you either get some contact lenses or a prescription mask.
There are approx. 1250 species of marine life – fish, flora, fauna which inhabit the Red Sea around Dahab. The most popular are clown fish, moray eel, turtle, napoleon and parrot fish. Large schools of pelagic blue water fish and regular sightings of sharks are rather rare. They are more common further South in the open Red Sea.
We recommend that all travelers take out insurance to cover cancellation, lost or stolen luggage and medical or hospital costs. Divers are advised to join DAN, Aquamed or a similar organisation.
We do advice to pre book your diving and diving courses. But even if you don’t, we are able to arrange your diving needs when you show up on the counter. If you have a specific place to stay in mind you should book that as well in advance.
A deposit or payment upfront is not required. You will pay for your diving services upon check out directly in the Diving Center.
One of the most frequently asked questions is: What to bring? Please find a few recommendations below!
- Sun glasses with reliable UV-protection
- Sun cream, e.g. waterproof UV 30-50
- Rash vest (lycra shirt) for sun protection
- Cap / hat (= protection from sun / wind)
- Flip-flops (sandals) that can get wet
- Re-usable water bottle & cotton shopping bag (to protect the environment)
- Pareo or towel to use when there’s no changing room
- Light trekking shoes or sneakers if you plan a trip into the desert