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"Mecca Dahab" - diving site in the sinai

Located 100km north of Sharm el-Sheikh on the western coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Dahab (Arabic for gold), has become a kind of Mecca for divers from around the world. Great diving sites have turned the small Bedouin settlement into a seaside resort over the past decades. In addition to crowds of divers, we
Published: August 31, 2010 - 21:05
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:33
“Mecca Dahab” – diving site in the sinai


Located 100km north of Sharm el-Sheikh on the western coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Dahab (Arabic for gold), has become a kind of Mecca for divers from around the world. Great diving sites have turned the small Bedouin settlement into a seaside resort over the past decades.

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In addition to crowds of divers, we can meet here windsurfing enthusiasts, travellers, as well as ordinary tourists who spend their holidays here with families. Despite the constant increase in interest and expanding infrastructure, we will not be affected by the feeling of overcrowding that accompanies tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh. The streets are not bustling and overcrowded and life is slow and peaceful.

In the southern part of the city we can find the best hotels, it is the area favored by windsurfers, who have there “their” Quara Bay. In addition, Dahab thanks to a great location has become an ideal base for excursions inland and along the coast. To visit most of the local diving sites we will go by jeep, because almost all are accessible from the shore, which makes the atmosphere on the beach unique. While resting and preparing the next entry into the water, we can relax sipping tea in one of the many pubs that serve delicious seafood.

Just offshore, an amazing reef awaits us stretching almost the length of the entire coastline with a wall dropping as much as 900m. Definitely the most famous and popular place is the Blue Hole. Blue Hole in which Nuno Gomes with the help of divers from Polish-Czech Planet Divers base descended to the depth of 318.25m, setting an absolute world record. It is also here, at a depth of 56m, that the famous Arch is located. Crossing it to the outer wall of the reef is an incredible experience and a huge temptation. Unfortunately, many divers paid for their attempt to cross joomplu:143with their own lives. Lack of proper training in technical diving, bravado and overestimation of one’s own skills are the main causes of accidents at this site. A reminder of these people, and at the same time a warning to others, is the ever-increasing number of plaques with the names of those taken by the waters of the Red Sea.

The diving facilities and infrastructure are of the highest standard. Over 700 instructors from all over the world and 80 diving bases offer every type of training in almost every language known to the world. Underwater adventurers will find everything from OWD courses to advanced trimix training. There are also two decompression chambers and an excellent team of hyperbaric doctors. It is also important for technical divers that organising even very demanding dives is much easier here, and the price of helium is lower than anywhere else in Egypt.

joomplu:223This magnificent place offers visitors over twenty amazing dive sites, of which, in addition to the already mentioned Blue Hole, it is worth mentioning such wonders as: Ras Mamlach, Ras Abu Gallum, The Bells, Canyon, Canyon Coral Garden, Fan Forest, Islands or Gabr El Bint. Each of us is fascinated by something different underwater. For some of us it is the colourful and varied life of coral reefs, for others the depth, for some it is Indiana Jones underwater and they want to discover what the blue waters have absorbed and hidden under their surface throughout history, while for others the sense of diving is to explore caves, penetrate them and create new maps. Dahab like a just King Solomon gives everyone equally and everyone will find something for himself in its waters. Full diversity of underwater life and landscape makes this place one of a kind.

joomplu:178However, if for some unexplained reason we abandoned the desire to dive, we should not worry. Dahab offers a whole lot of attractions unrelated to the water. The city offers a myriad of establishments and restaurants, shops, stalls and all places related to the crafts and production of various products. Seemingly an Egyptian standard and no attraction, because there are legends about Egyptian merchants and bargaining with them. However, in contrast to other places Dahab is much cheaper, and the locals do not try to snatch our hand, when they want us to visit their stand or shop. In a free moment from diving we can go on horseback or on a camel to the desert. There is also the Coloured Canyon, the third largest in the world. This is of course only a fraction of the magnificence that offers us Dahab and certainly many of you will discover something just in time for yourself. Therefore, when planning your holiday it is worth remembering about this wonderful place.

I invite you to see the entire gallery : photo gallery from Dahab

Source: Divers24
Photo: Adam Sieczkowski

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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