Dahab city guide
Dahab was once an isolated coastal village inhabited only by the local Bedouin. As little as 30 years ago, there were fewer than 30 Bedouin families in Dahab. Like the Bedouin inland, they had a self-sustaining lifestyle but in Dahab this was based on fishing as well as traditional goat herds. During the summer, many inland Bedouin came to Dahab for fishing and to collect dates, and to enjoy life by the sea. To this day, favourite presents from Dahab (for the inland Bedouin) are dried fish & dates.
Dahab's isolated location, idyllic setting and laid-back Bedouin hospitality made it a favourite destination for all who stumbled upon it. In the beginning (1970s), this was mainly Israeli soldiers or people from the kibbutz during their leave. During the 1980s it turned into a hippie hangout, and in the 1990s adventure enthusiasts from around the world began to discover Dahab's natural wonders. The combination of Red Sea and Sinai desert make Dahab perfect for world class windsurfing, scuba diving, freediving, rock climbing and of course desert trekking with the Bedouin. Add to this cheap accommodation on or near the beach, inexpensive food and drink and a relaxed atmosphere, and you have a heady enticement for the young and young at heart.
Today's Dahab has evolved into an "alternative resort" - the home of independent and adventurous travellers, but also with some more upmarket resorts and hotels. Most of the latter are in the Laguna area or outlying. For some people, this mix is part of Dahab's charm ("everyone welcome"), others regard the mix up as a problem: Prices in Assalah are artificially increased which makes it less and less interesting for backpackers, though some locally-run camps still keep things affordable. In contrast to that, many package tourists and families won't feel comfortable with the lacking conveniences and the all-handmade-look among the hippies. Note the grotesque, forever unfinished concrete structures as a sign of this mismanagment.
Still, for everyone with an open mind, Dahab is definitely worth a visit and a place to fall in love with. Particularly in the old part of Dahab (Masbat & Mashraba), you will rarely find a visitor who comes only once to Dahab. To many people this has become a second home. (Wikitravel - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0)
79 km south of Nuweiba
100 km north of Sharm El-Sheikh
133 km east of St. Catherine
145 km south of Taba
Hotel Jowhara is a budget hotel with a pleasant atmosphere, conveniently located a few minutes walk from the town centre. Room rates range from 50LE for a single to 150LE for a family room. The restaurant serves a wicked breakfast and the coffee is splendid; and so is the hospitality ! Free WiFi around the hotel. There is 24 hour security and ample space to park your bicycle.
Marine Garden Camp is a great backpacker option, and a sister company of Jowhara. You can rent double rooms here from €8 per night. The camp is right on the sea front, so you can relax on the beach and enjoy the clear skies and unobstructed view across the water to the coastal mountains of nearby Saudi Arabia.
Dahab Plaza Hotel gets the thumbs-up from a lot of travellers, althought the prices are a bit higher than the previous mentioned. Room rates start at 120LE for a single and 156LE for a double, but includes breakfast.
Alaska Camp and Hotel is another place that gets good reviews. Rooms here start at 100LE excluding breakfast.
Besides above mentioned, there are plenty more opportunities to spend the night. This includes low-budget hostels and high-end hotels. It's up to you. More info on accommodation in Dahab on Tripadvisor and Hostelbookers.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Dahab; whether it is souvenirs, household goods or plain groceries. Ghazala Market has a couple of supermarkets spread around town, of which the one in Mashraba area is the biggest. Also on Mashraba street is 1000 items supermarket, which stocks more unusual products at similar prices.
Best value for money is found in Assalah square, this is where the locals do their shopping.
If you plan to go diving, I would suggest using H₂O Divers Dahab, a friendly international bunch of divers, who have just opened up a new shop in the town centre. You can walk out of their office and straight into the sea!
Eating & Drinking
There are plenty of restaurant and bars in Dahab. The whole beach front of Dahab is littered with places to eat: from Eal Garden in the north up until the Lagoona in the south, with the epicentre in the Masbat bay.
Only a few restaurants have a license to sell alcohol, but they don't mind you bringing your own. So it comes in handy that there are several shops around town that sell alcoholic beverages: one in Assalah square called Drinkies and three on Mashraba street. Beers (Stella, Sakkara) will set you back 7LE a bottle and Egyptian spirits are extremely cheap (and potent).
Bars with a license: Yalla at Masbat; Red Sea Relax opposite; the Furry Cup (@Blue Beach); Rush, Mojito, Tree Bar, Nesima, Neptune, Funny Mummy, New Sphinx.
There are some bike rental places in Dahab:
Bicycles - rent & sell
Andrea & Mimo
Desert Divers Bikeshop ("Peter")
Sam's Bike Shop
near the bridge.