In this post I’m sharing my suggestions on how to spend 7 days on a Dahab diving trip including where to stay, where to eat, and things to do.
If you’re looking for some incredible diving, you’ve come to the right place. Dahab diving is some of the best in the entire world. Dahab is a small, lesser known beach town in South Sinai Egypt located just an hour by taxi from Sharm El-Sheikh airport. The fact that it’s lesser known means that it’s a hidden gem for the diving community. You won’t find your typical tourist trap with grand resorts and crowded beaches, but rather 5 start PADI dive shops run by locals and an array of smaller accommodation such as apartments, boutique hotels, and even camping and hostels. There’s something for every budget here.
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Things should know about Dahab Egypt
How to get to Dahab
Getting to Dahab Egypt is quite easy. The closest airport near Dahab Egypt is Sharm El-Sheikh. I caught a direct flight from Vienna on Wizz Air which was incredibly cheap and quite a nice for a budget airline. From the airport it’s just a 45 minute taxi ride which should cost about $35. If you need a visa, you can buy one on arrival at the kiosk in the airport. It’s only $25. Make sure you determine if you actually need a visa or not though as I believe some visitors can come visa free if only staying in the Sharm El-Sheikh region.
How safe is Dahab?
Dahab is very safe. I came here as a solo female traveler and never felt uncomfortable or scared. You can literally leave your brand new iPhone unattended on the table while you’re diving for an hour and it will still be there when you get back. Perhaps it’s the fact there are security cameras everywhere or perhaps it’s just the culture.
Dahab is also incredibly liberal compared to other parts of Egypt. Women can wear whatever they’d like and you don’t get the constant unwanted pervy attention from the men you’ll experience elsewhere. This is probably due to the fact Dahab has been a diving mecca for years and attracts a very diverse and global crowd. That said, some of the Egyptian women do still cover up but it’s understood that everyone is entitled to their own choice on how they dress and nobody will be angry or look down on you for wearing western clothes.
Dahab Diving Day 1
Check in and relax for a bit. I stayed in the area of Asala but Dahab is so small it doesn’t really matter where you base yourself. I’d recommend going with an Airbnb rather than a hotel as you get much more for your money. I found a 3 bedroom flat, with two balconies and a huge rooftop for only £40/night.
Just to give you a quick summary of the neighbourhoods from north to south it goes:
Asala (more local and quiet, about a 15 min bike ride to the centre)
Eel Garden (more local and quiet a bit closer to the centre)
Lighthouse (the centre of town and a famous dive spot)
Mashraba (an extension of the centre of town with loads of restaurants and shops)
El Laguna (where most of the higher end hotels are located. 5 min taxi into town)Booking.com
If you’re a light sleeper, avoid staying near the mosques as you’ll be woken up early everyday by the call to prayer. Next, visit some of the dive shops to see which is your favourite. Lastly, the best way to get around Dahab is by bike. Find a shop and rent one for the week. It should cost you about $15 for the whole week.
Dahab Diving Day 2
Dive during the day. At the start of the week would be the best time to check with your dive shop to see if they’re doing a boat or a camel excursion dive during the week and make sure to book on. It’s a nice change of scenery from all the normal shore diving you’ll be doing. I know there has been a lot in the news recently around shark attacks in Egypt, but sharks are very uncommon in Dahab and I never saw a single shark while diving for the week. So if you’re scared of sharks, don’t worry, they’re rarely ever spotted in Dahab.
Make sure to try plenty of fruit smoothies and Turkish coffees in between dives like the locals. I always ordered the chicken sandwich for lunch no matter where we went after our dives because it was always so delicious!
Dahab Diving Day 3
Another day of diving of course. If you only do a few dives, make sure you include The Dahab Canyon Dive Site and The Blue Hole which were my favourite Dahab dive sites.
Try Shark restaurant for a delicious fresh seafood dinner.
Dahab Diving Day 4
Take a rest day from diving to enjoy one of the beaches in Dahab. Start with a nice breakfast right on the beach at Feel Garden which will get you to the minimum spend for a sun lounger for the day. The beaches in Dahab are mostly sandy but also very windy! Make sure you find somewhere with a bit of shade.
If you want a change of scenery, head just up the street for a relaxing lunch at The View Restaurant.
In the early evening, recharge with a coffee at Everyday Café (the original one) and homemade Om Ali with ice cream on top before you explore the town of Dahab and do some souvenir shopping in Mashraba.
Dahab Diving Day 5
Hopefully you’ve been booked onto the boat or camel excursion dive and get to see either Gabr el Bint or Ras Abu Galum dive site in Dahab.
Have dinner at a local Egyptian spot called مطعم أم محمود ( Google translates it to Om Mahmoud Restaurant).
Dahab Diving Day 6
Call Zanooba Slow Cooking to make a booking for dinner the next day. They require reservations a day ahead as the food takes all day to slow cook in clay pots. Enjoy your last day of scuba diving in Dahab.
If you fancy something local for dinner, try King Falafel Restaurant. If you fancy a change of cuisine, I’d suggest trying the Italian spot Dai Pescatori. It’s a bit pricey for what it is, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Dahab Diving Day 7
On your last day I would recommend a relaxing beach day and of course having one last amazing dinner at Zanooba.
For breakfast and lunch, here is a list of restaurants I bookmarked but never got to try which looked pretty good:
- Roots Kushary (Local Egyptian; in town)
- El Dorado Restaurant and Lounge (Italian; seafront)
- Happy Hour Dahab (One of the few restaurants selling alcohol on the seafront. Food looks to be mixed Italian and local Egyptian.)
- Sababa Restaurant (Seafood; seafront)
- Jackies (Mexican; seafront)
- King Chicken (Local chicken spot; in town; this place was always packed)
- Yum Yum (Egyptian Breakfast; in town)
- El Sultan Restaurant (Local Egyptian; in town)
- مطعم ومشَويات اولاد الشيخ (translated to Sheikh Sons Restaurant and Grills; Local Egyptian; in town)
Make sure to book your transport from Dahab to Sharm El-Sheikh airport ahead of time. A cab should cost around $35 each way.