Interesting facts about Dahab

    January 1, 2024

    Dahab, located in Egypt, is widely recognized as a top resort destination. It attracts both those seeking a laid-back vacation as well as active tourists. The area is particularly popular among diving, windsurfing, and kitesurfing enthusiasts. With its stunning natural scenery, pristine beaches, and excellent amenities, Dahab is a favorite choice for thousands of tourists annually.

    The name “Dahab” translates from Arabic to mean “gold.” Legend has it that Bedouin nomads discovered gold grains in the area in ancient times. Alternatively, some sources suggest the city’s name is linked to the golden sand that blankets the coastline.

    Local tradition holds a different explanation for the origins of the name “Dahab.” According to one account, Bedouins initially referred to the city as “Waqaat Tahaab,” meaning “time goes by.” Over time, the name was shortened to “Tahab.” However, due to misinterpretation by travelers, the city came to be known as “Dahab.”

    Bedouin children can often be found selling handcrafted bracelets and other souvenirs to tourists at beachside cafes and restaurants.

    Dahab has a well-established tourist infrastructure with plenty of hotels, cafes, and restaurants. A key benefit of Dahab is the accessibility of shore diving, eliminating the need for a boat. The area also offers proximity to coral reefs and underwater canyons along the coast, as well as sailing opportunities.
    Dahab is regarded as the second most prominent resort on the Sinai Peninsula, following Sharm el-Sheikh. Due to its advantageous location, the city frequently serves as a starting point for a wide range of excursions around the peninsula.

    Dahab is divided into three distinct areas. Masbat includes the Assala Bedouin village. Mashraba is recognized as a bustling tourist hub, featuring numerous hotels, cafes, and restaurants. The southwestern part is known as the Medina, and it is favored by enthusiasts of windsurfing and other active leisure activities.

    The city has just over 15,000 residents, with a significant number of campsites and hostels situated in the Asala area. The major religion in the area is Islam.

    Dahab primarily attracts surfing enthusiasts, catering to both begginers and experienced athletes. Visitors can find schools along the shore offering instructor services and equipment rentals. Additionally, popular activities in the area include scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving, with numerous reefs located near the hotels.

    The resort provides various activities such as rock climbing, jeep or camel safaris, and horse riding, among others. Mount Sinai is located within a two-hour drive from the resort. Nearby, tourists frequently visit the monastery of St. Catherine.



    Dahab is known to be one of the windiest resorts in Egypt, making it a preferred destination for windsurfers. The wind tends to be stronger in winter than in summer. At the start of spring, a cold and forceful wind known as khamsin occurs that normally goes down only in April.


    It is warm in Dahab throughout the year, with average temperatures ranging from 10-15 degrees in winter to 30-35 degrees in summer. The consistent wind helps keep the area from experiencing extreme heat. The sea reaches comfortable swimming temperatures as early as May and remains warm until October. For a beach vacation, the best time to visit is between May and September. Windsurfers visit the resort year-round.

    Dahab is generally regarded as a safe resort with a low crime rate. However, visitors should be aware that pickpockets may target tourist attractions and markets. As a precaution, it is advisable to store original documents and valuables in the hotel safe. Carrying a small amount of cash is recommended since some shops and restaurants may not accept cards.

    The locals are known for being friendly towards tourists, and the hotel staff are typically multilingual. English is widely spoken and considered essential, and some hotels also have employees who speak Russian.



    A brief history

    Dahab is situated on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, and is located 90 km from Sharm el-Sheikh. The history of the resort is deeply intertwined with the history of the entire Sinai Peninsula. Inhabited for over 3000 years, many significant events took place in Sinai that are documented in the Bible.

    In the 1st century BC, a strategic outpost was established by Nabataean navigators in the area, which played a crucial role in trade routes as caravans transported goods across the Gulf of Aqaba. The village was originally named “Dizahab,” meaning the area of abundance.

    In this area, it was possible to trade gold, precious stones, jewelry, and other luxury items. Following the collapse of the Nabataean Kingdom, the lands were successively conquered by the Arabs, Romans, and Europeans, with ownership changing hands between the French, Arabs, Turks, and the British at different times.

    Dahab was identified by navigators and marked on maps in the mid-19th century, though the territory remained uninhabited for centuries. In the latter half of the 20th century, as a result of the “six-day war,” the Sinai Peninsula came under Israeli control, leading to the decision to develop the area into a resort. The country’s authorities constructed the first hotels and paved roads, attracting an increasing number of tourists to the area each year.

    In 1978, the peninsula was returned to Egypt, and the authorities continued to develop the resort. Today, Dahab is a popular destination for relaxation.

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