Dahab, Egypt: What to Do,
Where to Shop, Eat, and Drink
Now that you know why this Red Sea pearl is a budget traveler’s seaside paradise, let me share some of my favorite things to do in Dahab:
What to Do in Dahab
Snorkel locally free of charge or take a cheap taxi ride to the famous Blue Hole or Ras Abu Galum.
Easily accessed dive sites walking distance within Dahab include the Lighthouse which is teeming with macro life including crocodile fish, stone fish, and the nearby Eel Gardens site where an underwater paradise awaits divers, snorkelers, and swimmers alike.
Diving is by far the biggest draw here. Book the first couple of nights upon arrival then shop around for competitive prices. Ask for specials and the best pricing available. We dove with Aqua Divers who were super helpful, mellow, and offered the best dive prices we could find. For affordable pricing that includes equipment rental and genuine honey people, we highly recommend them.
Thistlegorm Dive Site: it’s actually cheaper to dive the famous Thistlegorm Wreck from Dahab than from Sharm El Sheik. Prices in summer ’13 were 120 euro for 2 dives on the wreck plus 1 in Ras MohammedNational Park including transport, food, and equipment. Many of the dive centers use the same tour operator Blue Hole which is extremely professional. If you have a deadline date, ask around as other dive centers like Aqua Divers and Poseidon can arrange their own trips.
Day trips to Jerusalem, Petra, or Mt Sinai are widely available at the many travel agencies allowing you to maximize your time on shorter trips.
Overnight desert stays in Bedouin Camps can also be arranged. Some trips include dinner, the Colored Canyon, and off-roading.
For those looking to spend their holiday sun worshipping, you won’t find a sandy beach here but sunbeds are available to restaurant patrons.
Where to Shop in Dahab
When it comes to buying diving gear at budget prices, Dahab is the place to go. Popular brands include Cressi and Mares and you can find incredible deals on Zuunto dive watches, Cressi masks and wetsuits, Scubapro fins, and any other accessories you need such as rash guards, boots, and log books. The only thing they didn’t seem to have were dry bags which are a travel essential.
For fashionistas looking for the ultimate souvenirs, you can find printed palazzo pants, fabric bags, and accessories. Quirky home decorations such as Mediterranean influenced lampshades, Arabian rugs, and oriental antique replicas.
Where to Drink in Dahab
During the day you’ll find the Lighthouse area busiest with people camped up in the restaurant making use of their free sunbeds. With free Wi-Fi, digital nomads an Internet addicts will be happy as easily as those looking to lay back in the sun and booze it up all day.
Not all restaurants serve alcohol but you can always count on Yalla to be full with thirsty yet relaxed patrons. At 15LE per beer, it’s one of the eat deals in town. Stay away from the food though.
After Yalla, everyone parties down at Rush where a DJ or live band provides the “best available” nightly entertainment. If you’re a party animal that wants to stay up ’til dawn, make your way to Tree Bar where the after hours crowd hangs out.
For a classier affair, check out the restaurants and bars away from Lighthouse en route to Eel Garden.
Where to Eat in Dahab
Favorite Budget Restaurant: Oriental Food King
Get the best local Egyptian flavors in perfectly shareable tapas style plates. At just 5LE each get a couple for yourself or share them with others. Buy for and get a free drink!
Yum Yum Falafel offers a similar menu and is also affordable and tasty. Try their Monster Falafel Sandwich fir a filling sampling of all the local flavors in one bite.
Favorite Traveler Restaurant
Friends offers a good value for quality of western food available. When you’ve filled up on falafel try their cheeseburger meal which consists of two small burgers with thick homemade patties.
For “the best Indian food in Egypt”, check out Nirvana. Their chicken and paneer rolls were massive and delicious!