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Reviews (1)

Red Sea



I have been diving in Dahab, Red Sea, quite a few times now. I am a dive instructor and have been diving in a few countries around the world in my 17 years of diving. I am writing this review to talk about the marine life and diving conditions in Dahab.

Dahab is a popular but still small touristic resort (compared to Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada) on the South Sinai Peninsula and in the Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea. It is a very peaceful place where you can still mingle with locals, Bedouins and Egyptian, as they live their village-life. It is an unusual place as 90% of the diving is shore-based, contrarily to a lot of dive resorts in the Red Sea. There is roughly a 20 km long coastline accessible to dive, with 20 to 30 different dive sites open to various levels of diving. Also, the great depths that are accessible just a few meters away from the coastline gave Dahab its reputation as a favorite tec diving destination.

With famous dive sites like the Canyon (underwater Canyon that ranges from -20 to -55m) and the Bells-Blue Hole (drop-off in a chimney, drift on a wall, the inside of the Blue Hole drops to 110 m) , Dahab attracts a lot of divers all year round. But these very famous dive sites are not all that Dahab has to offer. The diving conditions are great 360 days out of 365, with only a few days out of the water in case of great wind and or south wind conditions. Shore diving makes it easy to dive, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned diver. There is a challenge for everyone. Not-to-be missed divesites include the Lighthouse, in the city center, for its array of marine life (crocodilefish, lionfish, stonefish, rays, octopus, etc.), the Islands, between Masbat Bay and the Lagoona, for its unusual coral features and labyrinth, and the National Park of Ras abu Galum, located North of the Blue Hole, for its near-pristine reefs and mostly for the camel trek to reach the Bedouin settlement, where you can stay overnight and enjoy sleeping under the stars.

Other dive sites that I personally recommend are Bannerfish Bay, Mashraba and Abu Telha. Bannerfish Bay is the bay located between Lighthouse and Mashraba in the city center. Although it doesn't look very impressive compared to other dive sites in the area, I found that it hosts the most biodiversity around town, specially for small stuff. It's a bit like muck diving actually. The bay is full of seagrass, which makes it the best (only) site to spot green turtles and seahorses, but you can also find morays, shrimpfish, frogfish, nudibranchs, seamoths, shrimps, catfish schools, ornate ghost pipefish and other amazing sea creatures on the sand or the reef. Mashraba is the next dive site, it continues with seagrass until it reaches a reef that is less dived and less colorful than Lighthouse, but hosts bigger marine life like snappers, stingrays, hawksbill turtles, big groupers, Napoleons, etc. Then there are dive sites like Abu Telha/Abu Helal/Tiger House that are hardly ever dived for some reason, where the coral is untouched by diving/mass tourism, and offers great reefscapes and marine life, including eagle rays.

If you can join a day boat dive trip to Gabr el Bint (South) or Ras abu Galum (North), don't hesitate, as it's the opportunity to discover new dive sites that are not accessible from the shore! Check out for turtles, giant sea fans, colorful nudibranchs, milkfish and bigger stuff too!

Although Dahab is not the best spot to dive if you want to dive with macro-fauna (big stuff), there is the occasional lucky diver who's seen whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, zebra/leopard shark (me!), oceanic white tip, hammerhead and other reef sharks.

All in all, a surprisingly peaceful, varied and great diving destination, with a lot of choices for everybody, and especially for photographers!

Visited on 10/2013 - Submitted on 02/27/2014
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