“Dahab” in Arab language means “gold”. The inspiration of the name was right! The ancient port is flourishing nowadays as a human, modest, picturesque, tourist resort. It’s a tourist trap for people from Europe (mainly), America and Asia. Hotels, souvenir shops and mostly diving centers are what you meet by the time you step in. It’s a place that is trying to grow without loosing its authenticity.
Normally, like most of the coastal villages and cities of the Red Sea, Dahab is well known for the two most famous diving places: Canyon and Blue Hole. Loads of people all over the world are visiting Dahab every year for that reason. Naturally, from our first day there we got all the necessary information about diving lessons (PADI diploma). The tiny Dahab has 70 diving centres and schools!
To be honest I was never before interested in that specific field. Although Ploumisti was prompt me to try. My simple attempt in diving became … taking lessons for getting the diving diploma! Our hotel took care of everything and we started our lessons with ORCA DIVE CENTRE. The cost (240€/person including photographic equipment) was low comparing with Greece. The 3days School was interesting and exhausting at the same time. We took daily lessons from 9am-6pm.
The biggest pleasure and award was the last day when we dive in 18mts and saw incredible scenes. Amazing colors! Unique experience. You truly meet a different world, the sea world!
In Dahab we also had the chance to meet new people, as usually during our trip. Friendly people, looking a lot like us, more than the rest of the Europeans. People willing to talk to you, help you and offer you a tea or nargile. Fortunately the tourism has not affected them. They were feeling happy and not at all disadvantaged comparing to famous Sarm El Sheikh. I still remember the phrase of the lovely receptionist: “It’s better that most of the tourists are visiting Sarm El Sheikh. If that change and tourists start coming here, then Dahab will lose its character, which we and our visitors love…”
During our staying we also had the opportunity to get to know a little more the owner of our hotel (Oricana Hotel), Hossan. From the first moment we met, I noted a mutual sympathy and closeness between us. We talked a lot and learned a lot about the area and its history. He told us how he left behind his previous occupation (physical education instructor), sold his house in Cairo and opened the hotel in Dahab.
We will always remember two more figures. The Bedouin employee of a souvenir shop who was always inviting us for tea and nargile (“sisha” in Egyptian) and the legendary SishaMan-Kimo, the self styled “expert” of nargile and owner of the shop.
The short beach of Dahab was full of taverns and coffee shops looking a lot like the ones we have in Greece. Many times we sat there, dreaming at the Red Sea cost opposite, the one belonging to Saudi Arabia. The food was delicious and cheap. He tried fish plates and local pizza (like Italian).
Dahab was a pleasant surprise for our trip, giving the best during our stay in Egypt!