If early morning swims in the Red Sea, getting work done over drip coffee at a world-class coworking space, kitesurfing as the sun goes down, and drinks with a vibrant expat community sound good to you, then Dahab is calling your name.
Dahab is a Bedouin fishing community that became a popular diving destination on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Located 85 kilometers north of Sharm El Sheikh and 175 kilometers south of Taba, Dahab is ideally positioned along the magnificent Red Sea.
Dahab means ‘gold’ in Arabic, and as the name implies, the gold-colored sands of Dahab's beaches gave the city its name.
Dahab has a laid-back hipster feel with a dash of adventure. Dahab offers some of the finest waters in the world for diving, freediving, and snorkeling, and many people come here to learn or simply take a few refreshing dips a day. In addition to hiking, climbing, and camping in the desert, Ras Abu Galum and the Blue Lagoon are great places to go if you want to get away from it all for a while. There are also frequent parties and festivals to keep things interesting.
It's bustling enough to attract visitors, expats, and a wide range of dining options, yet it never seems overrun by tourists. It's a hotspot year-round, but especially in the summer, when visitors flock to the area for its world-famous water sports.
Digital nomads will find everything they need here, including internet and phone connections, as well as an abundance of activities to keep them entertained. Dahab's laid-back atmosphere and year-round weather make it easy to blend in and hard to leave.
Digital nomads mainly look for three things when considering where to put down base: cost of living, community, and coworking spaces. Here’s what you can expect to find in Dahab:
Dahab, like the rest of Egypt, is an inexpensive place to visit with minimal living expenses. If you do your homework, you can get away with spending no more than $400 a month on rent, amenities, and entertainment. The prices of mobile phone plans and internet access are among the lowest in the world.
There is a thriving digital nomad community in Dahab, and it's easy to run across them at the coworking spaces, pubs, and cafes where they do their business. Facebook communities like Dahab Digital Nomads and Dahab remote workers are a great place to meet other remote workers and make friends.
Furthermore, Egyptians, particularly those from the Sinai Peninsula, are well-known for their friendliness and laid-back demeanor.
Everyone agrees that Dahab is a place where you'll feel at home. However, be warned, this might make packing up and leaving town difficult.
Some of the most popular coworking spaces in Dahab include:
Since SIM cards and data packages are so cheap, we recommend getting one so you always have your hotspot as a backup plan to send that urgent email.
Well, I’m glad you asked. Dahab offers a plethora of recreational sports, ranging from scuba diving to kitesurfing to cycling.
Most expats come to Dahab for diving or kitesurfing because it offers ideal conditions for all levels of kitesurfers, from beginners to experts. Dahab is home to a wide variety of diving schools, and if you've always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, or if you just want to go on a few fun dives, this is the place for you.
The infamous Blue Hole, a 110-meter-deep dive site is widely regarded as one of the best but most dangerous places in the world to dive. Despite the risks, this seems to attract diving daredevils by the hundreds.
Dahab's magnificent coral reefs and year-round warm water make it a popular spot for snorkeling or swimming as well. You can bring your own mask and fins or rent one for roughly 50 EGP (US$ 2.75).
Dahab, in the southwest, boasts ideal conditions for kitesurfing, particularly on the lagoons.
With a whole mountain range extending to the west of the sea, there is a lot of trekking to be done in the region as well. Exploring the mountains via rock climbing or trekking all the way to Saint Catharine's monastery are also popular options.
Camping in the desert is a must-have experience while in Egypt. Take in the night sky (and maybe even the Milky Way) while dining on a BBQ supper prepared by Bedouins.
During the day, you can take a safari vehicle excursion or ride a camel in the desert.
So if you’re convinced Dahab may be your next stop on your digital nomad journey, then you’re probably wondering about how to get there and how easy it is to get a visa.
The easiest way to get to Dahab is to fly into Sharm El-Sheikh and then take a $1 bus. You may also take a 10-hour bus ride from Cairo's airport. Taxis are an option in both circumstances, but even for the short trip from Sharm El-Sheikh to Dahab, they may cost upwards of $200.
Dahab may also be reached by bus or taxi from Taba, which is the closest Israeli town to Dahab. Every day at 3 p.m., the bus leaves for 50 EGP.
Travelers can get an Egypt tourist visa upon arrival at any of the airport terminals' immigration booths. In order to get through immigration, you must wait in line, fill out a form, and pay for a visa sticker. At the airport, you may purchase a visa for about $25. Be aware that a 15-day visa for the Sinai region may be available if you arrive at Sharm El-Sheikh airport. If you want, you may buy the $25 version that covers Egypt as a whole.
However, to save yourself time and hassle, we recommend getting an e-visa in advance. Your application will be ready in less than 5 minutes with Atlys, which saves you a significant amount of time and frustration.
The benefit of filing for an e-visa in advance is that you may avoid waiting in line for hours (depending on the crowds) and the risk that your application may be denied at the airport if you do not have all the necessary documentation. Before submitting your papers, Atlys carefully verifies them to eliminate rejection. Here’s a more complete guide on how to apply for an Egyptian e-visa.
Once you’re in Egypt, you can extend your visa for 3 more months.
Egypt is a treasure trove of opportunities for exploration. While the ancient Egyptian history, including pyramids and temples, is widely known, the country offers much more. Beyond history and culture, Egypt boasts adventure travel, leisure travel, religious tourism, and more. No matter your travel interests, Egypt has something to offer you.
Egypt's culture is intricate and captivating. While you may not agree with every aspect, it's still an intriguing experience to learn about and even adopt some elements. The culture is characterized by warmth, generosity, hospitality, and a strong emphasis on family values. Additionally, Egypt is home to diverse subcultures, such as the Nubians and the Jebeliya Bedouin tribe of Saint Catherine, each with its unique traditions and customs.
Egyptian cuisine is often underrated but deserves recognition. While Middle Eastern cuisines like Lebanese food have gained popularity worldwide, authentic Egyptian restaurants abroad are relatively rare. Visitors, including vegans and vegetarians, will find a wide range of delightful options in Egyptian cuisine. The food is often praised by foreigners for its flavors and variety.
Communication is generally not a major issue in Egypt. While not everyone speaks English fluently, many Egyptians can understand and communicate in English to some extent, even if it's not perfect. Egyptians are resourceful and will make efforts to understand and assist you. In case of difficulties, tools like Google Translate can be handy.
Egyptians are known for their friendliness and hospitality. They go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome. Egyptians are also renowned for their sense of humor, often using it to turn even challenging situations into lighthearted moments.
Safety, especially for solo female travelers, is a common concern. While Egypt, like any other destination, has its challenges, it's important to distinguish between different forms of harassment and inconvenience. Here are some tips for staying safe:
Cairo, Egypt's capital and the most populous city, offers a rich cultural experience. Here are the pros and cons of living in Cairo:
It's essential to research neighborhoods and adapt to the local culture when staying in Cairo or other parts of Egypt to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
So, have you packed yet?
If you’ve set your eyes on Dahab, do make sure to check out this comprehensive guide on Digital Nomad World. You may not want to leave once there, so don’t hesitate to pack a little extra.