The Sinai

Is it Safe to Travel to Dahab in 2024?

Is Dahab Safe
Is Dahab Safe

With the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, you might be wondering if it is safe to travel to Sharm El Sheikh or Dahab?

Government Travel Advice

Western government websites advise not to travel near the Libyan desert and Northern Sinai where there are high risks of kidnapping and terrorism. However, South Sinai is well protected by the Egyptian military and police and is relatively safe. 

The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) affirms that popular tourist destinations like Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Dahab are considered safe.  

Unlike the northern Sinai Peninsula, which has travel restrictions, Dahab enjoys a peaceful atmosphere. The town hasn’t had any security issues since 2006. 

Perspectives on Foreigners in Egypt

Like much of the world, many Egyptians, particularly Muslims, identify closely with the suffering of the Palestinians. In the current crisis this has resulted in American companies such as McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, and Coca Cola being boycotted.  

Having said that, most Egyptians and the Government understand that it is in their economic interests to continue to welcome tourists and the trade they bring. The Egyptian government relies heavily on tourism as its third highest source of foreign currency. Egypt receives hard currency primarily from its exports, then from Egyptians abroad sending money home, followed by tourism, followed by transit fees from the Suez Canal. The current instability and war are seriously reducing the latter two streams of income. Your presence here helps Egyptians and their economy! 

Tight Security in and out of the Sinai

Egyptian authorities have implemented significant security measures for those travelling into and out of South Sinai. If you fly into Sharm El-Sheikh you may not notice much but if you travel to South Sinai by road you are likely to encounter routine security checks, particularly at the Ahmed Hamdy Tunnel, which runs under the Suez Canal. When coming by bus from Cairo there will be at least one security check where you will need to open your bags to be searched. It is good to be prepared beforehand not to be intimidated by the men with guns or annoyed by the delay, but to be grateful for their presence and work. It is in both the government’s and your interests to keep South Sinai secure for all, especially tourists.  

Safety Guidelines

  • Respect the Culture: Dahab enjoys a very relaxed vibe. However, conservative Muslims also live here and need to be respected. Dress code in Dahab is also very relaxed, with many people wearing shorts, t-shirts and dresses. However, in the rest of Egypt it’s wise to cover your shoulders and knees.  
  • Documents: You will need ID travelling in and out of South Sinai, travelling into protected areas, getting a visa and a SIM card. Keep copies of important documents in a safe place. Always carry your passport with you when you leave Dahab. 
  • General awareness: As with any travel destination, be mindful of your surroundings and stick to well-lit areas at night. Keep valuables secure and out of sight.
  • Back Up: Let someone know your plans when heading out for excursions.  
  • Be wise with romantic relationships: There are cross cultural marriages that work here.  At the same time as accounts of people being charmed then emotionally and financially exploited, especially foreign women. 

End Note

Dahab has its own chilled-out charm. The Bedouin and Egyptians locals are known for their hospitality and will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. With a low crime rate and a respectful atmosphere, you can explore the town with confidence. With stunning scenery and affordable prices, Dahab is an excellent place for a holiday, a break from the rat race to reflect on your priorities in life, or a longer stay for retired people or digital nomads who are able to make a living online.

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