The Sinai

Utilities – Electricity, Gas and Water

Electirc Card
Electirc Card

Some properties will include the cost of electricity, gas and water within the rent, but for most, these will be separate expenses. Below is a simple guide on how to access these basic utilities. 


There are two systems in use in Dahab, the traditional metre and the top-up cards. 

Traditional Meter

A bill will be received each month, either through your landlord or directly from the man from the company knocking on the door. If you don’t pay the bill for 3 months the electricity will be cut and you will need to pay the bill and contact the electricity company before you are reconnected.

New Card System

When the power goes off in your house, check if you have run out of credit by slotting the electricity card into the meter at your house. if you need more credit take the card to the shop and tell them how much you want to recharge. Return home and put the card into the meter and the money will be added.

In the winter, when you aren’t using the air conditioning, 200 EGP might last you for a month or two. If you use air conditioning a lot in the summer 200 EGP might only last for a few days. It’s worth checking how much you have every now and then so the electricity doesn’t stop working in the middle of the night. If this does happen, you can usually put the card into the meter and it’ll give you an extra 10 EGP which will run the electricity for a few more hours.

Do not lose this card. They are a nightmare to replace, and your landlord will not be happy with you. 


There are a few electric stoves in Dahab, but most require gas. Gas tanks are used here as there is no main line gas. A full gas tank will last around 2 months if you regularly cook, and much longer if you don’t. There is a man who changes the tanks – he delivers full ones and for an extra fee he will change the tank for you.

At the time of writing, the cost of a full tank is 120 EGP including delivery. Experience shows that he might charge foreigners more when he feels like it. He is also unreliable. Sometimes he shows up quickly but mostly he tells you he will be 10 minutes and takes an hour and a half or more to come. You can hear when he’s driving past as he hits the tanks with a spanner to alert the area. If you’re lucky you can just flag him down.

The other option, if you have access to a spanner/wrench, is to take the empty gas tank to the gas tank station (open 9 am – 5 pm) in a taxi and buy the full one there, refitting it yourself at home. This is often the quicker option. Don’t forget to check for any gas leaks before you turn up the strength of the gas. Locals check with a match on the tank. Others may before to use water or spit and check for bubbles.


Drinking Water

Tap water in Dahab is not suitable for drinking so water must be purchased. Bottled water is readily available in all supermarkets in 1.5L, 11L and 18L bottles. Watch out for bottles that have been left in the sun all day, as these will taste of plastic. At around 30 EGP the 11-litre bottles are more economical than the normal 1.5 litre bottles. 

The Bedouins get their water from a well an hour outside of Dahab. For 40 – 60 EGP you can fill up 6 – 10 x 11-litre bottles with this spring water from a Bedouin pickup with water tanks on the back. If you can get someone who can speak Arabic to explain where you are living, Jumma 01014622823 can deliver spring water to your door and fill up your empty bottles. Some folk just use this spring water for cooking and boiled drinks but hardy folk who don’t mind the risk of viral hepatitis from the unsterilised water tanks drink it as it comes. 

Bedouin Pickup with fresh water from Springs

General Purpose Household Water

Some properties have well water, which can often be quite salty, but it is free. Otherwise, the property will have a tank that fills with government-purified water several times a week. You will either be charged a flat monthly rate of around 100 EGP with your electricity bill, or you will have a separate meter and card system.

Place the card into the metre before recharging. Do not skip this step or you may end up going a second time. These cards cannot be recharged at normal shops so take the card to the water company in Medina. Pay as much as you would like. 100 EGP will be enough for at least a month but putting more will save you from doing this errand so often. Go home and put the card into your meter as soon as possible. Keep magnets and phones away from the card so as not to interfere with it.

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