Dahab watersport heaven (Egypt), introduction by a nomad who fell for it

#1

Dahab is a seaside town located in Egypt. Closest airports are Sharm El Sheikh (1.5h drive) and Eilat (in Israel, 3h drive).

You can find one-way flights from Europe between 10-120 euros with Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizzair, Pegasus and more. Cheapest flights are from Belgium, Italy, Poland & Bulgaria so I heard.

TL;DR: Dahab is pretty awesome & very cheap. I’m now there & search for good cafes to work from (see very bottom of the question) but took this opportunity to share info about that gem :slight_smile:

Long intro about Dahab


People are super nice: I’ve traveled a lot around the world & would definitely put Egyptians around the top of my “super nice people” list.

The recent Revolution (Arab Spring) & resulting political instability (add that Russian plane story on top) is putting off most mainstream tourists, which works in our advantage (those who go there anyway): prices are very low & it’s not super crowded as it used to be (except in July-August I heard).

You should know: North Sinai always has issues & is known for being a “hot” region, Dahab is in South Sinai which is much more quiet.

Dahab is a watersport heaven: snorkeling, freediving (apnea), scuba diving, kite surfing, wind surfing, you name it.

Snorkeling

You don’t have to freedive or scuba dive to enjoy the incredible underwater world of Dahab. You don’t even need to go deep, 2m deep you have incredible corals & exotic multicolor fishes. There are many spots literally in front of Dahab seashore & a few others nearby reachable walking/cycling/driving.

Special note about Freediving in Dahab

Dahab is the home of The Blue Hole (100m deep), the most legendary freediving spot in the world. Where many world record of depth on one breath have been broken.

As a result, Dahab is home to the biggest freediving community worldwide, dozens of pro freedivers live here all year round & teach for a living. If taking Freediving lessons (whether SSI, AIDA, or other federations), you might get trained by a national record holder. Pretty surreal if you ask me.

I am training myself with Harry Shamas (Freedive Passion dot com), UK record holder who goes to 100+ meters deep on a single breath.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving sites are pretty awesome. Not just in Dahab, but in Sharm El Sheikh too (100km away). I didn’t try much of this but heard many good things & there are probably more than 20 scuba diving schools just in Dahab.

Kite Surfing & Wind Surfing

There is a massive lagoon (you can spot if on Google Earth) where Kite Surfers & Wind Surfers find incredible conditions. I didn’t get the time to try this out but I’m defo down for next time.

Regarding Kite Surfing: a 10 hours course (a “zero to hero” type of course) costs around 200 euros & runs of 5 days (2h/day) - after that you can rent the gear per day/week & go on your own.

Other Activities

Yoga - whether “active” (in movement) or meditative (seated) - definitely have their place in Dahab, this is even more the case as many freedivers “use” Yoga in a very pragmatic way: to achieve stronger focus, higher relaxation levels & more flexibility. There are regular yoga classes teached by pro freedivers (who also happen to be Yoga instructors) & “regular” yoga instructors. Coral Coast (hotel) is known for hosting a lot of yoga classes & other “wellness” workshops (massage, dance & such).

Hiking, Cycling, Trail Running: all of these can be done on your own in the surroundings of Dahab (check out all the mountains nearby on Google Earth).

Nothing-ing, prob one of the top activities in Dahab: just sit somewhere nice and do fuck all - take a slow breath-in & a slow breath-out, and enjoy the slowness of the place. Speak with a random local, share tea with a stranger, time definitely feels different in Dahab, it’s a very very chill place.

Misc

Dahab is extremely family friendly. There are crap loads of foreign children living/vacationing in Dahab with their parents. Actually there is even a kinda unexpected phenomenon of young mothers coming vacationing with their baby/children while their partner is working in the cold winter of Europe/Russia.

Health services: I heard that Egyptian Doctors are very good (I’ll try get more info on that). I went to see a doc for my ears (coz of diving), he was both excellent & super cheap (5 euros for 2 consultations). A friend is getting some dental care being done for 1/4 of the western price in Sharm El Sheikh.


Coworking Spaces in Dahab

Note that I’m writing the below in February 2019.

Coworkinn Dahab seems to be working on & off.
I went there a few days ago & no one answered at the door. I contacted them on facebook to know if they were open, they replied “we’re currently closed”, I then asked when they’ll reopen (in April, when the low season is over I’d imagine) but they never replied.

Mojo Cowork Cafe is a coworking space that opened not long ago it seems. It does the job: the internet connection is ok, the comfort is ok. They have some sort of big sofas instead of chairs which is super annoying, it’s kinda impossible to sit properly so you easily end up with your laptop on your legs or sitting with your back in an awkward position. Patrick runs the coworking space, he’s a nice German guy. They also serve food & there are tons of restaurants nearby (some are locals & crazy cheap).

Alchemist Hub is a new coworking space that plans to open in March 2019.


Wifi’s & network in Dahab

Note that I’m writing the below in February 2019.

So far I’m using my phone for tethering 90% of the time. Got a SIM card loaded with 20GB of data for 1 month, with Orange, it cost me 10 USD at the airport.

I always have a decent signal, 3G or 4G. And so far most of the wifi networks I’ve tried are not that great. So that does the job.


Cost of living

Note that I’m writing the below in February 2019.

You can find private studios from 100 euros a month (in Assala area). That’s if you have a bit of time to search (maybe 2-3 days). If you’re in a rush or need something of higher quality, you’ll probably spend something like 200 euros or so. You can go speak to Sameh at Shanti House (near Dar Dahab hotel) if you need a house, he’s a friend of mine, he speaks excellent English & provides excellent accommodation services (short & long term).

Food in restaurant: in a nice place by the sea will cost you around 2.5 euros for a dish (salad, pasta, or else); if on super tight budget, you can opt for the more local restaurant where you can have a dish between 0.5-1 euro.

Bicycle rental: it costs around 35 euros per month - you might find something cheaper though.

Visa: currently a 1 month visa on arrival costs 25 USD. The 3 months, 6 months & 12 months visa costs around 60 euros I was told (and you can do it when here).

Cost of living is especially during the low season, which is exactly during the European winter (December to March).

So yeah, Dahab is crazy cheap and it’s close to Europe… quite unique.

Best cafes to work from in Dahab?


So since I’m disappointed by the coworking spaces, I’m looking for the best cafes to work from?

Tons of cafes & restaurant, but many don’t have plugs, are too busy or else. Insights welcome :slight_smile:

0 Likes

Where are the nomad hotspots where you can scuba dive?
What's the best warm destinations in Europe in the winter?
#3

Answering my own question since no-one replied yet - yep, that’s allowed :]

I found that most cafes-restaurants located along the beach, from Sinbad-Camp towards Blue Hole, are very quiet (very few customers) and are perfect spots to work from.

Many of them have plugs near a couple of tables at least. And since they have very few clients, their wifi usually does the job. However, always have your mobile ready to tether if needed.

Here are some I especially liked going to:

  • Marine Garden Restaurant, super nice staff + prob the healthiest (vegan) restaurant in town + good wifi
  • Waffle House, super nice staff + very good coffee + waffle fest
  • Mirage Restaurant
  • Eldorado Restaurant

All these restaurants can be found on Google Map.

0 Likes