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6 Reasons Why Dahab, Egypt Might be the Best Place in the World for Blogging


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Right now I am sitting in a hammock next to the sea, looking out at some snorkelers. I am happy, comfortable and content. I was sitting here trying to think of what I could write for a new post. I am “working”.

I’m in Dahab, Egypt, so I could write about anything. I could tell you about my crazy border crossing from Jordan, military escort and all. I could try to put into words my trip into the desert Bedouin camps, my hike up St. Catherine (Moses) mountain, or the camel safaris down the beaches. I could try to paint a picture about the tranquility of my numerous dives into the sea.

What’s really on my mind right now, is how great of a place Dahab really  is overall. This is the sort of place the a weary traveler could end up staying a long time. Could this be my new home base? Could I call Dahab “home”, or as close to “home” as a nomad can have?

To prove my point, to you and myself, I will make a list of reason why I think Dahab could be the ultimate place for a travel blogger to be.

 

Dahab, Egypt

1. It’s warm! I don’t know about you, but I need a place to be warm. I would rather hang out in flip flops and short all day, than a big coat and be miserable. Seeing the bikinis run around apposed to parkas helps as well!

2. It’s cheap. Right now I am paying about $6 for a private room mere steps from the ocean AND a pool. I can literally snorkel 30 seconds from my room. What more can one ask? Cheap rooms, cheap diving, cheap tours and negotiable everything. I started to leave my hotel the other day to go to another one, and the owner stopped me. In about 1 minute he offered me the room for half price. So I stayed. Visiting Egypt is seriously the thing to be doing.

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3. No tourists. Because of the whole revolution thing, there are state department warnings not to come here. What does that mean for the people that DO come anyways? Prices are way down and negotiating those already-low prices is easier. When you’re one of the only foreigners in town, people compete for your business.

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4. World class diving. The other day I did a fun dive and it was so awesome that I haven’t stopped since. Everyone that likes diving has heard of the Blue Hole of Dahab, but honestly that’s not even my favorite place in the area. I’m worn out from doing 13 dives in the last 10 days, but very happy. Dives are great, cheap, in warm water and very close by. What more is there!?

5. Friendly people. Traveling alone for last few years, I can really appreciate warm and friendly people (something that Israel really lacked). Back home all you hear about is the evil, terrorist Muslims. Now that I am here, I have never been welcomed so warmly and accepted as a brother. Maybe it’s hard to understand if you aren’t here, but it’s easy to feel like you are loved and welcomed here. There is not many places in the world that I have been where I could say the same. I will be sad to leave… If I ever do.

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6. No pressure. This place oozes relaxation. For a truly religious country, I, as a non-affiliate, have noticed that I have had no pressure to convert or repent or anything, and have never experienced such a level of tolerance before. Muslims are much different than I imagined. They seem happy, and intuitive. They don’t want to judge you, like Christians, Catholics and many others do. They don’t say to me that they are the only way and everyone else is damned forever. The Koran teaches to be completely open-minded and to always be learning. It has lead to many long discussions on everything in life.

I am pleasantly surprised by Egypt, and Dahab in particular, but again, maybe this is something you have to experience yourself to understand. And I recommend you do!

 

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32 Responses to 6 Reasons Why Dahab, Egypt Might be the Best Place in the World for Blogging

  1. Maria January 10, 2014 at 05:29 #

    Great photos and being able to snorkel 30 seconds from your room sounds like heaven.
    Maria recently posted…Haiku – Silent CompanionMy Profile

  2. Sam January 10, 2014 at 13:27 #

    That’s interesting. I visited Dahab briefly in 2010 and didn’t really like it, though when I was there it was pretty busy and full of tourists, so that likely had something to do with it! I had just come from Nuweiba further north, and had much preferred the atmosphere there, which was very laid back. How do you find the internet in Dahab? Fast?
    Sam recently posted…Vegetarian Cuenca: Best EatsMy Profile

  3. Patrick Smith January 11, 2014 at 09:27 #

    Another good post! I have actually been thinking about visiting Egypt in the next few months. The revolution scares me, but I also know that those things usually are centralized in specific areas. Thanks! BTW- your flip flops and shorts “like” is so right on!

    • Justin @ TrueNomads January 30, 2014 at 02:01 #

      Once here you’ll find nothing to be scared of. The bombing are targeted at military and police around Cairo. Far from Dahab. Just as out of site and mind as if I was in Europe almost.
      Justin @ TrueNomads recently posted…19 Things I learned about LithuaniaMy Profile

  4. Helen January 11, 2014 at 17:14 #

    Nice post, Justin. I’d love to go to Egypt right now but I can’t find an insurance company to insure my time in Cairo, which I’d have to fly into. How did you handle this? And could I also asked which hostel you’re staying at? Would love any suggestions. Thanks!
    Helen recently posted…Kenya: The Maasai Mara and Spectacle of the Great MigrationMy Profile

    • Justin @ TrueNomads January 30, 2014 at 02:04 #

      I handled it by saying screw it and going anyways. If you are truly worried about Cairo, I know people who fly in, then take another flight to Sharm El Sheik, never leaving the airport. From there it’s an hour or to bus ride to Dahab. I’ve stayed at a few hotels here and all were great and cheap- Octopus, Penguin, and now Sphinx. I’m paying around $7 for the nicest and biggest room i’ve ever stayed in.
      Justin @ TrueNomads recently posted…Photo Essay: Diving in Dahab, EgyptMy Profile

  5. Gemma January 11, 2014 at 22:28 #

    Quiet, cheap AND snorkelling close by? Sound like our kind of place! I have been meaning t do Open Water somewhere….
    Gemma recently posted…Discovering the genius of Nikola Tesla at the Memorial Centre in Smiljan, CroatiaMy Profile

  6. Bjorn Solstad January 20, 2014 at 06:11 #

    Nice article. I found it via Egypt Business Directory. I live in Cairo, and have been thinking about heading to Dahab a few times, but not sure if traveling on the road is very safe still.

    What hotel are you staying at?
    Bjorn Solstad recently posted…Upgrading to Filemaker Pro 13My Profile

  7. Noelfy January 20, 2014 at 09:59 #

    Cheap and snorkel 30 second from the room?
    I am sold!! :D
    Noelfy recently posted…FREE Travel CalendarMy Profile

  8. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs January 22, 2014 at 04:17 #

    I loved Dahab. I have been throughoutly disappointed with Egypt but Dahab was like a true saving oasis!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted…#MTAnews: 2013 Travels – In PicturesMy Profile

  9. Klaus January 23, 2014 at 04:39 #

    love ths article ;) … send best energy from today stormy Asalah … Klaus

  10. Robin January 23, 2014 at 15:01 #

    WORD! In 2010 I spent a month in Dahab and wrote on a book. What can I tell you. Rented a flat for roundabout 250€. Went snorkeling at lunch-time almost each day. Went to the Bedouin-Lodge (one of my favourites) almost each night, met other travelllers and smoked a shisha. Good times!

  11. Marina January 23, 2014 at 16:02 #

    So true ! There are many places in the world that I have been before “finding” Dahab, but this was the place ! Came over and over again –like so many people do–, finally decided to live here five years ago and never regretted it… There’s definitely something very special about Dahab that makes you feel home and want to return.
    And the landscape is so beautiful ! Just imagine : majestic Sinai, amazing Red Sea with a glimpse of Saudi Arabia in the distance !!

    Yes, snorkelling and/or diving couldn’t be closer by ; take a few steps and wade into the water ! The reef is that close, and there’s quite a number of wonderful sites.

    True, accommodation can be cheap, but to be quite honest, I don’t really believe you can find a decent room for $6 (=40 EGP) even in a camp… Many hotels/ camps/ apartments/houses to stay though…

    No need to be scared of the revolution, since Dahab never ceased being as quiet as could be. Maybe it’s not worth bothering about finding an insurance company to insure your time in Cairo if that’s where you have to fly into : why not just stay in the airport and catch a domestic flight to Sharm el Sheikh, an hour away from Dahab ?
    As for driving from Cairo, scores of people travel this way, and there are several buses every day.

    See you soon in Dahab ;)

    • Bev March 1, 2014 at 04:04 #

      Hi Marina, hope you don’t mind me asking but how do you get on with the language and working. We visited Dahab last Nov and are coming back again in 2 weeks, we just love the place and the people and have done nothing but think about if we could move there. Although I try I’m useless with languages and struggle with anything more than pleasantries.

      • Marina March 2, 2014 at 16:09 #

        Hi Bev :)

        Happy if I can help !

        I don’t think you should worry about the language. Sure a little Arabic can help, but English is OK in most situations. As for dealing with the locals who speak no English, you can always get help. And, little by little, you will learn some Arabic, –at least enough to make people happy with a little ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ in Egyptian ;)

        Finding a good work here is not so easy. Most of the jobs you can get won’t make much money ; since the revolution, it’s been even more difficult because of the lack of tourists. Let’s say deciding to come and live here really is a matter of choice: you have to know and accept that your life here will be simple and different.

        Since you’ll be back here in two weeks, maybe you’ll have other questions… => please send me your e-mail address so that I can answer …

  12. Molly January 24, 2014 at 08:13 #

    Great article! Are you still in Dahab? I’m living here too for a bit and agree with everything you’ve said! I love this place, it honestly feels like a second home.

  13. Mark January 29, 2014 at 12:43 #

    Justin,

    Haha… we loved it too. For breakfast we went to Seven Heaven and had Bedouin tea, beans, toast, and the best felafel I’ve ever eaten. That place rocks! Sorry to hear that Israel wasn’t too friendly. We were treated like kings in every place we went to in the Middle East… especially Israel and Egypt.

    Muslim hospitality is some of the best in the world. I wish more Americans would travel to the Middle East to find this out. One night, we were lost and could not even find our hostel. We couldn’t even remember the name b/c we forgot to grab a business card on the way out. Some Saudis saw the confounded looks on our faces, invited us to supper, paid, and then offered to drive us around town, along the coast, until we found our place. Things like this happened so often that we quit blogging about them. Strangers invited us in for tea, meals, and even offered to let us spend the night. They would then invite us to supper with their families and give us gifts as we were leaving. I can’t say that this happens for everyone, but wow… we’ll never forget it. We still write to some of these kind people and send them gifts to show how much we appreciated taking in strangers.

    Love it, but come summer time, it is a scorcher :0)

    • Justin @ TrueNomads January 30, 2014 at 02:07 #

      Hey Mark. Ya, I’m loving it, it’s giving me time to do more diving and courses, while also relaxing and getting a lot of work done.

      It’s not that I didn’t have a great time in Israel, but compared to Jordan and Egypt, they are unfriendly. Most countries are a little unfriendly though, compared to Jordan and Egypt haha
      Justin @ TrueNomads recently posted…19 Interesting Facts about GreeceMy Profile

  14. Jaryd February 4, 2014 at 04:55 #

    How AWESOME is DAHAB!! I lived there for 5 months and worked as a dive master. Actually right there is where my travel blog began and even took off. I love that place, have lots of friends there and can’t wait to go back. Where have you been staying? PM me if you want a to rent an apartment, I will be able to help you out
    Jaryd recently posted…Is your travel money card ripping you off?My Profile

  15. scarlet jones February 14, 2014 at 11:32 #

    I visited Darhab Two years ago. your article reminds me that I promised to return. It was idyllic and as you say, the people who live and work there are lovely

  16. Nathan Anderson February 23, 2014 at 22:59 #

    Great post! Egypt hadn’t really been on my radar for diving, but I definitely want to check it out now. All the best :)
    Nathan Anderson recently posted…Big Plans for the ‘StansMy Profile

  17. Spanish translator @LatinAbroad February 24, 2014 at 05:49 #

    I MISS DAHAB SO DAMN MUCH!! I lived in Egypt from 2008-2009, lost count of how many times I took the bus from Cairo to step into the AMAZING world of Dahab.

    SO SO happy to hear that it is still the same place it used to be, even post-revolution. In fact, with as few tourists as you say, might be even SWEETER now!!

    It is and I think will always be my favorite place on Earth. I actually stumbled upon this post after searching for “places ike dahab egypt around the world” since I JUST woke up from having a dream about being back to Dahab (NO KIDDING…)

    Ahhhhhhhh.. *sobs quietly* I’ll be back soon, my love…

    - Maria Alexandra
    Spanish translator @LatinAbroad recently posted…Puerto Rico’s Western paradise: Our Rincon beach house rental [PHOTOS]My Profile

  18. alibey March 1, 2014 at 21:43 #

    justin

    r u still in dahab? please write via email re safety i was there last year this time

  19. Barry Gordon May 3, 2014 at 04:49 #

    I’ve been hearing an seeing Egypt on TV a news, could someone PLEASE tell me if entire countrys in turmoil or parts safe?
    Thank you very much. :-)

    • Shane May 22, 2014 at 19:51 #

      Hi Barry, I can’t speak for now but Dahab didn’t see any trouble at all during the protests against Mubarak. I would bet it is just as safe and calm there today.
      Shane recently posted…Beach Assistant Wanted in EgyptMy Profile

  20. Shane May 22, 2014 at 19:43 #

    The only problem with Dahab as a great place for blogging is all the cats trying to sit on your laptop.
    Shane recently posted…Workers of the World #13My Profile

    • True Nomads May 23, 2014 at 06:24 #

      Hahaha, that’s hilarious because its true!

  21. Dan July 7, 2014 at 18:30 #

    I visited there a little before the revolution. It’s nice but really it’s not much more than a tourist resort. As with most tourist resorts I found it quite depressing! Plus there’s really not much to do except dive and possibly hike up the mountain. Still, it was cheap before the revolution too (in the off season anyway.) We stayed at the Penguin Hotel (or something like that…actually one of your photos seems to be from there) and spent the majority of our days sat on top of the restaurant smoking a shisha and reading books! It was pretty windy too as I recall!

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