Dahab, Sinai Egypt
Where shall I start with Dahab....
I first visited Dahab some 15 years ago when it was a genuine Bedouin Village, dusty, no tarmac or block paving. The Dahab bay from "The Light House" to the Police building and beyond was a dusty strip with Bedouin cafe's made of Rug's and Cushion's wonderful local hospitality - a dream location for a get away holiday and that's with out mentioning the stunning diving.
This year (September 2011) I returned to Dahab for the first time in 9 years and oh what a shock to the senses, all the way from the airport. What was a single carriageway to Dahab is now a Dual carriageway, including as a ring road around what is now a Town from the north of the town to the new large "Complex" Happy Life Village in the south.
The Dahab we knew is gone, we got the taxi to drop us off at the Light House of an evening to go into town for an evening meal, take in the atmosphere. The walk from the Light house to the Bridge is like running the gauntlet, with restaurant staff doing their best to accost or pressurise anyone passing by into the premises. Then muttering behind us as we kept on walking, simply out for a quite evening walk, nothing like our past experiences of Dahab.
Other developments along the coastal strip leave me questioning what is going to become of not only Dahab but the Reefs. For example at every dive location we visited there was bus or Jeep loads of other visitors being bussed in for snorkelling trips, a majority of which was out of control, wondering across the top of the Reef instead of being guided to the access points - Thus adding to the destruction of the Reef as a whole. - One final point was observed between the "Bells to the Blue Hole". After entering the water, I was aware of the drown of an engine noise in the back ground, as I moved towards the Blue Hole the noise was intensifying making me look around for boat traffic, then it dawned on me, generators! All the cafe's at the Blue Hole had to get there power from somewhere - What are the long term affects of all this on the Reef habitat?
Egypt, Dahab, please take note of all these changes. Can the short term gains of the expanded tourism be sustained at this level? What are these affects having on the Reef? Why not make this area a National park and protect it? With access via permit only via accredited guides? Or is Dahab to become another Sharm El Sheikh
We take our diving very seriously and are proud to be apart of earthdive and implore all divers to adopt there code of practice.
eCORD - Code of responsible diving