Sharm-el-Sheikh is located on the Egyptian Red Sea coast, at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. It is known as The City of Peace referring to the large number of international peace conferences that have been held there.
During occupation, the Israelis opened the first tourist-oriented establishments in the area six kilometers north at Naama Bay. These included a marina hotel on the southern side of the bay, a nature field school on the northern side, diving clubs, a now well-known promenade, and the Naama Bay Hotel.
After the Sinai was restored to Egypt in 1982, the Egyptian government embarked on an initiative to encourage continued development of the city, with the help of foreign investors.
Weather in Sharm el Sheikh: Average temperatures during the winter months (November to March) range from 15 to 35 degrees Celsius and during the summer months (April to October) from 20 to 45 degrees Celsius. The temperature of the Red Sea in this region ranges from 21 to 28 degrees Celsius over the course of the year.
Sharm-el-Sheikh’s major industry is foreign and domestic tourism, owing to its dramatic landscape, year-round dry and temperate climate and long stretches of natural beaches. Its waters are clear and calm for most of the year and have become popular for various watersports, particularly recreational scuba diving and snorkeling (which many consider to be among the best in the world). Coral reefs, under water and marine life, unmatched anywhere in the world, offer a spectacular and dazzling time for divers. There is wide room for scientific tourism with diversity in marine life species; 250 different coral reefs and 1000 species of fish.
These natural resources, together with its proximity to European tourism markets, have stimulated the rapid growth of tourism that the region is currently experiencing. Highly reputable management companies have been attracted to invest in this city, among them Hyatt Regency, Accor, Marriott, Le Méridien, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and others, with categories from three to five stars. Franchises like Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe can be found in Sharm-el-Sheikh.
The night life of Sharm-El-Sheikh is also quite attractive. In 2005, Little Buddha, a sushi bar, nightclub, and bar, took the title of having the longest continuous bar in the Middle East. Other popular bars include: Camel Bar, The Tavern, Pirate’s Bar, Movenpick Beach, and The Mexican. If dancing is appealing to you, then Sharm has much to offer. Clubs such as The Bus Stop and world renowned Pascha throw parties almost every night of the year.
The colorful handicraft stands of the local Bedouin culture are a popular attraction. Ras Mohammed, at the southern-most tip of the peninsula, has been designated a national park, serving to protect the area’s wildlife as well as its natural landscape, shoreline and coral reef. A number of international hotels and noted restaurants are clustered around the center of Sharm, known as Naama Bay, with golf courses and other leisure facilities further up the coast.
A trip into the desert is an unforgettable adventure. A visit to the desert is highly recommended. The hotels offer various trips to the Bedouins, the beautiful Coloured Canyon and beyond to Mount Sinai. The Sinai Peninsula is a remote desert mountain range. The rocky mountains are parted from the deep-blue sea by a flat desert strip. This combination of desert and sea is an incredible sight and makes you believe you are on a different planet. The more adventurous should try to find a private guide, who takes them for a few days into the mountain desert with a camel. You will walk through hidden valleys, rest at secret oasis and during the night you sleep under a breathtaking firmament.
Sharm-el-Sheikh has also become a favorite spot for Scuba divers from around the world. Being situated by the warm waters of the Red Sea, it provides some of the most stunning underwater scenery, making this an ideal place to dive. The reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are known as two of the best diving-spots in the world. They can be reached by boat from Sharm within two hours. Ras Mohammed is the name of the southern most point of the Sinai peninsula. There, the current of the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez. Due to the increase of plankton in the water, the amount of fish is incredible. Huge schools of barracudas, sharks and murrays can be seen there every day, along some of the most beautiful coral gardens you can imagine. Beach seekers enjoy many activities such as diving, snorkeling, wind surfing, para-sailing, boating, and canoeing. Sharm’s marina has been redeveloped for private yachts and sailboats, with a passenger terminal for cruise ships and scheduled ferry service to Hurghada and Aqaba.
By plane – Sharm-el-Sheikh Airport (IATA: SSH) (ICAO: HESH) is the largest in the Sinai and receives planeloads of charter tourists daily in the winter high season. The only airline for local flights is EgyptAir. Your travel agent may have trouble booking flights with them but they can also be booked via Expedia or Travelocity.
By boat – International Fast Ferries runs fast boats to Hurghada on the mainland Red Sea Coast, currently running four times weekly. The ride takes 1.5 hours and costs 250/450 LE one-way/return for foreigners. Warning: this ride is notoriously bumpy and prone to cancellations.
By car / By bus – Sharm-el-Sheikh can be reached by driving down the eastern coast from Eilat (Israel) via Nuweiba and Dahab, or via the western coast from Cairo. There are daily buses for both routes.
Taba / Eliat Border Crossing – This is the only international border between Egypt and Israel where tourists can cross. The terminal is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year except for the holidays of Eid ul-Adha and Yom Kippur.
The Israeli border terminal can be reached from within Israel via Egged bus number 15 from Eilat’s central bus station. Privately owned Israeli cars and rental cars may cross through the terminal. Rental cars from Israel may only stay in the confines of the Egyptian border terminal (this includes the parking lots of the Hilton Taba and Mövenpick Taba Resort) while privately owned Israeli cars may travel within the Sinai after a change of license plates, registration and the payment of a tax.
Services within the terminal includes drive in stations for those traveling by car, money exchange, duty free shop and a cafeteria.
Taba Holidays in Egypt: Taba Heights is a well-planned holiday resort located twenty km south of Taba where the Sinai mountain range provides a spectacular backdrop to the sparkling blue waters of the Red Sea.