Hello Egypt

This is our latest article for the Hello Egypt publication…enjoy

Dahab in paradise, then and now

Most of us want to travel and see something different at some point in our life, but then most of us expect to go home afterwards too…I never did. I came to Dahab in 1997 as part of a world tour and never left. A one week holiday has turned into a lifetime of living and loving in Dahab.

I look back at those times and realise that I was very brave to give up everything I had in the UK. I had a well-paid job that I loved, friends, family and a whole different life. The decision to make Dahab my home was not an easy one.
People see pictures of Dahab how it used to be and sigh ‘why can’t it be like this anymore’ well yes it looked lovely and in a lot of ways was…but the facilities that people take for granted were not there…forget regular power, water and clean food and we were very much ‘cut-off’ from the rest of the world, due to no mobiles, computers or Wi-Fi. Also there were no good Doctors, Dentists or Schools etc. so yes life was tough and challenging.

The only way of contacting the outside world, was by buying a phone credit from the local supermarket which allowed about 1 minute of ‘talk time’ and by then queuing for the only pay-phone in Dahab, next to the ‘chicken shop’ watching them get their heads snapped and popped into a chicken de-feathering machine…only increased my resolve to continue being vegetarian….

Fast forward on and here I am now with an amazing husband, Helal and our family of 3 beautiful kids: Nadia 20, Hebba 14 and Sameh just about to be 12. We own and run a boutique guest house/dive centre, on the shores of Eel Garden, called Dive Urge which we started in 2001. It is a labour of love which stands out from the crowds for its uniqueness in a sea of same same places.
We designed our place with disabled guests in mind…it just seemed natural to do so…and with the environment in mind too (we are the only dive club in the Red Sea which guarantee 4-1 divers to reduce impact on the precious environment and have also achieved a massive ‘no plastic bottles’ in our resort…but one of the most important features can’t even be seen…we set out to look after our staff, and make them feel valued and cherished…to be treated the way we would want to be treated.

The great thing about Dahab is that there are never 2 days the same…you’ll wake up with your ‘things to do’ but then you’ll get chatting to a lovely interesting guest or a local ‘Dahabian’ and your day will take a shift….I guess, in a lot of ways, leaving the monotony of life in the UK was a breath of fresh air…no more Monday-Fridays 9-5.

Dahab is not perfect, that’s true, but show me anywhere that is, it has heart and soul and an amazing energy that either embraces you or spits you out. Not many folk have lasted their lifetime here like we have, because it is not easy…many come for a holiday and think hmm this is nice, but normal life continues even in paradise, there still work, school, life and all the stresses that come with it.

So if you are thinking to come to Dahab on holiday, then do it. There is plenty on offer here: scuba diving, snorkelling, yoga, camels, horse, quad bikes mountain exploring to mention just a few.
Try not to be cheap, these folks have had a really hard few years and for every worker or shop keeper you see there’s a family behind him to look after too.

Maybe the thing that is most elusive in this life is the art of doing nothing…turning off your phones and constant updates….battling the need to be ‘in touch’ every day. We need to regain the ability of doing nothing…a lost skill and a valuable one too…don’t pack your day with loads of ‘stuff to do’…try and come and just be…sit on the beach and watch the waves…look at the palm trees swaying in the wind…we are from nature and will all go back to it at some point, so why not connect now?

Come and enjoy Dahab, choose an environmentally aware place, not based on price but on what they offer and give back to the community and spend your money without bargaining, smile at everyone, you’ll be surprised at how many smile back.

Scubaverse…Why Dive Urge ?

Click on here to see why you should stay with us here at Dive Urge 😉

Why Dive Urge, we answer Scuabverse's questions

Why Dive Urge, we answer Scubaverse’s questions

Questions for resort.

These are some sample questions for you to answer to help write an interesting article to help promote your center. If any of the questions you do not want to answer that is fine, and also I have added space at the end that if you would like to be asked a specific question you can add the question and answer to the sheet. Hope this works for you.

 

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I am a PADI MSDT and learned to dive in Dahab in 1998

What is your favorite type of diving?

low key, shallow, shore dives, impulsive

If you could tell people one thing about the center (or maybe more) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

4-1 we are the only dive center in the Red Sea that guarantees no more than 4 guests diving with a guide, for courses and guided. We are an Eco Centre, fully committed to responsible tourism. We are a family run club and offer a unique home from home experience. We are number one for our accommodation on Trip Advisor.

 

What was your favorite dive in this location and why?

Hard question. I do love Eel Garden which I have done literally hundreds of times but never fails to move me, the light there from early morning to dusk is always amazing, I have seen everything from Turtle, Giant Morays and the spectacular fish ball made up of billions of silversides on the reef being chased by Trevallies never fails to give you a wow moment.

What types of diving are available in this area?

mostly shore dives, but with some sited that can be reached only by boat too, on day trips.

 

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

‘it’s our baby, Dive Urge is built with and shows the love of the area of Dahab. We are on every aspect of someone’s holiday from the first enquiry until their back home…and we all genuinely love making it the best holiday ever for folks.

How would you like help promoting your center?

Anything which shows the world that Egypt is very safe and not to believe the negative hype in the media which we have all suffered from since the revolution in 2010. I would like to promote not only our center but Dahab too, I really love this funky little town .

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Another hard one eh? Of course we all get excited when we see a ray of any sort or a large moray sticking his head out of the coral etc.…but hands down got to be the Turtle, so serene and majestic…love love turtles.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

yes the British government will realize that they forgot to lift the ban on direct flights and take off the negative travel advice for South Sinai and let us all get back to work.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

See above

Is your center involved in any environmental improvement?

Yes, loads, as I mentioned we only dive with 4 guest max and less if they are not compatible divers (i.e. different levels of experience or air consumption) this reduces the impact considerably as a guide can control 4 much better than 6,8 or even in Sharm… 10 + per guide!

We do regular pickups on shore and anything we come across in the water too, this creates also a good habit for our guests. We teach buoyancy skills to everyone; our Advanced Course includes the Peak Performance Dive as mandatory for this reason. We make sure guests equipment is well trimmed and no dangles.

We conserve water in our club using renewable well water for plants etc. We have banned stopped all single use plastic including the dreaded water bottle and supply our water in glass bottles and we offer a bottle refilling service for our guests. We re-cycle everything Inc fruit and veg which is given to the goats. We provide cotton bags for local shopping so our guests don’t have to use plastic bags.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

I think it needs to take a much bigger responsibility for the underwater environment. I think some dive sites should be closed for a period of time i.e. a year to allow fish to re populate it. All fishing should be stopped now, even by the indigenous population of Bedouins who see it as their right to do so, but the nets are the killers not the fish they take out.

 

 

What it feels like to have a holiday here, by Lynn Rowley

WOW!!!! What can I say except for what fantastic place to stay in Dahab.

PADI, Scubadiving, Dahab, holiday, Red Sea

How a Dive Urge Holiday makes you feel.

The hotel is situated right on the beach opposite the Eel garden, a perfect location. Our room was lovely, clean and quiet. We arrived during the middle of the night which was was no problem, we were taken straight to our room to get our heads down to sleep. We would have our breakfast on the beach with the most beautiful views. Across the way you can see Saudi Arabia too. The hotel is very clean and the staff are just amazing!! The food is great and the hotel overall is very reasonably priced.

Our evenings consisted of either taking a stroll along the beach promenade into Dahab which was about 10 minutes or chill out in the seating area on beach at Dive Urge and have dinner there. Star gazing too, is fantastic there….

As for the diving….well what can I say…. I had just the best instructor ever…. Mamdoh. He was my amazing instructor who helped me pass my PADI OW qualification. I felt at complete ease with him and the man just oozes coolness! Nothing was a problem, I could happily ask as many questions as I liked and he would explain everything perfectly. His english is impeccable. We enjoyed his company so much that we went on to do a further 6 shore dives. I am a better diver because of him.

PADI Open Water, Dahab, Scuba, Diving, Red Sea, Holiday

Lynn feels the fun of diving

A trip to Abu Galum is a must. I am gutted now that we did not stay overnight… but definitely next time. To get there was an adventure in itself as we took a boat (with bumpy waters) although it is not always like that. The locals were very kind too especially little Nora! The dive sites were amazing as the pictures I have attached will show. For lunch we had chicken, rice, salad or vegetables. Tasted amazing!

Another must is the trip to the White Canyon arranged by Lynne. I have memories of this trip that will stay with me forever. Ahmed was just the perfect host along with Ibrahim and the driver. To get to the Canyon we went via a little village in the middle of nowhere, where there are these stone huts, that to date, their history is not known but extremely impressive. We then went and had a bedouin tea in the tiny village nearby and met the handful of families that live there. I have never been to a place quite like it. At the Canyon, there is a little climbing to do at the beginning to get down into the Canyon. Good comfy walking shoes are a must as is a hat, as it is hot hot hot!! At the end of the Canyon is an Oasis which is breathtaking. The contrast of the blue sky, red rock and green palm trees…… WOW! We stopped here and had lunch. The ride back was fantastic driving on the sand and all the bumpiness it brought!! So much fun!!

desert, trips, dahab, excursions, bedouins, white canyon

White Canyon Desert Trip

Lynne…. what a lady!!! So knowledgable, kind, funny and attentive. We even had the pleasure of joining her on a snorkel over to the Eel garden. In fact, I must say the whole Dive Urge family were amazing. We enjoyed their company very much.

We felt at complete ease, safe and very very happy to be at Dive Urge and Dahab.

Can’t wait to visit again!!

Show less

  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled with friends