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This pearl of the gulf actually consists of two villages; the Bedouin village of Assalah is the southern half, with the business and administrative center of Dahab to the north. There are also clusters of holiday villages that cater to affluent visitors.Assalah is the most developed part of Dahab, 2,5 miles up the coat from downtown. Historically, most visitors to Dahab have been backpackers traveling independently and staying in the hostels in this area.  It is a sprawling conglomeration of palm trees, shops, campgrounds, hotels, bars and restaurants that lie along the shore of Ghazala Bay. Assalah has a distictly bohemian feel. Less laid back, but still relaxed, is the area just south along El-Qura Bay. Here, upscale luxury holiday villages and dive centers attract a very different clientele.

Dahab means 'gold' in Arabic. In Sinai it means golden sands, turquoise sea and off-beat cafe life. It is a focus of tourism development, with swaying palms, fine sand and wonderful snorkeling opportunities. Dahab has excellent hotel accommodations, but also affords less expensive housing in the village, or camping. About 5 miles from town is the famous Blue Hole, for diving. Towards the Israeli border is the Island of Coral, where the Crusaders built a fort. The remains can still be seen.

Dahab was originally a Bedouin fishing village that today is world-renowned for its windsurfing, because of the reliable winds that provide outstanding flat water conditions. However, there are many reefs immediately adjacent to the waterfront hotels, so scuba diving and snorkeling are also very popular sports, especially considering the nearby Blue Hole. One of the main attractions of Dahab is the unique on-the-ground restaurants, a mixture of Hippie and Bedouin styles developed over several decades. Large cushions and low tables are placed next to the sea, and decorated with colorful cloths. Most of these restaurants have fish stalls in front, where one can pick the fish of one's choice and have it prepared according to one's wishes. The menus are delicious, quite affordable, but a bit above the price level of the average Egyptian restaurant. After finishing one's food, onejust lean back in the cushions and rest for as long as you wish.

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