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.
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, 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 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.