Hurghada is a city in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt. It is a main tourist center and the third largest Egyptian city (after Suez and Ismailia) located on the Red Sea coast.
The city was founded in the early 20th century, and until a few years ago it was a small fishing village. But since the 1980s, it has been continually enlarged by Egyptian and foreign investors to become the leading coastal resort on the Red Sea. Holiday villages and hotels provide aquatic sport facilities for sailboarders, yachtsmen, scuba divers and snorkelers. Hurghada is known for its watersports activities, nightlife and warm weather. Daily temperature hovers round 30 °C (86 °F) most of the year. Numerous Europeans spend their Christmas and New Year holidays in the city, mainly Germans, Russians and Italians.
Hurghada stretches for about 36 kilometres (22 mi) along the seashore, and it does not reach far into the surrounding desert. The resort is a destination for Egyptian tourists from Cairo, the Delta and Upper Egypt, as well as package holiday tourists from Europe, notably Italians and Germans.
|TIME ZONE :||EST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes|
|RELIGION :||Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%|
|ELEVATION :||14 m (46 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||27°15′28″N 33°48′42″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.22|
• Female: 49.78
|ETHNIC :||Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4%|
|AREA CODE :||65|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||(+20) 65|
Hurghada was once a fairly small and unimposing fishing village, located next to the Red Sea and boasting a number of superb beaches. Today, the resort of Hurghada is almost unrecognizable from its past life and has grown to become the most visited tourist destination in the whole of Egypt, with more than 100 different hotels, many of which line the shoreline.
Famous for its superb diving opportunities, Hurghada is especially appealing to those with little experience of scuba diving, who come to marvel at the underwater reefs and awesome marine life. Tourism is now a huge part of Hurghada and each year, many tourists choose to combine their holiday here with visits to other prominent locations along the Nile Valley, including the relatively nearby city of Luxor.
The village, which later evolved into what is now the city of Hurghada, was settled in 1905. It acquired its name from a plant which has grown naturally since ancient times. By then it was only a fishing village. Oil was discovered in the area in 1913, but actual production and export only began in 1921 under British oil magnates. During the reign of King Farouk a recreational center was built in the city, but after President Nasser's nationalization of Egypt's industries it was turned over to the armed forces.
During the War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt, Shadwan island east of the city in the Red Sea, was fortified and held by Egyptian troops and used as a radar post. On 22 January 1970, it was the site of Operation Rhodes, a heliborne assault by Israeli troops which occupied the island for 36 hours.
During the October War of 1973, Hurghada harbor was target for four Israeli operations . Israeli forces also attempted to occupy Shadwan Island, but the Egyptian armed forces confronted them, and were able to defeat them and expel them from the island.
Hurghada has a subtropical-desert climate , with mild-warm winters and hot to very hot summers. Temperatures in the period December–January–February are warm, while November, March and April are comfortably warm. May and October are hot and the period from June to September is very hot. The average annual temperature of the sea is 24 °C (75 °F), ranging from 21 °C (70 °F) in February and March to 28 °C (82 °F) in August.
The highest temperature recorded occurred on June 12, 2013 and was 46 °C (115 °F), while the lowest record temperature was recorded on February 2, 1993 and was 0 °C (32 °F)
|Daily highs (°C)||21.5||22.6||25.2||29.1||32.9||35.3||36.2||37.1||35.3||31.1||26.8||22.7|
|Nightly lows (°C)||11||11.4||14||17.8||21.9||24.8||26.4||26.2||24.2||20.9||16.6||12.5|
|22 °C (72 °F)||21 °C (70 °F)||21 °C (70 °F)||22 °C (72 °F)||24 °C (75 °F)||26 °C (79 °F)||27 °C (81 °F)||28 °C (82 °F)||27 °C (81 °F)||26 °C (79 °F)||25 °C (77 °F)||23 °C (73 °F|
Today Hurghada counts 248,000 inhabitants and is divided into three parts:
- Downtown (El Dahar) is the old part;
- Sekalla is the city center;
- El Memsha (Village road) is the modern part.
Sakalla is the relatively modest hotel quarter. Dahar is where the town's largest bazaar, the post office and the long-distance bus station are situated.