Transportation - Get In
By bus or taxi
By bus from Cairo, 9 hours: Several times daily from Turgoman station (central), Abbasseya station (30 mins from centre), Heliopolis (near airport). Not all buses go from/to all stations. Best to buy tickets in advance, especially for the night bus (departs Abbasseya midnight, arriving Dahab 9am).
By bus from Sharm El Sheikh airport: The hardest part is to get from the airport to the Sharm bus station. Taxis tend to charge a fancy 80 to 100 LE for this 10 km ride. Try heading towards the airport site exit and say you'll pick up a taxi (or microbus) outside. They'll tell you it's impossible and that there is no bus to Dahab anymore - just go on. The blue microbus costs only one pound per ride, but you'll have to change buses once to get to the bus station. Many taxis don't get an airport permission. If you can talk them down to 30 LE for the ride to the bus station you're good!
Bus schedule Sharm to Dahab is 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 14:30, 17:00, 20:30. As of October 2013, only 9:00, 15:30 and 17:00 are confirmed to depart. Bus schedule Dahab to Sharm is 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 15:00, 16:00, 17:30, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30, 22:00, 22:20
Dahab Bus Office:+20-69-3641-808 , but they almost never pick up.
By bus to St. Catherine: as of the end of October 2011, there is a regular, twice weekly, minibus service to and from St. Catherine. The Bedouin Bus runs on Tuesday and Friday and costs are 50LE each way. Check the website for details on pick-up and drop-off points in Dahab and St. Catherine.
By taxi from SSH: A posted rate is $98, but an experienced Dahab traveller would never pay more than 150 LE ($23) for the whole cab to Dahab (bargaining generally starts at 300-400 LE, sometimes higher). Decide for yourself, but don't exceed a 250 LE limit. Getting a taxi from Dahab back to the airport can easily be done for $20 (135 LE) with very little bargaining. Agree on a price "including all taxes, tips and tickets". Exchange money before you pass the airport customs. There's an ATM in the departures area past the security, you can ask the Information desk to get you there. If you're stuck drivers will take euro or $, but you might end up paying a bit more. Bargaining a taxi at the airport is really hard - it's best to call in some taxi driver before you arrive.
A tip on bargaining: enter it in good nature. It's not normal for Europeans to have to bargain for everything, but it is normal here. The argument "I paid this amount a week ago and a driver was happy" usually works.
If you want to avoid the bargaining game, arrange an airport pick up through your hotel or camp. Check at least one week in advance via E-Mail, responding times may vary. 150 LE should be the limit for that service as part of a package booking.
By private minibus from Sharm el-Sheikh: transport from the airport or city to Dahab for 35 Euros (price is total, not per person, correct as of Jan 2013)
From Taba: There is one bus a day at 3:00pm, 45 LE (Jan 2015). Taxis cost about 350-400 LE. The 175 km drive takes about 2.5 hours depending on how much time you wait at the numerous security checkpoints. (As of Nov 2014)
- Transfers to Sharm El Sheikh and Sinai you can go from Dahab to any where like Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and St. Catherine Monastery as well as return transfers to and from these destinations by air conditioned buses and good service.
Aqaba in Jordan is connected by ferry. Nuweiba ferry terminal is best by taxi. The 10:30AM bus to Nuweiba arrives there early enough to be able to get onto the 3PM fast boat to Aqaba. In busy times, you can be sure the fast boat will go. In slower times, it's best to be at the ferry terminal 11AM to book tickets. Sometimes the fast ferry runs, sometimes just the slow ferry. If you're on the slow ferry, board immediately and go; if you're on the fast ferry, head off to small duna or Terabin to relax for a couple of hours before boarding. Keep your driver with you until you know which ferry you're on - it's a long walk to the nice bits of Nuweiba away from the port.
Once in Dahab
By taxi, you'll be taken straight to your hotel.
By bus, you will arrive at Dahab bus station in the Medina. Arriving at the bus station you will be literally attacked by a mob of taxi drivers willing to push you into their car. You'll end up paying a ridiculous amount of money if you don't resist. A fair price is 5 LE inside the median/Laguna area, or 10 LE into Masbat/Mashraba. If you pay more you reinforce their hostile behaviour.
You can walk, too - be that only as a bargain move or to dissociate from the hostile situation - if a good 20 - 25 min. walk doesn't scare you off. Standing in front of the bus station (buses arrive in the back) facing the entrance, looking at the "East Delta Travel" sign: turn right, go a few metres, turn left into "Dr. Ahmed Zwel St.", walk about 200 metres. Turn right into "El Nasr Road". After about 300 m turn left at the pharao statue into "El Mashraba St.". Follow the road. After 400 metres you'll pass a two dolphin statue, go straight on, you're almost done. Soon the road makes a 90 degree left turn, you will see some construction sites and the beach. Turn left, following the road and walk into Mashraba.
Transportation - Get Around
Dahab has 3 distinct parts.
1. At the centre is Masbat Bay, almost evenly divided by a floodway (the funny bridge over dry sand - except during a rare but impressive flash flood). The tourist area of Masbat effectively stretches north to Eel Garden (or Meleil as the Bedouin call it), and South through Mashraba. A corniche runs along this entire stretch of beach. This can be considered central Dahab, and you will find everything you need here.
2. A short taxi ride south is the Laguna (El Goze). This is where the Corniche ends in the South. Here you find Dahab's first resort hotels (Hilton etc.). You also find all municipal services: bus station, hospital, city council, etc.
3. Assalah: the residential area, mainly Bedouin but also with some foreign expats and Egyptians now also living amongst the Bedouin.
Plus outlying hotels: Stretching north towards the Blue Hole, and South to Wadi Gnai, there are around 15 outlying resort hotels - mainly booked as package holidays.
Plus Protected Areas: Dahab is bordered by 2 Proteted Areas: in the south, Nabq Protected Area starts at Wadi Gnai, as in the North Ras Abu Galoum Protected Area starts at the Blue Hole. In total 52% of the Gulf of Aqaba coastline is Protected Area, which is very important for managing growth and for preserving the reef and eco system. No building is allowed in Protected Areas, except traditional Bedouin structures.
Shared taxis, in essence mini-buses, are a cheap way to travel locally. Shared taxis tend to conform to a timetable, so they become useful if you have missed the day's bus to the nearby spots like Sharm el-Sheikh, or if you need to get into Dahab when arriving from the Aqaba ferry. To get to Dahab from Eilat, if you don't have a car, take a taxi to the border, walk across, and grab a shared taxi on the other side.
Getting around Dahab itself on foot is quite simple, the promenade runs right along the seafront and all the usual amenities are located along it. Bicycles would be an excellent way of getting around, but most rental bicycles are poorly maintained and as such are in terrible shape. Many businesses are distinctly unenthusiastic about the bicycle-rental aspect of their commercial operation, quoting inflated prices and creative time definitions ("1 day" = 6 hours). Even large and supposedly reputable operators are not immune from deficiencies in this area.