The Culture & Dahab
Egypt is predominately a Muslim country. The culture is such that in Cairo and Luxor modest clothing is required and is considered respectful. It is fine to wear shorts and t-shirts in tourist areas, such as Dahab, especially during the hot summer months. We advise you to wear a t-shirt while snorkelling to reflect the sun’s rays which are strong throughout the year. Topless bathing is not allowed and we ask that guests respect the local culture and not do this in Dahab and Nesima Resort. You will need warm clothing in the winter months especially in the evenings and for wearing between dives when out on the boats.
Although devout Muslims do not drink alcohol it is freely available in many bars and restaurants throughout Dahab. Imported alcohol is expensive due to the high taxes but local beer and wine are reasonably priced. You can purchase alcohol at many bottle shops. You can also go to the Duty Free shops within 48 hours of arrival (passports required).
In Egypt there are few restrictions for foreign women and travelling alone is generally safe. You may however receive some unwanted attention. It is generally better to ignore this and saying you are married often helps, even if you are not!
The main religious festival for Muslims is the holy month of Ramadan. This falls on a different date each year due to the Muslim calendar being based on lunar phases. This is a special time for Muslims as it is a month of purification. Those observing Ramadan must not eat, drink or smoke from dawn to dusk. As the sun goes down friends and family join together for “Iftar” (break-fast). During this month some shops and restaurants are closed during the day and nearly everything will be closed for about an hour at the time of Iftar.
Friday is the equivalent of the European Sunday and most banks and government offices will be closed for the day. In tourist areas shops and restaurants are normally open 7 days a week until late at night.