Sharm el Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh, popularly known simply as Sharm, is a port and resort town on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Eco-tourists and divers are attracted to Sharm because of its diverse marine life and many Red Sea coral reef sites. The Red Sea is the biggest attraction in Sharm el-Sheikh, but the city has more to offer than just its water related activities. You can climb the Mount Sinai (2,285 metres high) where, according to the Bible, Moses received the Ten Commandments. For a mix of land and under water, visit the National Park Ras Mohammed.

SAFETY INDEX

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Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned against all travel to Sharm as there have been attacks in the past like the Russian plane crash in October 2015. There is a special police force to assist tourists. They wear a distinctive arm band saying, “Tourism and Antiquities Police,” and they can be found in hotels and at tourist sites. However, most importantly, follow advice from authorities and reliable news sources.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocket and bag and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and on public transportation. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

There is a threat of kidnapping in remote desert areas. However, they should not be a big concern in major cities. Most kidnappings are within the Egyptian community and their targets tend to be affluent people, or they are used to settle a dispute among neighbors, rivals, or tribes. Carjackings usually target sports utility vehicles. Muggers are usually armed and use different tactics to stop the vehicle. If you find yourself in this situation, do not resist; usually, the criminals are after the car and will not harm you if they are successful.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any other high tourist city, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Most of the taxis do not have a meter, so be prepared to negotiate your fare before you get in the taxi and tell your driver you want to be dropped off at the main gate.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Road conditions are poor and drivers usually do not follow traffic regulations. Avoid microbuses if you can as there have been assault reports.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

October and November are the months where heavy rains and strong winds, together with elevated dust levels have caused disruptions to port operations.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

Terrorist attacks are likely in Sharm. The main threat comes from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators. It is important to follow the news on television and radio closely.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH

Many women travel safely without any issues. However, if you are traveling alone, it is important to exercise particular care in crowds, on public transportation, in rural areas, and in isolated sections. There have been reports of women been assaulted in taxis and while in public areas. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Women may get some unwanted attention from men. Wear clothes that cover your arms, legs, and chest in order to blend in.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned against all travel to Sharm as there have been a few attacks in the past. There are armed police everywhere, which can intimidate people and for some, even be a bit scary. However, they are there to make visitors and locals feel safe. New laws and security measures are being implemented to increase safety like unauthorized people and vehicles are not allowed on hotel grounds; only regulated taxis can take you to the hotel gates, but only licensed “limousines” can drop you off at the hotel door. Please note that travel insurance for Egypt won’t cover you if you fly into Sharm El Sheikh airport, but it will cover you for everything else. It is important to take standard precautions as you would in any other city. Remain vigilant, keep an eye on your belongings at all times as petty crime is high in tourist areas, and make sure to follow the media closely and take advice from the authorities.

Naama Bay

Naama Bay is the heart of Sharm. It is the main city center for nightlife and dining, and it is the first area where resorts and hotels settled. There is a beautiful beach where you can stroll and stop for a refreshing drink or food at a café, people watch and/or just enjoy the sea. Naama Bay Bazaar isn’t too far from the beach, and it is also has many cafés, bars, and night clubs at night.

Old Market

How are your haggling skills? Because this is where you’ll use them! The Old Market isn’t really that old, but it is the main bazaar area in the city. There are many shops selling Egyptian made products and also home items and food.

Nabq Bay

Nabaq is the newest section of Sharm as it came about a couple of years ago. It is on a cliff that overlooks the Straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba. You can also enjoy beaches, a lagoon, and even get some shopping done and visit a few bars and nightclubs.

Useful Information

Most countries will need to have a visa to enter Egypt. You can obtain a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at the airport for $25 USD fee. You can also obtain your visa from an Egyptian embassy or consulate before arrival to avoid any long wait and the possibility of being refused entry. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP). Cash machines are common throughout the country. Major hotels will accept credit cards; however, small hotels may take only cash.
Most of Egypt has an arid desert weather. Days are commonly warm or hot, and nights are cool. Expect a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October.
Some of the international airports in Egypt are: Cairo International Airport, Alexandria International Airport, Marsa Matrouh International Airport, Aswan International Airport, Sohag International Airport, Assiut International Airport, Marsa Alam International Airport, Hurghada International Airport, Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, El Arish International Airport, and Taba International Airport. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on ourtravel insurance page