Diving In Sharm El Sheikh

Information about Sharm el Sheikh

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Sharm el Sheikh overview

Thanks to Google earth, cGoogle, cOrion-ME, Data SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, GEBCO, image c2013 Digital Globe for the images on this page


In relation to the rest of the world
Sharm el Sheikh
occupies a narrow strip of land on the east coast of the northern tip of the Sinai Peninsula In Egypt, which separates Africa from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East.  Just as there is some argument as to whether Egypt is part of Africa or The Middle east there is some confusion over the actual boundaries of Sharm el Sheikh.  Many people come to Sharm el Sheikh to dive in or visit the famous Ras Mohamed National Park.  The park is in reality outside of Sharm el Sheikh.  You need a visa to visit Ras Mohamed National Park and as you leave the National Park by road you see a sign 'Welcome to Sharm el Sheikh'.  Currently you may have to produce your passport to visit the park.  Actually, at the time of writing this, it is common to be asked to produce your passport for any boat trips leaving from within Sharm el Sheikh or road trips outside the city. 

Sharm el Sheikh is in Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai Peninsula separates Africa from the Middle East

Between the Sinai Peninsula and Africa is the Gulf of Suez with the Suez Canal at the top

From North to South the main areas in Sharm are...

Ras Nasrani
Shark's Bay
Coral Bay
Naama Bay
Hay el Nour
Old Sharm
Sharm el Maya


Sharm el Sheikh map in relation to the rest of the world

In order to navigate around Sharm el Sheikh you need to be familiar with the areas.  Sharm el Sheikh overlooks the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba.  The Gulf of Aqaba has been divided into four 'citys', Nuweiba, Taba, Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh.  Sharm el Sheikh itself has been divided into five main regions, Nabq, Ras Nasrani, Naama Bay, Umm Sid and Sharm el Maya.  These regions, together with Shark's Bay, Montaza, Hay el Nour, and Rowaysat form Sharm el Sheikh as we know it today.  Other often referred to areas within these regions are Old Sharm (containing Old Market), Coral Bay, Sheikh Coast and Tower Bay.  Depending on who you speak to directions and locations will be referred to by different names depending on that persons preferences and relationship with Sharm.  The map on the right shows all areas and the bar on the far right shows how they may be referred to in respect of the four main divisions often referred to, Nabq, Shark's Bay, Naama Bay and Hadaba.

You can think of it in this way:-
- Sharm el Sheikh is a city.
- It has five main towns - Nabq, Ras Nasrani, Naama Bay, Umm Sid and Sharm el Maya.
- Together with the outlying towns Montaza, Shark's Bay, Hay el Nour, Hadaba, Rowiset it forms a 'metropolitan' like area.
-There are a few smaller villages within these towns such as Coral Bay, Sheikh Coast, Tower Bay and Old Sharm (the home of The Old Market).
(the terms towns and villages do not really apply but help with understanding).

Map of Sharm el Sheikh towns, areas, cities and regions
Thanks to Google earth, cGoogle, cOrion-ME, Data SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, GEBCO, image c2013 Digital Globe

www.sharmupfront.com offers superb information about the layout of Sharm el Sheikh, getting around, buses and taxis, things to do, hotels, maps, history and ancient history.  It also contains valuable information about diving in Sharm el Sheikh

Read more about Sharm el Sheikh in our Sharm Articles section (currently under development)

From the view of a tourist Sharm el Sheikh as already stated, is a thin strip of land running along the coast from Nabq in the north to Old Sharm, Hadaba and the entrance to Ras Mohammed national Park in the south.  The whole of Sharm is connected virtually by one long main road, the Peace Road.  The main towns or areas within Sharm el Sheikh are , from north to south, Nabq, Montaza, Shark's Bay, Neama (Naama or Nama) bay, Hadaba, Hay el Nour and Old Sharm.When getting directions be prepared for different people to use different areas to identify locations for instance Old Sharm, Old market, Hay el Nour, Ras Umm Sid and Sharm el Maya may all be referred to as Hadaba.  Similarly, Montaza and Ras Nasrani may be referred to as Nabq or even Shark,s Bay.  There is a regular public bus service running from Old market, through Hadaba and Naama Bay, past Sharks Bay, Soho Square, Ras nasrani and Montaza and finally into and through Nabq.  Here the buses simply turn and follow the same route back.  This means most of Hadaba, The Airport,

is devoted to tourism with a single main Road, The Peace Road, with hotels on either side.  There are a number of bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets.  It is developed but not overly busy or crowded.   The hotels  stretch the full length of Nabq but the further you are from the centre the less shops, bars and restaurants you find.  Tropicana Grand Azure and Azure Club hotels are in the centre of Nabq. There is a superb Peking Restaurant, The Stone Grill, Onions, TGI Friday, Hard Rock Cafe, McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and an excellent British run family sports bar and restaurant called The Three Crowns. 

Montaza is really just hotels, not on the main Peace Road and some distance from any night life or facilities.  There is no reliable bus service and you will need taxis to travel to any decent facilities or entertainment.  Even Taxis can be sparse and hotel taxi services can be expensive, since they have a monopoly.

Shark's Bay is a well known area but again, with the exception of Soho Square, not much in the way of 'out of hotel' entertainment or facilities. 

Nama Bay (sometimes spelled Neama or Naama) is the tourist centre of Sharm el Sheikh.  Similar to Nabq, there is one main road with hotels on either side.  In the centre of Naama, on the beach side, is a pedestrian area bustling with shops, bazaars, night clubs, restaurants, casinos, shisha cafes and supermarkets.  Closer to the beach is a promenade.  There is even a Bowling Alley and Go Kart track.  Naama is very 'touristy' and busy especially at night.  Many well known names here, such as McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Friday.  There is an excellent  restaurant called Little Buddha with multinational cuisine including Asian and the well known Camel Bar and Tavern Bar.  

Hadaba is more residential, with side roads, hotels, houses and villas.  There are three or four bars, a number of restaurants, three or four main supermarkets two hospitals and a police station spread throughout the small town.  Unless you like walking, you will need taxis to get to facilities other than those close to your hotel.  There is not a reliable bus service in the area.  There is a great english bar, Tavern Bar 2, affectionately referred to as T2, next to The Rock Hotel. 

Hay el Nour is even more residential with a Coptic church, a mosque and a supermarket.  There are no hotels to speak of here. 

Old Sharm and Sharm el Maya is where you find old market, it is within walking distance of Hadaba if you like walking.  There is a shopping centre, a multitude of shops and bazaars especially in Old Market, some restaurants but no real bars.  Sharm el Maya is home to Terrazina Too with a beach bar and restaurant.  There is also a plethora of taxis and buses to and from Naama Bay, Nabq and the main road outside Soho Square.