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TRAVEL INFORMATION

On the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your own country you will find more information about the travel documents you need for your stay in Egypt, in Dahab.

You also need a visa which costs around 18 Euros and which you can buy at the airport on arrival in Egypt. In Sharm El Sheikh there are counters where you can buy a visa stamp. Buy a visa before you go through passport control!!!

If you only want to stay in the Sinai (Dahab is in the Sinai) you don’t need a visa, provided you don’t stay longer than two weeks. Fill in the card you receive on the airplane or at the airport ‘Sinai Only’. For a visit to Ras Mohamed (Sharm El Sheikh) you will need a visa. If in doubt, ask at the visa offices at the airport.

 

Note:  It's your own responsability to have the documents you need.

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Flights 
Dahab is within easy reach of the airport at Sharm El Sheikh. The flight to Sharm El Sheikh takes 4.5 to 5 hours from most Western European cities. You can fly from the Netherlands with Transavia, Arkefly, Cheaptickets and various travel agencies. For flights from Germany you can go with Tuifly, Air Berlin and Condor. If you want to fly from Belgium, look at Thomas Cook Airlines and Jetairfly. For flights from the UK check out websites such as Travelocity.co.uk and Expedia.co.uk.


Transportation to and from the airport 
The distance between airport Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab is about 95 km across the Sinai desert. If you wish, we can arrange transport to and from the airport in Sharm El Sheikh for you. Depending on the rate of exchange it costs for a one-way trip (not per person but per car) between 20 and 25 euros, payable to the taxi driver. 

Money

·         The pound (abbreviated as LE) is the currency of Egypt and one pound is 100 piasters.

·         The value of a note (text and figures) is shown in both Arabic and English. The front of notes        always shows a mosque and on the back there are images of famous Egyptian and historical          sites.

·         The notes look quite similar: do not confuse pounds and piasters .... and wash your hands            because the bills are usually dirty and smelly. Coins are now being used more for values of a          pound and below. 

·         In Dahab there are several ATMs and they function most of the time, but we recommend you        bring enough hard currency (euros, dollars or GB pounds) just in case .....

·         ATMs dispense notes of 50 or 100 pounds. Try as soon as possible to break these into small          bills because there is always a lack of change.  You need to have 1, 5 or 10 LE notes for              baksheesh (tips).

·         There are coins, worth 1 LE, jokingly called the Egyptian Euro because of the resemblance.

·         At International airports you can change money on arrival before you go through passport            control (at the same counter as you buy your visa stamp). When you buy a visa you get the          change in Egyptian pounds. Always count your change out loud.

·         In many tourist shops you can pay in euros, but the exchange rate will certainly not be to your      advantage.


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              The value of the Egyptian pound fluctuates quite often, but one euro was worth in                           December 2013  LE 9.50 on average.
 

Baksheesh

Straight away at the airport, you will experience the phenomenon of ‘baksheesh’: tipping / gratuities. This is a part of the culture. For each 'service' you give baksheesh. Keep in mind that the wages in Egypt are very low and unemployment is high; everybody wants something extra to earn. Egyptians also pay baksheesh: it is all part of Egypt. How much baksheesh you should give is hard to advise on: follow your feelings. Someone who carries your luggage or gives you some extra information or shows you extra highlights beyond the usual route, you should give 2 or 3 pounds, for example. 

Language 
The official language of Egypt is Standard Arabic, but people speak Egyptian Arabic. There are special booklets available for a holiday in Egypt. In tourist areas most Egyptians speak reasonable English.  

Electricity 
Egypt uses 220 volts and two-pin plugs. UK visitors will require a 2-pin adaptor and US visitors may need a transformer for any electrical equipment they want to use. 

The climate in Egypt 
Egypt has a desert climate with very little rainfall – hot summers and mild winters. The summer months are hot in Dahab, but fortunately there is always a breeze, which helps to cool things down. In the spring and autumn temperatures are around 30 to 35 degrees Celsius and in winter the average daytime temperature is between 25 and 30 degrees. In the evening it cools down a bit, so a light jacket might be handy. In the desert at night it cools down very much.  
The temperature of the sea is pleasant all year round and even in the winter months it does not fall below 22 degrees. 

Shopping - negotiate 
To buy something for a reasonable price is a matter of good negotiation: it is a game often accompanied by tea and cigarettes, where the retailer takes all the time they need. You should see the fun side of it and this will help you come a long way to getting what you want. Roughly, you can say you have quite a good buy if you pay half the original asking price. 

Alcohol

Beer, wine, spirits is not sold in most restaurants. There are a number of liquor shops in Dahab where you can buy alcohol and then take it with you to the restaurant of your choice. Nobody will be surprised. Beer (Stella and Sakara) costs about 1 euro and a bottle of wine about 5 euros or more.


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Health 
Special vaccinations are not compulsory: jabs against DTP (= diphtheria, tetanus, polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended. 

Diarrhoea 
the curse of the Pharaohs’, occurs when the intestinal flora is disturbed. Make sure that you don’t dehydrate. Take some bags of ORS with a glucose-salt preparation with you. We recommend Antinal, on sale for a few pounds at a number of pharmacies (indicated
by an illuminated green cross). Antinal is a course of antibiotics and so you should finish it. During one of our trips through the desert, by the way, we got the advice from the Bedouins to eat dry tea leaves: not tasty but very effective! 

Also, wash your hands frequently. Take Wetties and/or a bottle of 'clean hands' disinfectant. Drink plenty of water (not very cold) because you lose fluid through the heat. Tea is also a good thirst quencher! Turn the air conditioning to not less than approximately 23 degrees. You can use tap water to brush your teeth, but do not drink it! Stick to mineral water which is sold everywhere. Drink every day if possible a can / bottle of Diet Coke to avoid intestinal problems. Protect yourself from mosquito bites and take anti-mosquito stuff with you.