Scuba diving in Dahab: Discover Egypt’s best-kept secret

The small Red Sea town of Dahab is Egypt’s best-kept secret. Much quieter than the built-up dive hubs of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, Dahab offers the same jaw-dropping diving opportunities, but with a more bohemian, laid-back vibe.

With many dive sites to explore, beautiful weather year-round, and friendly locals, we think scuba diving in Dahab should be next on your list for an exciting dive vacation.

So, here is our in-depth guide for Dahab, Egypt.

Where is Dahab?

Dahab is a small Bedouin town in South Sinai, Egypt. It is just over an hour away from the more well-known Sharm El Sheikh and sits on the coast of the Red Sea. You can expect quaint hotels, beachside restaurants, and the smiling faces of local barefoot, Bedouin children at this peaceful dive spot.

Want to extend your trip to Egypt? Here is our full Guide to Diving in Egypt.

How do I get to Dahab?

The easiest way to get to Dahab is by flying into the international airport of Sharm El Sheikh. From there you can get a taxi to Dahab, which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. It is recommended to arrange your taxi beforehand as the airport taxis will charge substantially more. You can book an airport transfer through your hotel or dive center in Dahab.

When should I visit Dahab?

You can go scuba diving in Dahab all year!

  • The summer months of July and August can get up to 45 °C  (113 °F),  with a water temperature of 30 °C (86 °F). 
  • The winter months of January and February have daytime temperatures around 23 °C (73 °F) with lows of 10 °C (50 °F) at nighttime. The water temperature is around 22 °C (72 °F).

The best time to go scuba diving in Dahab is between March and June, or between September and December for the most comfortable temperatures both above and below the water.

What marine life can I expect to see?

Dahab offers mostly shore diving experiences… which is good news for those who suffer from seasickness! There is so much sea life to spot around the Dahab reefs, with lionfish, butterflyfish, clownfish, giant morays, sea turtlesnudibranchseagle rays, and seahorses just to name a few. If you are really lucky you might even spot a whale shark or dolphins.

Love the Red Sea? Discover more top places to go diving in Egypt.

5 best places for scuba diving in Dahab.

In no particular order, here are our top five places to go scuba diving in Dahab:


The Lighthouse is considered the house reef of Dahab, and it is located right in the heart of the town. It is here where most Open Water Diver courses are carried out as the site offers a shallow training area and calm conditions due to the bay being sheltered.

You enter the dive site as soon as you step off the shore and then follow a sandy slope which drops down to around 25 meters (82 feet). At the bottom of the slope sits the famous Dahab elephant statue which was put in for divers to admire and take selfies with.

The dive follows the reef wall around a corner and divers of all levels can spot moray eels, turtles, and clownfish. This dive site is perfect for night diving, with easy access and lots to see.

2. Eel Garden.

Eel Garden is just a few minutes’ car ride away from the main area of the Lighthouse and boasts some of the most beautiful underwater photography opportunities in Dahab. It is only accessible at high tide and when the conditions are calm, and it is suitable for all experience levels.

You enter the water from shore and swim over the shallows with your snorkel in your mouth until you reach the lagoon. Descend into the lagoon and follow it out to the other side of the reef where you will find a white sand slope, pristine corals, and deep blue waters.

The most famous feature of this dive site is the thousands of garden eels that pop up to greet you. You do not want to forget your camera for this dive!

3. Gabr El Bint.

Gabr El Bint dive site is around a 1.5-hour boat ride from Dahab town and is untouched and extremely healthy because there are no roads that go there. Access is only available by boat - so human impact on the reef is minimal.

On the way to the dive site, you might spot dolphins playing in the boat’s waves. When you jump in at Gabr El Bint, you can see milkfish, whale sharks (if you are lucky), and huge gorgonian sea fans. Divers of all levels can enjoy this dive site.

Love sea turtles? Here are 11 Amazing Facts About Turtles (and How to Tell Them Apart).

4. Canyon.

The Canyon dive site is around a 25-minute drive from the center of Dahab and is an extremely unique highlight of scuba diving in Dahab. Dive centers usually offer a package of diving here and then diving at the famous Blue Hole (see below) straight after, as they are quite close together.

The Blue Hole might hold the candle for being the most well-known dive site in Dahab, but many divers argue that Canyon is even better. 

The dive starts from the shore with a shallow swim through a lagoon which leads out to the open ocean on the other side of the reef. When you get there, you will find a beautiful coral garden that slopes from around 10 meters (33 feet) down to 20 meters (66 feet), where the top of the canyon is waiting.

The canyon is an open crack in the ground that leads you down to 30 meters (98 feet). A narrow passage can take you even deeper if you are certified as a deep diver or a tech diver. The canyon holds many hidden treasures in the walls including shrimp and moray eels, plus a resident school of dusky sweeper fish that circle in the corner.

You will need to be an Advanced Diver to dive at the Canyon dive site or be willing to dive here as part of your Advanced Diver course.

5. Blue Hole.

Last but certainly not least, we have the world-famous Dahab Blue Hole. Formed in the ice age, the Blue Hole is a 92-meter (301-foot) deep hole in the reef and is the best-known place to go scuba diving in Dahab.

Around 40 minutes taxi ride from the center of Dahab, you start the dive by walking past the Blue Hole a little way and entering the water at ‘El Bells’: A tunnel that takes you from the surface down to 27 meters (89 feet). Do not worry, it is open on one side so you can pop out at any depth if you need to. 

After your descent, you will be welcomed by the deep blue open sea and a stunning coral wall. You will follow this coral wall for about twenty minutes from 30 meters (98 feet deep), and gradually shallow up until you reach the saddle of Blue Hole.

The saddle is the entryway into the Blue Hole itself, where you can spend the last part of the dive swimming around the edge and making your safety stop while checking out the corals, or watching the freedivers descend into the depths on a single breath.

Blue Hole became famous, sadly, because of the high number of diving fatalities that have occurred there. But do not let it put you off! The accidents were mostly all dangerous attempts to reach the bottom on a single tank, or divers who did not follow the rules or dive with experienced guides. 

Many people dive at the Blue Hole every day and have a very safe and enjoyable time. That said, it is recommended that you hold your Advanced Diver certification due to the extreme depths outside of the Blue Hole.

Blue Hole, Dahab is also featured in our 8 Best Shore Dives for 2023!

These are just five of the dive sites around Dahab, but there is more waiting for you. 

Will Dahab be your next diving vacation? Find a dive center in Dahab by using our SSI Center Locator.