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Alongside ancient archaeological sites, Egypt is well known for other things. Scuba diving is one of them, and the Blue Hole Dahab is one of the best places to do it!
Here’s everything you need to know about scuba diving at the Blue Hole, Dahab.
What is the Blue Hole, Dahab?
Located in Egypt’s South Sinai Governate a few kilometres north of Dahab, the Blue Hole is a submarine sinkhole. It is on the coast of the Red Sea.
You can swim, snorkel, free dive and scuba dive at the Blue Hole, Dahab.
How deep is the sinkhole?
The maximum dept within the hole itself is just over 100 metres (around 328 feet). However, there are different parts to the Blue Hole, Dahab – and a variety of different depths!
- The Saddle: a shallow opening to the sea: around 6 metres (20 feet) deep.
- The Arch: a 26 metre (85 feet) long tunnel. Its ceiling is at a depth of 55 metres (181 feet) and its bottom falls away as it reaches the seaward side at around 120 metres (394 feet) deep.
- The seaward side itself, with a floor which drops steeply to a depth of over 1000 metres, or 3,300 feet.
Scuba diving in the Blue Hole, Dahab
Historically, people have avoided the Blue Hole. Bedouin tribes lived in the area, and local legend had it that the sinkhole was cursed by the ghost of a young woman. Apparently, she drowned herself there to escape from an arranged marriage.
However, in 1967 the Sinai Peninsula was occupied by Isreal. From then on the Blue Hole, Dahab became a popular dive site. In 1968 Israeli divers became the first to scuba dive (the modern way) in the sinkhole. They were led there by Alex Shell, and were the first to notice the underwater arch too.
When the area was returned to Egypt in 1982, the site became even more popular with scuba divers. There are plenty of local dive centres near the Blue Hole, Dahab – they will take divers with the appropriate qualifications to dive at the sinkhole. Novice level divers can scuba dive at the Blue Hole, but of course must be accompanied by divers with higher-level qualifications.
There are plenty of PADI 5 Star dive centres in Dahab. These include Scuba Seekers Diving Centre, Seven Heaven Divers, Octopus World Dahab and many more – a full list can be found here with plenty of information to help you make a decision about the best people to dive with at the Blue Hole.
There are also some great tours to the Blue Hole Dahab from the popular tourist resort of Sharm el Sheikh. I recommend taking a look on Viator to see which tours best suit your travel dates.
Fatalities at the sinkhole
You may have heard about fatalities. The Blue Hole, Dahab is synonymous with danger – but truthfully, the sinkhole itself is no more dangerous than any other dive site in the Red Sea. The Arch can be quite dangerous; it is a submerged tunnel, and therefore quite an extreme dive. There have been a number of accidents and deaths linked to diving through the Arch.
However, the number of Blue Hole fatalities has never been recorded. Estimates place the number at somewhere between 130 and 200 deaths between 1997 and 2012, but nobody actually knows the number.
A policeman is now stationed at the Blue Hole Dahab to ensure that anyone diving there is accompanied by a certified guide. That way, correct safety procedures will be adhered to and diving in the area will be safer.
One of the most notable deaths at the Blue Hole was that of 22 year old Yuri Lipski. He was Russian-Israeli dive instructor, and died in April 2000 when diving to a depth of 115 metres. His body was recovered the following day by friend and fellow deep-water diver Tarek Omar.
Other things to do in the area
As well as scuba diving, there is the opportunity to free dive at the Blue Hole, Dahab. This is of course something that requires prior experience!
For those not as water-savvy, you can swim and snorkel at the sinkhole. The water is warm and crystal clear, and it makes for a fun day out.
If you’ve had enough water for one day, have a look at these other activities in Dahab:
- Boat trips – half or full day trips.
- Quad biking
- Jeep safari
- Camel rides
- Sand boarding
While scuba diving is the most popular activity near the Blue Hole, Dahab, there are plenty of other things to do to keep you and your family entertained while on holiday!
Places to stay near the Blue Hole, Dahab
There are plenty of places to stay in the area. Whether you’re looking for budget or luxury accommodation in Dahab, you’ll find the perfect place for you…
We opted to stay at the Tropitel Dahab Oasis. I loved this hotel. Its was right on the beach and had a beautiful pool. The staff were really attentive and there were only a handful of other tourists there- it was the middle of August so this was definitely a pleasant surprise!
The hotel has itsown dive centre! It offers double and triple rooms, free public parking, a 24h front desk and a children’s play area as well as stunning views. The hotel can be booked on an all-inclusive or half board basis. There food was nice and I took full advantage of the unlimited wine in the evenings!
Deep Blue Divers Hostel is, as the name suggests, a hostel that features its own PADI-certified dive centre. It has dormitories and private rooms, free WiFi and public parking, and a shared kitchen. It is in the ideal location for diving at the Blue Hole, Dahab.
The Swiss Inn Resort in Dahab is a bit more luxurious. It features a huge swimming pool with plenty of sun beds, and each room has a private balcony with sea or garden views. Free WiFi and private parking are available should you need them, and there’s even a spa!
For budget accommodation that falls somewhere in the middle of these two options, the Monica Hotel is perfect. It has private rooms and a small pool, free WiFi, 24-h check-in and a shared kitchen with BBQ facilities too.
For a full list of available accommodation options on your travel dates use the map below.
Weather in Dahab
Dahab is fairly warm all year round. With lows of 18-19°C between December and February, and highs of 33°C in July and August, you’re unlikely to ever get too chilly. The Red Sea is known for being warm to dive in, too.
There is no rainfall between June and September, with the most rain falling in February and December. Though it’s not enough to spoil your trip!
That’s everything you need to know about diving at the Blue Hole, Dahab. It’s a great dive site that’s on most divers’ bucket lists, in a stunning part of the world.