Tucked away between mountain hills and the Red sea coast lies a hidden gem for digital nomads.
Dahab was recommended to us by a friend of ours who has visited most digital nomad destinations, and told us Dahab is one of the best digital nomad destinations there is.
A few months later, our curiosity and desire to escape European winter brought us to Egypt, and namely the small beach town of Dahab.
After a brief culture shock and a ‘getting used’ phase I started to see what they meant.
Dahab offers a lot for digital nomads – an array of epic water sports and spiritual and yoga practices, a thriving community of nomads and locals alike, low cost of living. Affordable accommodation, tasty food, and the chilled Dahabian vibe anywhere you go.
Once you visit Dahab it’s easy to see why so many nomads make this small Egyptian town their home base year after year.
In this guide, I’ll share with you everything you need to know about living in Dahab as a digital nomad and what to expect from this beachside Egyptian town. Let’s dive in!
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Prepare for your trip to Dahab
➔ Find the best tours in Dahab – book your adventures in Dahab in advance.
➔ Travel Insurance – make sure you’re covered before your trip! I always use SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance which is super affordable and flexible.
Where is Dahab?
Dahab, Egypt is a small coastal town in the south of the Sinai peninsula. It’s an hour drive away from the popular diving resort Sharm El-Sheikh, where you’ll find the closest airport.
Sharm El-Sheikh is quite well connected with airports in Europe with regular affordable flights.
From the airport, a taxi to Dahab usually costs around 800-900 EGP (approx. $25-30 USD). This is the price as of October 2023.
If you are already in Egypt, Dahab is also well connected by bus. There are daily buses from Cairo that take around 8 hours and can be booked either directly at the bus station or online on GoBus or WeBus.
Outdoor activities and sport
1. Snorkelling and Diving in Dahab
One of the main reasons people have flocked to Dahab is the amazing variety of outdoor and water sports you can do here. The small beach town is popular with scuba divers and free divers, kite surfers and windsurfers.
Dahab is home to over 30 dive sites, with many being some of the most spectacular diving spots in Egypt, and arguably in the world.
The most popular spots for diving and snorkelling in Dahab are the Blue Hole of Dahab, Lighthouse area in the centre of Dahab, The Islands near Dahab, Abu Galum and Ras Mohammed National Park.
The area in front of Eel Garden Restaurant and around Assalah beach is also great for swimming and snorkelling.
The corals are well-preserved with vibrant colours and thriving marine life, a true paradise for any water lover.
It’s a great place to take scuba or free diving lessons as it’s one of the most affordable places in the world with amazing underwater life.
Equally, you can just go snorkelling and you’ll still be able to see an incredible variety of corals and fish.
2. Wind sports – Kite surfing and Wind surfing in Dahab
A big part of Dahab’s identity is interconnected with its kite and windsurfing community. Dahab’s location, year-round windy weather and shallow lagoons make it the perfect spot for wind sports.
There are multiple spots around Dahab that are full with kite and windsurfers daily and it’s once again a great place to pick up these sports if you’re interested in that.
The most popular wind sports spots are the Lagoona area in Dahab and Blue Lagoon. This is where you’ll find most of the kite and wind surfing schools.
From our kite surfing friends’ experience, Dahab Dream Kite and Jeep Kite Surf are meant to be some of the best kite surfing schools in Dahab. In terms of wind surfing schools, you can get a 10% discount on your windsurfing lessons at Dahab Stars if you’re part of the Nomad community.
Both of these places have shallow waters and strong winds, making them ideal for wind sports enthusiasts as well as beginners.
Occasionally you can also spot kite and wind surfers at Assalah beach as well as Lighthouse area,
3. Yoga and Spiritual Practices
With the energy of the Sinai mountains and the sea, Dahab is a thriving hub for yoga and spiritual practices. Here you can find practitioners from all over the world coming to share their wisdom and teachings with the Dahabian community.
Breath work, reiki, art therapy, sound healing and so many more. You name it and you’ll probably find it in Dahab.
There are multiple venues offering yoga classes in Dahab daily as well as some private practices. The most popular one is Nour Wellbeing in Coral Coast, but there are also practices taking place in the glass cube near Eel Garden View restaurant and on the rooftop of Coffee Wheel.
You can find more information about yoga and spiritual practices taking place in the Dahab Conscious & Yoga Community Facebook group.
Cost of living in Dahab
Dahab is one of the most affordable destinations to live as a digital nomad.
Accommodation ranges between $200 and $800 for a one-bedroom apartment or villa, depending on how close your place is to the beach and the size of the accommodation. There’s plenty of decent places you can book on AirBnB with great monthly discounts.
You can usually find even lower prices if you look for accommodation once you arrive or through a Facebook group. If you’re planning on staying for a longer period you can book a place for a few days and then find something once you’re there for a better price.
Food and Restaurants
Furthermore, there’s a vast selection of restaurants and cuisines in Dahab (including lots of vegan places), all offering meals at super affordable prices. A meal out usually costs between $1-10 depending on what you’re looking for and if you eat at western food places or local eateries.
We ended up eating out for most of our meals in Dahab as sometimes buying groceries and cooking works out more expensive than just eating out!
With that said, some groceries and imported goods usually come at higher prices than if you were to buy them in European supermarkets.
Fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds are some of the foods that are great value for money in Dahab.
Sports and outdoor activities
The only thing that could make your trip to Dahab more expensive is if you decide to take up any water sports. The prices here for kite surfing lessons and equipment hire, and diving courses in comparison to other places in the world are either on par or sometimes lower.
Same goes for yoga or other workout classes with prices ranging between $3 – $7 per class (150 EGP – 300 EGP) as of October 2023.
Cost of living overall
On average, you can live as a digital nomad in Dahab pretty comfortably with less than $1000 per month. Depending on your accommodation’s location and type, and restaurant choices, you can probably even be able to spend somewhere in the range of $500-600 per person if you’re smart with your budget.
If you find yourself local accommodation, don’t mind sharing a house and eat only local food, you can get by with even less.
The main thing that drew us in to this small Egyptian town is the thriving digital nomad community in Dahab.
Over the month and a half that we spent in the beach town we met a huge number of amazing people from all over the world, attended multiple nomad dinners and events, as well as weekend trips and impromptu celebrations.
Dahab attracts a crowd of laid-back, down-to-earth people like no other place. There’s something going on almost every day so it’s a great place if you’re looking to make new friends and engage in social activities.
To connect with other nomads it’s best to join the Dahab Digital Nomads Facebook group where weekly gatherings and events are being posted.
Through the FB group you’ll also be able to find the WhatsApp group which is even more active and you can meet a ton of people on there.
With the town being so small and full with nomads, after some time you start bumping into the same people making it easy to make friends and be part of the community.
Co-working spaces in Dahab
I absolutely love working from the cafes in Dahab, right on the beach with a fresh pomegranate juice in hand.
While there’s a myriad of cafes where you can enjoy the sea breeze and get some work done, there’s also a couple of co-working places available if you need a more formal environment for work.
At the moment Dahab has two co-working spaces – Mojo Dahab and El Coworking Dahab.
Mojo Dahab is located in the center of the town in the midst of all the trendy restaurants. Whereas, El Coworking Dahab is along the beach strip where it’s a bit quieter and you have a view of the sea from your desk.
Since the Wi-Fi in Dahab can be extremely volatile at times, my recommendation is that you purchase a big data package with your sim card to have as a back-up.
Many times if you’re working from one of the popular cafes at a certain point the network may get overloaded and the speed decreases for everyone. Having a sim card (Etisalat has the best service by far!) will ensure you can keep your connection no matter what!
Best cafes to work from in Dahab
With so many digital nomads and remote workers in Dahab, most cafes by the sea or in the touristy areas have Wi-Fi and are used to people pulling out their laptops to work.
There are so many options with different food selection and general vibe, that it’s best to try out a few and see which one you like for yourself.
Here’s a list of some of my favourite cafes to work from in Dahab.
- Feel Garden
- Eel Garden View
- Bayside eatery
- The Breakfast Cafe
- Mirage Village Restaurant
- Coffee Wheel
Wherever you decide to work from, I highly recommend you have your sim card ready to use as a backup to hot spot your laptop. Internet in Dahab is fairly unreliable so the speeds below can vary from day to day and dependent on how many people are connected to the wi-fi at that time.
Best sim cards for Dahab
Having a sim card with good internet package pretty much crucial if you’re a digital nomad. As the wi-fi is not always reliable, you may often need to hotspot your devices in order to get good internet connection to work with.
The available internet providers in Dahab are Etisalat, WE, Vodafone and Orange.
However, different mobile data providers cover different areas of town. So depending on which provider you choose, your mobile internet may work well in some parts of town but not in others.
Nevertheless, if you’re staying in the central areas in Dahab, Etisalat is the best sim card choice by far. The first time we were in Dahab we had Vodafone and we barely managed to work with it. Once we switched to Etisalat, it literally felt like we discovered fire 😂 I’m not even exaggerating!
You can get your Etisalat sim card either from the airport or from the local Etisalat shop in Dahab. Which one is better depends on how long you’re planning to stay for in Dahab. Let me tell you why.
1) Etisalat Airport packages
Here’s a photo of Etisalat’s packages that are offered at the airport. These are valid only for a month and any unused data at the end of the month does not roll over to next month. You’ll need to recharge this either at the Etisalat shop later or via the app (which can be quite difficult if you don’t have an Egyptian bank card).
Also note that the with GB packages below oftentimes you receive actually half of the GB listed if you stream videos, watch social media videos or do video calls. The packages below use 2x MB per video megabytes, essentially cutting your bundle in half.
2) Etisalat local shop packages
We recently renewed our Etisalat sim cards and I’ve taken a snap for you of the current pricing that you can get at the Etisalat shop in Dahab.
If you’re staying for longer than one month, the packages here are definitely much better value as they’re valid for 3 months. Meaning that the data package you buy can be used over a 3 month period instead of expiring after a month.
Saves time and effort renewing your package each month and it works out much better value. These megabytes are also real value as you don’t get the 2x MB for streamed video as the above package from the airport.
If you decide to go for the second option and buy your Etisalat package when you arrive in Dahab. I would suggest you purchase an e-Sim card prior to your trip so you have some basic data to get by with for the time between your arrival in Egypt and getting to the Etisalat shop in Dahab.
I’ve been using AirAlo’s sim cards for this purpose and it’s always worked great! It’s the perfect solution to stay connected even if you don’t buy a sim card straight from the airport.
Details about all sim card providers in Dahab.
Here’s a list of the local mobile providers and which areas they work best in from personal experience and according to other nomads living in Dahab.
Etisalat works well in Assalah and Lighthouse neighbourhoods which are two of the main areas in Dahab. We’ve used it in both and the speed and service are unbeatable. It supposedly doesn’t work too well for video calls if you’re based in Mashraba, Lagona and Medina.
WE is reported to work well in Assalah and Mashraba as well as Blue Lagoon. In fact, it’s meant to be the best network for working from Blue Lagoon and we have friends who would buy a WE sim card specifically to use at Blue Lagoon.
Vodafone is reported to work well in Lighthouse and Tanmeya, but it’s very slow in Assalah. I wouldn’t recommend getting a Vodafone sim card as from our experience the internet speed is very slow and unreliable. We struggled a lot with it when we first got to Dahab.
Orange is meant to work well in New Mubarak area (a part of Assalah) but not many other places.
It’s one of the least recommended mobile internet providers for Dahab.
Best places to stay in Dahab
Although Dahab is a small town, each of its neighbourhood has its unique vibe and facilities on offer. Where you stay will also direct the price of your accommodation and how touristy your area is.
These are the 3 main neighbourhoods where most digital nomads in Dahab find their home away from home – Lighthouse, Assala and Mashraba.
Lighthouse is one of the most popular areas for digital nomad and travellers for living in Dahab. It’s close by to the main touristy street with all restaurants, cafes and shops nearby. Just off the coast of lighthouse area you have the most popular swimming spot in Dahab with a beaming coral reef.
Although it can be busy, most apartments are located in small back streets meaning you can still hide away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy area. The prime location and proximity to the swimming area mean that your monthly rent is also likely to be higher price than other neighbourhoods.
Assala neighbourhood is further away from the busyness of Lighthouse but close enough to be easily reached on foot or on bike. This has been my favourite area to stay in due to its proximity to the beach without any actual bars or restaurants on the beach strip. It’s quiet and more local, and it’s the perfect place if you prefer a bit of calm, swimming without lots of people around and just chilling on the beach.
Here you’ll find lots of beautiful houses on the beach strip as well as more humble places a few streets back, so depending on your budget you can have it either way. There are a lot more local shops and supermarkets here, as well as local food restaurants and small cafes.
Mashraba is located almost at the end of Dahab towards Lagona, and it’s a more local area with local housing and lots of Egyptian eateries. It’s about 15-20 minutes by foot from Lighthouse so not too bad especially if you decide to rent a bicycle.
The prices are here a lower than in Lighthouse and in Assala due to the area being further away from the main strip and it’s in general a less popular neighbourhood with tourists. However, it’s great if you’re after an affordable place to stay with lots of local food options around while still not being too far away from the beach and main shopping street.
Travel Insurance for Dahab
One thing I never travel without is travel insurance. For the last two years, I’ve been using the Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing which covers any medical emergencies as well as travel hiccups like lost luggage, travel delays and so on.
It’s designed specifically for digital nomads offering a great level of flexibility and coverage, at a super competitive price – just $45 / per month.
In a place like Dahab with so many activities and fun things to do, getting travel insurance really is the best way to give yourself a peace of mind while having the best time enjoying the beautiful surroundings! You can sign up here for your Nomad Insurance.
Dahab, Egypt is one of those places that you visit once and can’t stop wanting to go back. The energy of the people, the nature and the overall vibe of this cute little beach town are what makes so many nomads call Dahab their home.
While it’s not perfect (is there really a perfect place?!) Dahab ticks many of the boxes that make it one of the best destinations for Digital nomads.
Are you thinking of visiting Dahab? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I’ll be more than happy to help!