Sharm el-Sheikh (شرم الشيخ also transliterated as Sharm ash Shaykh and popularly known simply as "Sharm") is a well-known port and resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt popular with package holiday makers and divers. About 9 000 British tourists are in Sharm on any given day. Numbers have doubled in the last 3 years and seem set to continue to rise despite the worldwide economic situation.
Sharm el-Sheikh is sometimes called the "City of Peace" referring to the large number of international peace conferences that have been held there. It was known as Şarm-üş Şeyh during Ottoman rule and was known as Ofira during Israeli occupation between 1967 and 1982.
Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Arab world. But there are also some very good reasons to visit it if you are not the common tourist who likes to lie on the beach all day. It is one of the finest diving spots in the world and a trip into the desert is an unforgettable adventure.
The Sinai Peninsula is a remote desert mountain range. The rocky mountains are parted from the deep-blue sea by a flat desert strip. This combination of desert and sea is an incredible sight and makes you believe you are on a different planet.
About 40 years ago Sharm el-Sheikh was nothing but a small fishing village with about 100 Bedouin citizens. When Sinai was occupied by Israel in 1967 Sharm el-Sheikh started to develop as a tourist destination (like the rest of the peninsula). Israelis evacuated Sinai between 1979 and 1982 following the signing of a peace agreement between the two countries. Since the 1980's the Egyptians have been continuing the development of Sharm where the Israelis left. Sharm's 100 grew into a bustling 10 000 population. There is now a nice promenade a Hard Rock Cafe one of the most modern hospitals in Egypt and so on.
Sharm El-Sheikh has an arid climate generally warm and dry although summer months can be humid. The best times to go to Sharm el-Sheikh for swimming and diving are the month of April and from mid-October to mid-November. The summer from mid-May to September is actually quite hot and while the sea is pleasantly warm and you can enjoy long dives it can be difficult to sunbathe and move outdoors during the day (especially in August and September). The water temperature is always warm although cold snaps may affect the region occasionally each winter. In winter the stay can be enjoyable and the temperature is often sufficient for sunbathing however the days are quite short.
Naama Bay part of the city is the center of nightlife and dining: most of Sharm's clubs cafes restaurants and shops are here.
Sharm el Sheikh has grown into three distinct areas now Nabq is a new area to the North of Naama Old Market and Hadaba to the South of Naamaa Bay.
Nabq Bay Nabq Bay is on a promontory overlooking the Straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Sharm el-Sheikh city has been subdivided into five areas namely Nabq Bay Ras Nasrani Naama Bay Umm Sid and Sharm El Maya. Together with Hay el Nour Hadaba Rowaysat Montazah and Shark's Bay it forms a metropolitan area of 42 square kilometres.