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SHARM EL SHEIKH

         

Sharm El-Sheikh is probably the best known town of the southern Sinai, for the simple reason that it is Sharm el-Sheikh which gave the Red sea an international reputation as one of the world’s most extraordinary Diving destinations and the coral reefs of Ras Mohammed, Tiran, and the Aqaba coast on which Sharm built its legendary reputation are as dazzling as ever.

 

Today however diving is only part of the attraction here, as many visitors arrive simply to enjoy the sun to parasail and windsurf and bicycle, to explore the magical desert landscape of the southern Sinai. Since  the mid-1980s the Sharm el-Sheikh area has come into its Own as a world-class resort destination with the construction of almost Forty hotels  and resorts Of course such expansion brings with it new problem and concerns it is the natural beauty of the Sinai that brings so many guests and it is also the natural beauty of the Sinai that is most endangered by so many visitors .Accordingly the last several years have witness strong efforts by the Sharm el-Sheikh community to protect and to protect and to preserve the fragile environment of the region.

 

The creation of Ras Mohammed National Park In 1983 marked the first great step in this effort, and today a full 52% of the Egyptian shoreline on the Gulf of Aqaba is now protected Diving is compulsory when around the Red Sea.

 

The coral reefs and the tropical fish are among the greatest you can get across. And picking up your certificate either PADI or CMAS might be cheaper here than in your home country from Sharm el-Sheikh, not only is it  more expensive, but you will get no training with cold water diving.

 

Sharm El Sheikh is the simplicity of sun, sea and sand. In Addition to the luxury of five-star hotels, water sports, shopping, and entertainment. Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most accessible and developed tourist resort communities on the Sinai Peninsula.

 

All around are Bedouins, colorful tents, mountains and sea.

 

There are small intimate hotels with modern designs, as well as larger hotel complexes belonging to International chains, plus about all the amenities one could expect of a tourist center, including casinos, discos and nightclubs, golf courses, and health facilities. In fact, with diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and other water sports, horses and camel riding, desert safaris, and great nearby antiquities attractions, it is almost impossible for a visitor to ever suffer from boredom.

 

Four miles south the southern section of the town stands on a cliff overlooking the port, with a breath taking view. Na'ama Bay is one of the center of the tourist activities. Located just north of Sharm el-Sheikh city, this area is a resort town of its own. Most hotels at Na'ama Bay have their own, private beaches with comfortable amenities such as chairs, shades, and beach bars. Shark's Bay is also nearby, and again is a growing resort community with more and more to offer, along with several diving centers.

 

The small harbor known as Sharm el-Maya is located next to the civil harbor, has accommodations for boats, and includes a Yacht Club with rooms. For those who live to shop, the Sharm El-Sheikh mall provides shops with both foreign and local products, including jewelry, fragrant oils, leather goods, clothing, pottery, and books.

 

This is a must visit for all diving enthusiasts. There are many diving sites along the 10 mile beach between Sharm el-Sheikh and the Strait of Tiran.

 

Ras Mohammed National Park:

On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is Egypt's first national park. A desert plateau gives way to broad sandy beaches in some areas, and drops off into rich coral reefs in others. The boundaries of the park include a great deal of the surrounding waters of the Red Sea. The park is probably best known as one of the top diving sites in the Red Sea. The Shark and Yolanda Reefs are the most popular dive sites in the park and have an amazing array of coral and other marine life.

 

The dry land in the park is also a part of the marine world. In the north, large dunes are interspersed with outcroppings of limestone where a variety of marine fossils are found. The dramatic promontory that marks the Sinai's southernmost tip is an enormous, fossilized coral reef, left high and dry tens of thousands of years ago.

 

There is great diversity of wildlife in the park, ranging from gazelles in the northern desert area to brilliant orange coral groupers in the reefs. The reefs undoubtedly have the best wildlife in the park, with fire corals and sea fans among the reef corals, and a magnificent array of both reef and pelagic fish, more than 1,000 species in all. Among them are predators like barracuda and several types of shark, and giant tuna groups. Sea turtles can sometimes be seen here.

 

Abu Galum Managed Resource Protected Area

Characterized by its spectacular granite mountains ending abruptly on a narrow coastal plain fronted by rich coral reefs. Abu Galum owes its Protected status to its varied ecosystems, unique back reef communities and excellent coral reefs. Recent surveys have identified 167 species of desert plants, many of which are not found in either Ras Mohamed or Nabq.

 

As a result, Abu Galum also contains the largest number of Nubian Ibex, Hyrax, Red Fox, Striped Hyena and evidence of other mammalian species. Ten species of lizards and snakes have been identified from the Protectorate. Three of these, namely the Black Cobra, the Horned Viper, and Burton's Carpet Viper are very dangerous and visitors to the area should proceed with caution and avoid sandy areas with vegetation. Look for tracks in sandy areas. The Abu Galum Protectorate is managed to ensure that its natural resources are safeguarded from all destructive activities. As a result, diving sites and shore access points are being prepared, nature trails through mountain areas have been identified, the area is being kept clean, Bedouin fishing activities are regulated, and a visitor center is under construction.

 

Nabq Managed Resource Protected Area

As the largest coastal Protectorate on the Gulf of Aqaba (600kilometers squared), Nabq contains a variety of ecosystems that provide for nature viewing experiences unique in the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) agreed to protect Nabq on the basis of its rich natural resource base.

These include:

 

The most northerly stand of mangrove trees in the Red Sea/Indian Ocean complex.

One of the largest single stands of Arak bushes in the Middle East, covering the higher dunes of the Wadi Kid alluvial fan.

 

134 plant species of which six are found only in Nabq Gazelle, Nubian Ibex, Hyrax and small mammal populations.

 

Rich coral reef communities.

The Nature Protection Sector of the EEAA, responsible for the management and administration of all Egyptian Protected Areas, has committed itself to a program that fully integrates resident Bedouins into all aspects of its area management strategy. It is foreseen that selected Bedouin groups will provide all tourism services in the Protectorate. These will include: catering services at the visitor center, guide services, provision of camels for access to areas closed to vehicles, maintenance services, visitor interpretation, operation of camping areas, and other activities of mutual benefit.

Nabq Managed Resource Protected Area As the largest coastal Protectorate on the Gulf of Aqaba (600 square kilometers), Nabq contains a variety of ecosystems that provide for nature viewing experiences unique in the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) agreed to protect Nabq on the basis of its rich natural resource base. These include: ·the most northerly stand of mangrove trees in the Red Sea/Indian Ocean complex.

 

One of the largest single stands of Arak bushes in the Middle East, covering the higher dunes of the Wadi Kid alluvial fan 134 plant species of which six are found only in Nabq "Gazelle, Nubian Ibex, Hyrax and small mammal populations. Rich coral reef communities.

 

The Nature Protection Sector of the EEAA, responsible for the management and administration of all Egyptian Protected Areas, has committed itself to a program that fully integrates resident Bedouins into all aspects of its area management strategy. It is foreseen that selected Bedouin groups will provide all tourism services in the Protectorate.

 

These will include: catering services at the visitor center, guide services, provision of camels for access to areas closed to vehicles, maintenance services, visitor interpretation, operation of camping areas, and other activities of mutual benefit.
 
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