Dahab is a popular tourist destination in Egypt. The name Dahab means gold, but according to its Bedouin residents the word’s origin has another meaning that means “time passes by.” This is because in Dahab a person loses the track of time and just indulges in the breathtaking beauty and activities this town has to offer. It’s really true. The local Bedouin people here sell souvenirs to tourists which are made by them and offer their unrivalled hospitality.
The Dahab Bedouin festival is a world-famous ecological awareness event held in Dahab. The non-profit, week-long festival is a fundraiser for environmental programs that help preserve the coral reefs and beauty of this town and the surrounding area. The festival promotes Bedouin culture and tourism in the local area, along with celebrating the natural beauty and environment of the place. The first festival was organized in May, 2011 and since then the organizers have held monthly events to raise money that helps in keeping Dahab clean and green for all!
The festival is held in a nice flood plain area. Tea is served for free and tourists can spend as much time as they wish enjoying Bedouin hospitality without spending any money in return. Bedouin people here offer genuine hospitality and it’s truly a hassle free experience. There are many fun activities you can indulge in as well such as eating delicious food, shopping the local market and much more.
I attended the Dahab Festival on its third anniversary, from April 12 to 18, 2014 and it was a great experience. The festival was an ideal way to find out about Bedouin culture and communicate with the local people. The event aimed at creating environmental awareness among people, while benefitting the entire community of this town and it felt wonderful to take part and support it. That year the event was not held at the usual floodplain due to the damages caused by the flood that occurred in March. The venue of the festival was at the entrance and exit of Mashraba, which is located on the Sheikh Ali Resort road in Dahab. The plan B worked well and was very nice.
The new theme which had been added to the festival in 2014 was agro-tourism. There were also some very interesting excursions into the desert that made the event extra fun!
Tourists also got the chance to visit Habiba organic farms, Plantations at Wadi Ghraib and ate organically grown vegetables and chicken, which had all been produced locally. It was a week of incredible and health food! Also organic food was sold at a very low price and exceptional quality all week.
For the very first time at the festival, one could experience diving with Bedouin fully. Local Bedouin dive masters gave unique knowledge about the marine environment of Dahab and helped in encouraging diving. Also, to ensure Dahab stays clean and green, this year recycling art and nonpolluting plastic recycling were introduced. All this and much more made the experience awesome. Also, there was an amazing performance by Circ Bonboni at the Ibis Styles Hotel and children’s activities at the Kinderhouse in Dahab. There were special healing centers named as waves of wellness as well, where tents were created for healers, yoga masters, and masseurs. It was a great time.
The one week Bedouin festival at Dahab was no less than a cultural treat for every single visitor who came here from any place across the globe. All week people could buy freshly-grown organic food, Bedouin handicraft items, medicinal Sinai plants and could witness the rich history of this town while enjoying environmental awareness events and discussions.