The startling transformation from dusty Bedouin outpost to spruced-up tourist village is not without its detractors, who reminisce fondly of the days when beach bums dossed in basic huts by the shore. But for all the starry-eyed memories, there are plenty of pluses that have come with prosperity. Diving is now a much safer and more organised activity thanks to better regulation of operators; the town is cleaner and more family-friendly, offering accommodation choices for everyone rather than just hardened backpackers.</p>
<p>This is the one town in South Sinai where independent travellers are the rule rather than the exception, and Dahab’s growth has not destroyed its budget-traveller roots. Reeled in by its mellow ambience, many travellers plan a few nights here and instead stay for weeks.