Sales Consultant Conor O’Dowda squeezed in a trip to Sharm el Sheikh earlier this year. It was Conor's first visit to the Red Sea - read more about his time at two of Sharm's resorts.
Having never been to Sharm el Sheikh, the Red Sea or even Egypt before, visiting this part of the world seemed like a wonderful opportunity to provide a first hand experience of the area as well as visit some of our partners. With this insight I would then be able to pass on key information to those who have never been to these resorts or Sharm el Sheikh like myself.
I spent time with two of our partners out there, one fantastic new addition and one long time favourite. The first was Shark’s Bay Umbi Village, a veteran in Sharm el Sheikh but a newcomer to the Regaldive fold. This diamond in the rough provides a unique experience unlike anything you would find in Sharm El Sheikh. I was picked up from the airport by their minivan airport transfer, no more than 10 minutes later I had arrived into a Bedouin ‘snow globe’, the first sight, carved into the cliffs face are their mainstay rooms that stay true to their culture. Weaving through the passageways of doors either side appearing as if from nowhere, felt like I had fallen into the pages of a children’s book.
The local staff all live on site in true Bedouin fashion like one big family. At the head of this family is the founder and namesake of this diving ‘village’, a man called Umbi, if you take a moment and ask anyone who works here about him they will tell you amazing stories of his life and true testaments of his character.
The saying “…you come as a guest but leave as a friend” is thrown around so much but never has it felt truer than when you stay at Umbi Village. The staff here sit and chat, they take care of you and would bend over backwards for you, until you realise that they’ve become more than just a friend - they begin to feel like family too.
You’ve woken up, walked out onto your balcony and took in the stunning scenery with a clear view of the island of Tiran across the water. Your tummy grumbles, reminding you that you need breakfast, after taking a brief stroll passed the Bedouin tent you reach the restaurant where a buffet is waiting for you complete with a cook ready to make your omelette whichever way you like. The perfect way to start the day.
What is to be said for the experience on land remains true for the sea, a short walk down their own jetty and you’re on one of their magnificent vessels that are capable of not only providing a gateway for day diving but also a liveaboard experience from mini 3-5 day safaris up to a full week.
The pristine Reefs of the Tiran Strait are just 25 minutes away by boat (or 10 by speedboat). Gordon Reef can be seen first as the wreck of the Louvila sits on top of her. On a gentle drift dive I enjoyed a large plateau of porites coral that was teeming with schools of yellow goatfish. At the drop off you might be lucky enough to see a white tip reef shark cruising below or huge tuna in the blue water. Barrels that fell off a cargo ship in the 80s have formed an artificial reef on the sand, housing territorial anemone fish and wrasse. I witnessed blue-spotted stingrays sheltering underneath the many table corals here and a hawksbill turtle fed on the abundant broccoli coral. This area enjoys currents from very deep water funnelling over the shallower saddles of the Tiran reefs – one of the reasons it is so rich.
The dive crew are on hand to make every part of your dive trip effortless then in between or after your dives there is plenty of space to relax on the upper sun deck whilst indulging in a delicious catered lunch.
Back on land you’ve rinsed off and got comfortable again and are ready for your dinner, arriving in the Bedouin tent is a glimpse into their pure way of life. The seating areas with cushions on the ground to sit or lie on is a comfort like no other. Once settled, you can order from their a la carté menu with features a wide variety of choices such as wraps, pizzas, pasta dishes to name a few. The chicken bedouin roll is my personal favourite. Finishing off your day with a glass of your favourite drink and a bit of shisa should that take your fancy.
Before you’ve even left this haven you’ll be planning your next trip to come back and see your friends.
Camel Dive Club is a resort that’s reputation is renowned. Situated in the centre of Sharm El Sheikh a short 200m walk to the beach, this is a complex comprised of a hotel, dive centre and restaurant, with each section requiring its own personal mention without ever feeling like they are separate in any way. This is a place that was intentionally and perfectly designed for the needs of a diver.
The hotel rooms surround the training pool, these spacious rooms complete with large comfortable beds and an en suite shower room is the luxury you will look forward to after your diving when you’re sat on your balcony enjoying the evening sun.
The dive centre is the social hub, whether or not you’ve been diving that day they're always wanting to talk about all things diving. State of the art classrooms for courses and any tec requirement you may desire, they can accommodate.
Lastly the restaurant, Pomodoro, a delicious breakfast buffet to kick off your day or a classy evening meal to toast a fabulous day of diving, either way a food coma will be waiting for you at the end.
Camel Dive Club is more than just a resort, it is it’s own little world in Sharm El Sheikh, one that will be always be there waiting to take you on your next adventure.
Speak to a member of our team to discuss Sharm el Sheikh diving holidays.