There are over 650 dive centres registered in Egypt where of 164 in Hurghada. You can chose from the cheapest to the best. There are low-cost and there are good dive centres. There is no such thing as a good cheap alternative. You get what you pay for.
In order to keep quality and safety you have expenses and if you charge €20 for a full day diving including two dives with equipment and lunch there has got to be cuts in expenses that are not so visible. These can be membership fees for: Search & Rescue, Deco Support or HEPCA. It can be the costs of keeping qualified staff, meaning that the guide you’re diving with might not even have a DM or Instructor Certification… Yes it happens and it’s not as rare as you might think…
There are ways to control the quality of the dive industry of course. In Egypt this is handled by Chamber of Diving and Water Sports. But then of course if the operator you’re diving with not even is a registered Dive Centre, does not operate through a physical Dive Centre but only via a web site, there is nothing C.D.W.S. can do. So you see… you might find a good price on diving out there, but the operator doesn’t contribute to Search & Rescue, Deco-Insurance, Environmental Programs or anything else that works towards quality of the dive industry… These are the dive centres who does not adhere to rules and regulations, that anchor in reefs, with guides who let their guests pick up shells and pieces of corals… Do I need to go on? Have the guts to refuse sponsor the enemy of the coral reefs!
Daily boats come in all different sizes but there are a few things they should all have in common:
- Oxygen easily accessed and well marked.
- The O2 system should be shown and briefed to you.
- Medic First Aid box.
- The MFA box should be shown to you and explained what’s in it.
- Life jackets
- In the boat briefing the life jackets should be pointed out.
- Spare & Tool box.
- You shouldn’t have to sit a dive out because of failing equipment.
Your Dive guide should be able to draw an accurate map of the dive site including reef topography, depths, north-indicator and brief you on max time/depth, min air out plus special points of interests, marine life and possible hazards on this particular dive. He should suggest a route and offer you to follow him during the dive.
Red Sea Dive Site Name Dictionary
Everybody who’s been diving in the Red Sea probably once or twice wondered what the name of the dive site actually means. Some dive sites have English names but they also have an original Arabic name. Believe it or not but Elphinstone is not the original name, it’s Shaab Ruhr Abu el Hambra. This refers to the red mountain on the main land that can be seen from the reef.
- Abu – Father
- Dahra – Straight lineErg – Pinnacle
- Eshta – cream
- Eroug – Pinnacles (plural)
- Fanadeer – Rocks on top of reef
- Fanous – beacon
- Fasma – Channel through one or between two reefs
- Foug – Up/Upper
- Gammar – moon
- Ganoub – South
- Gebel – mountain
- Gota – Piece of…
- Habili – Reef not reaching the surface
- Halk – Bay with only a small opening in the surrounding reef
- Hambra – Red
- Hashish – sea weed
- Helwa – beautiful
- Kafan – deep water
- Kebir – big
- Malag – Bend/Bay in the reef (spoon)
- Marsa – Open bay with coral reefs on each side of a sand beach
- Ras – Head (Peninsula)
- Soraya – small
- Shaab – Coral/Reef
- Shaab Ruhr – Reef close to…/Extension of the reef…
- Sharm – Open bay with coral reef all the way around
- Shemaal – North
- Taht – Down/Lower
- Torfa – Tongue of reef…
- Um – Mother
- Quais – good
- Wadi – valley
“OH NO! I can’t believe it! I just had it serviced before I came out here” That’s the most common line I hear if there is a problem with a regulator on arrival. Have no fear, there are plenty of service technicians here. Even if you’re going on a safari the next morning you can actually get it done “over night”.
Before you go on your Red Sea Liveaboard holiday, add this number to your contact list and if you have problems you can have Chris Jansen sorting it out for you over night. +20 (0)17 358 38 85
Every dive operator with at least an ounce of self respect will offer you a chamber insurance when you’re checking in. You should be aware of that even if you have a health insurance that covers sport activities it might not extend to scuba diving. Even if yours does it might not work in Egypt. If you have a DAN insurance it’s all green light but if the chamber staff does not recognize the insurance company you might have a problem.
Check before booking your holiday that the centre you’re going to dive with is a member of the local environmental organisation.
Chamber of Diving and Water Sports – Egypt
There are rules and regulations in Egypt as to who is allowed to teach diving, guide qualified divers and snorkelers around the reefs. To guarantee the quality of the instructors and guides C.D.W.S. issue a card to those who are. Make sure your guide has one.
We will be updating this page with pictures as soon as they are available 🙂