Abu Dabbab Beach
Marsa Abu Dabbab Bay
Abu Dabbab Bay has one of the best sandy beaches in the Marsa Alam region but is deservedly better known as being one of the few places in the world where you can sometimes dive and swim with the endangered dugong “sea cow.”
And as if that wasn’t enough the bay is also host to giant sea turtles for whom the shallow waters serve as an invaluable nesting site and the harmless guitar shark as well as having colorful reefs, a myriad of beautiful fish, a small shipwreck and a swim-through canyon with underwater caves.
You can just wade-in to the main bay and also explore the fringing reefs directly from the beach which makes it equally suitable to snorkelers and divers of all skill levels. The offshore reefs however are more suitable to divers and should only be visited with a professional guide.
Abu Dabbab is close to most of Marsa Alam’s hotels and located on a brach road off the main coastal road between the Sol Y Mar Abu Dabbab and Marsa Alam Hilton hotels, 34km north of the town of Marsa Alam and about 35km south of the airport and for those who like GPS coordinates you will find it at latitude 25’20’N and 34’45’ East.
You can usually find the entrance hidden behind a row of parked coaches and minibuses and behind it you will see the beach, often crowded with sun worshipers and snorkelers. But don’t let that put you off. It might not seem like the sort of wild place to find endangered exotic marine animals but fortunately and, despite the occasional crowds, it still is.
In fact, giant green sea turtles can be seen almost every day, as can the harmless guiltar sharks, although your chance of seeing Dennis or Dougal, the famous dugongs, vary from season to season (being slightly higher in the summer), and overall on any one day perhaps less than fifty-fifty. However, many visitors have been lucky and some have even seen both dugongs on the same day!
The name “Abu Dabab” can be translated as Father’s stepping stones. According to local mythology, when an earthquake struck it was because the gods were using the stones to cross the sea.
I can highly recommend to jump on one of our snorkeling boat trips which operate from Port Ghalib on a daily basis to both Shony Bay reef and Marsa Mubarak reef where you have a very good chance to see turtles and one of the best chances anywhere in the world (though not guaranteed) to see a dugong.
As you enter via the south east corner of the beach you will need to pay a ten-euro entrance fee which is levied in order to prevent too many tourists overcrowding the bay. This fee also allows you free use of the lounge chairs and beach umbrellas. You will find toilets available and the beach is kept very clean with a small bar where you can buy drinks and snacks.
Night owls might also be glad to know that on Thursday nights locals head to the beach bar at Abu Dabbab for a weekly party.