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Additional Information Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Activities Snorkel at Dolphin House Have you always dreamt of swimming with dolphins? Now you can realize that dream at Samadai Reef, 45km south of the Marsa Alam Beach Resort. This reef is nicknamed, “Dolphin House,� and is home to a pod of more than 100 spinner dolphins, who although shy, will be happy to play for hours just 200 meters off-shore. Dive Elphinstone Reef Even the most experienced divers get excited about Elphinstone. Picture yourself descending slowly through the crystal clear water towards Elphinstone's north plateau. The coral here is so colorful that it almost distracts you from the dive's main objective. As you turn to look the rush of adrenaline reminds you of why you are here, as the first pair of oceanic white-tip sharks cruise past. This can be an advanced dive, so be sure to make a weight and buoyancy check first in an easier dive site. Glimpse the Gazelles in Wadi Gimal Wild gazelles have already disappeared from some parts of Egypt (such as Sinai) but they still exist in small numbers in the desert surrounding Marsa Alam. Wadi Gimal is a little over an hour's drive from Marsa Alam, and having recently been declared a National Protectorate, is one of the places where, with luck (and patience), you can still glimpse wild gazelles. Remember that this is a remote, unmapped area so it is essential to take a local guide with you. Place the First Footprints on a Deserted Beach The coast around Marsa Alam is being developed rapidly however, between the clusters of hotels there are still miles of incredibly beautiful, untouched coastline and empty coves. Hire a car, take a local bus or taxi and jump off somewhere that takes your fancy. Who knows, you may be the first person ever to set foot on that stretch of beach. Explore Quseir The architecture of Quseir is a delight. The oldest part of town lies between the port and the Ottoman Fortress of Sultan Selim. Many of the town's walls are built from fossil coral blocks and the upper floors of the oldest houses have ornate wooden balconies. Quseir is a couple of hours by car from Marsa Alam and makes a good daytime excursion.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Activities Smoke a Shisha on the Beach A shisha is a water pipe, filled with flavored mild tobacco. The pipe's water chamber removes the heat and bitterness from the smoke, making it enjoyable even for nonsmokers. Shisha smoking is a supremely relaxing activity, wherever you choose to do it. Go Shopping in the Souk Shopping in Egypt is always an interesting and colorful experience. In Marsa Alam it is even more pleasurable, since you are less likely to encounter the pressure to buy than in some of the busier tourist areas. In the market you can purchase almost anything: electrical goods shops neighbour stalls selling brightly-coloured household plastics, fruit and vegetable vendors, complementing on overall elaborate display. Live the Simple Life Leave five star luxury behind for a night or two and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of one of the many camps dotted along the coast. They are often much more luxurious than the term "camp" suggests, and provide a convenient base for exploring further south. Awlad Baraka, 13 km south of Marsa Alam, is an excellent example. The huts are built from bamboo and stone, blending in with the local landscape. There are also some less than traditional home comforts like hot water, ceiling fans and freshly-cooked pancakes for breakfast.

Dine at the Kahramana Blondie Beach The Kahramana's Beach Bar is a favourite evening hang-out for local divers, residents and holiday-makers. And has been the host for many last-all- night-holiday parties! The Italian restaurant's wonderful location on the beach, and its specialities, also makes it an excellent choice for dinner.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Activities Quad Biking in the Desert Just in case it is possible to get tired of the sea, there are lots of land based activities to try out too. Quad biking is an excellent way to explore the desert that is often forgotten on a Red Sea holiday. Sarah Adjani gives her account. Before even getting on the bikes we were each fitted with a helmet and gloves. All reputable companies will provide these. Never ride any vehicle without the correct safety gear. After a thumb’s up from the group we headed out. I would recommend that the weakest driver is directly in line after the guide (in this case me!) As we headed out into the desert it was quite nerve racking to drive on sand for the first time. Steering is not as easy as it looks and more than once a member of our group found themselves skidding out off the track. Luckily our guide whizzed round and helped them out and pretty quickly we were all back on track. After 45 minutes of driving towards the mountains we entered a wadi and came to a Bedouin rest stop. Dismounting from our shaking quads we were glad to receive a cup of Bedouin tea and have a rest in the shade. After another 45 minute drive back through the stunning scenery of the Sinai and we were back at the centre. We parked our bikes and handed back the safety gear. Dusty, but exhilarated, we all filled in our customer comments with lots of happy faces. It is an experience I would definitely recommend and intend to repeat very soon. In fact, one of our group members has decided to do a desert motor cycling course! All in all it was a great way to start the day, two hours most well spent. by Sarah Adjani Source: Go Red Sea Magazine Issue 53 May 2007

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Excursions A Wealth of Choice For both investors and guests alike, there is no time for boredom at the Marsa Alam Beach Resort. With an extensive list of on site facilities, no one could blame you for not leaving the resort, but for those that wish to see the cultural side of Egypt, the resort offers an excellent base to find some hidden treasures. Al Quseir Al-Quseir has a long history as one of the major ports of the Red Sea and is depicted in reliefs in Deir el-Bahari temple in Luxor. The 16th dentury fortress of Sultan Selim still stands in the centre of town, a testament to its once strategic importance. Today, it is a quiet resort with its narrow streets lined with colourful bazaars which have a decidedly Bedouin accent. A fantastic day trip from the resort. Safaga Safaga is a working port with several tourist villages specializing in diving holidays, a handful of hotels and fish restaurants. Safaga hosted the 1993 World Windsurfing Championships and is a popular base for day trips to Tobia island. 30 miles from Safaga you will find Mons Claudianus at the foot of Jebel Fatira. This was once a Roman penal colony where high quality granite was mined for use as building material for the Roman Empire and can be seen today in the portico of the Pantheon. Today there are various ruins, a Roman camp, dwellings, workshops, stables and a dromos. Luxor Luxor is often called the world’s greatest open air museum. It is the site of an immense number of monuments, museums, tombs and other historical wonders. Most people know Luxor as home to The Valley of the Kings, however it is also home to the Asasif Necropolis, Tombs of the Nobles, The Valley of the Queens, Deir el-Medina Necropolis, the tombs of Tutankhamen, Ramesses and Seti, Temple of Amenhotep III, Temple of Karnak and the Temple of Luxor to name just a few. Luxor is a once in a lifetime experience for those with an eye for antiquity.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Activities Aswan Aswan is an ancient frontier town on the banks of the Nile with a distinctly African atmosphere. A day here can be spent strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in floating restaurants listening to the Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish. Aswan has been the most popular winter resort for Egyptians since the beginning of the nineteenth century, and today is still a perfect place to get away with its souks and spectacular sunsets. Hurghada Hurghda was founded in the early twentieth century and until recently remained a small fishing village. Of recent years Hurghada has seen a transformation into a tourist hotspot where tourists flock to take advantage of all the Red Sea has to offer including, diving, sailing, deep sea fishing, and swimming. With massive amounts of development, Hurghada has now become a party town frequented by young Europeans and is frantically busy at most times of the year. Diving is still one of the major draw cards however, more operators are moving away or to liveaboards as the dive sites and the city becomes more crowded with tourists. If you want to party the night away with thousands of other tourists, then Hurghada is certainly worth the trip from Marsa Alam. Distances Approximate distances from Marsa Alam Beach Resort to some of the other tourist destinations in Egypt. Marsa Alam




Al Quseir




Soma Bay


Makadi Bay






Sahl Hasheesh 146m/235km



El Gouna



Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2



Diving Marsa Alam Dive Sites The Southern Red Sea is renowned for its incredible reefs, home to both hard and soft corals and an incredibly diverse range of aquatic life. Marsa Alam is blossoming from a small fishing village to a bustling mecca for divers across the world due to the increased accessibility resulting from the new international airport. What was once for intrepid travelers only is now fast becoming the must visit destination for divers from all over the world. Abu Dabbab Abu Dabbab is located only 15 km north of the Marsa Alam Beach Resort and consists of six reefs roughly translated as “Father’s Steps,” or “Father’s Stepping Stones.” The site itself is a set of reasonably shallow reefs (15m) covering an expansive area. This provides the opportunity for several dives in the same area. Divers will also discover here the resting place of the famous Red Sea Live-aboard, “Heaven One,” which sank after a fire in 2004. The wreck and reefs are called home by blue spotted rays, large napoleon wrasse and pods of dolphins, known to spend as much as 10 minutes here with divers. Elphinstone Reef Situated only 5 kms north from the resort, the famous Elphinstone Reef is widely regards as one of the best dive sites in the world. A short zodiac ride offshore the reef is approximately 180m long and 20m wide and sits in very deep water, providing divers with unique opportunities to see all manner of aquatic life. Common sightings include: jacks, tuna, trevally, blue lunar fusiliers, hammerheads, reef sharks and even the monstrous whale shark. Marsa Abu Dabbab 10 kms north of the Marsa Alam Beach Resort, a 75m walk off shore you will find yourself in the enchanting world known as Marsa Abu Dabbab. With a depth of 3-30 meters this fascinating site is one of the best Egyptian locations to witness the reclusive dugong. Alongside these fascinating creatures you may also encounter guitar sharks, extremely large turtles, porcupine pufferfish, trunkfish, blue spotted rays, garden eels, remora fish and silver jacks. Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Diving Marsa Egla Marsa Egla is located approximately 20 km north of the resort. This wonderful shallow bay provides excellent visibility and the likes of: octopus, blue spotted rays, giant puffer fish, bearded scorpionfish, anemones and arabian boxfish. Sha’ab Marsa Alam Sha’ab Samadai dive site also known as Dolphin Reef, due to the resident pod of spinner dolphins, lies 45km south of the Marsa Alam Beach Resort. A key attraction, the dolphins spend much of their time frolicking with snorkelers above and around the reef. The site offers three distinct diving areas, the outer reef, a cave system and several pinnacles. Depths range from 5-25m providing excellent snorkeling opportunities. This site really does cater to all levels of experience. Likely encounters will include: soft corals, groupers, goldbody trevally, anemone and anenomefish, giant squirrelfish, schools of yellowfin goatfish, barracuda, yellow spotted burrfish and garden eels to name just a few.

RED SEA DIVING CONTINUES TO GROW. The “DIVER,” magazine conducted a survey in October 2005, showing 55% of readers had dived in the Red Sea in the past 2 years and 54% planned to dive there in the next 12 months. The survey shows the incredible strength of the Red Sea as a diving magnet for divers from all over the world. With the opening of Marsa Alam’s international airport, the once remote fishing village that only provided diving opportunities to the most intrepid of travelers, is now blossoming into the star of the Red Sea Riviera.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Diving Sha'ab Abu Aamra - Elphinstone Location: 18km north of Marsa Alam Access: Boat dive Dive Difficulty: Experienced, 50+ dives Depth Range: 5m – 30m Type: Reef Length: 375m approx. Elphinstone is a truly world-class dive site situated 18km north of Marsa Alam and 10 km offshore, in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. It is a long, narrow reef rising from the depths and whose northern and southern tips have a constant current running over their plateaus. Isolated so far from shore, Elphinstone reef is incredibly rich in marine life and is most of the south Red Sea’s species of fish (some of which are endemic) and whose coral cover is both comprehensive and diverse. With its characteristic good visibility, the initial descent into the blue is a spectacular experience and gives one a powerful perspective of the sheer scale and shape of the reef. Due to the current and surrounding depth of the water, this is a perfect place for big predators like trevallies, jacks, tunas and sharks as well as dolphins. However Elphinstone is most famous for its shark encounters, of which several species are a common site (oceanic white tip, scalloped hammerhead, white tip reef, grey reef, silver tip and thresher). A good way to view this site is to combine one of the walls and a plateau on each dive. It is advised to seek shelter from the current by staying close to the reef itself. Common sights include fusiliers, blue fin, giant and orange trevallies, black tail and great barracudas, as well as yellow fin and dogtooth tunas feeding in the open water. There are also many cleaning stations along the walls employing blue streak cleaner wrasse, small napoleon wrasse and turtles. Free-swimming moray eels can often be seen among the many species of hard and soft corals, of which fan coral are common below 45m. Typical species encounters include moray, common and neat lion fish, and on the southern plateau end of the reef, a hawksbill turtle. At 50m-60m on the southern end of the reef is the ‘sarcophagus’, a coral-encrusted section of rectangular stone underneath an arch. Its origin is hotly debated. Prior to surfacing, divers will usually be required to complete an extended safety stop for pickup by boat. Note: Unpredictable and strong off-shore currents make Elphinstone a potentially hazardous site. Keep a close eye on both air consumption and depth, an carry some form of surface-signaling device. Typically negative entry and minimum 50 logged dive requirements. Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Diving Habili Nakari, Egypt

Location: 18km south of Marsa Alam, 1.8km offshore Access: Boat dive Dive Difficulty: All divers Depth Range: 5m – 25m typ. Dive Site Overview This is quite a small dive site and can usually be fully explored during a single 45 minute dive. However, despite its small size, the site is rich in marine life and the position of the pillars, peaking at different depths, makes this a very good site for multilevel diving. The reef is based on a cluster of rocky pillars (some of which are connected) whose tops are permanently submerged. Because of the opportunities for marine life observation that both of these pillars present, their sides and tops are the ideal place to perform a safety stop. Careful planning of the dive route is therefore advised. The site is prone to currents so the entry point may need to be varied depending on the prevailing conditions, and this may have a bearing on the selection of safety-stop location, as well as the pick-up point for the boat. Habili Nakari is dominated by two main structures, the north and south Habili. The larger of the two, north Habili, has an area of the wall covered with colourful soft corals of the nephtheidae family. However, the pillars are home to a host of other marine life including the grouper and parrot fish. To fully appreciate the pillars, it is recommended to swim around them in a spiral direction – although be aware of the depth changes! On reaching the bottom of the south pillar, keep an eye out for jacks as this is a favourite hunting area for them. At approx. 20m, one can also often find a school of goatfish, and occasionally napoleon-fish (wrasse). Contrasting against the blue of the open Red Sea, one can appreciate the orange colours of a school of anthias. This makes a good photo opportunity of the fish species frequently considered to represent the Red Sea. Other species of fish often seen at this Habili Nakari include groupers, butterfly-fish and towards the blue, fusiliers and a small school of barracuda.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Diving Marsa Nakari, Egypt

Location: 18km south of Marsa Alam Access: Shore or zodiac dive. Dive Difficulty: All divers Depth Range: 5m – 30m Dive Site Overview Marsa Nakari is the house reef of the Red Sea Diving Safari Nakari Ecolodge Village and consists of a bay and an outer reef. The site has a long history and its sheltered shape made it an ideal location for a Red Sea port during Roman times. For this reason it has been the subject of numerous archaeological studies and remains one of the port walls and a storage room can still be found within the eco village itself. The bay itself has an interesting topography and the sandy bottom forms a gentle Ushape with rocky features lining its edges. The exterior of the bay has fringing reefs which take advantage of the general sea currents. On the northern side of the bay one can occasionally spot a school of small barracuda swimming in circles, but it is the shallower areas of this bay area which tend to be the most interesting, with a great variety and density of marine life. This sandy area home to numerous examples of goby fish living symbiotically with shrimp in sand burrows, and present exceptional macro-photography opportunities. The reef is also a popular night diving location because of the frequent turtle and giant moray sightings. Towards the south, the landscape consists of an assortment of small canyons and pillars that attract and provide shelter for many species, including grouper and lion-fish. It is especially worthwhile spending some time examining these crevices, as many camouflaged creatures are often hidden here, including octopus and scorpion fish. The site is however best known for its outer reef area and the large and colourful hard and soft gardens. Sightings of both white and black tip reef sharks are commonplace and the steep drop-off also provides occasional pelagic and dolphin sightings, so keep an eye out on the blue! Marsa Nakari is best explored via zodiac to the outer reef, and then drift-diving or swimming back in towards the shore via the shallower depths along the bay side(s). This site allows for very flexible multilevel dive profiles and variety of dive experience.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Diving Ras Samadai, Egypt

Location: 8 km south of Marsa Alam Access: Shore dive Dive Difficulty: Experienced divers Depth Range: 5m – 25m Dive Site Overview This peninsula-shaped site is a beautiful example of the richness of shore-based reef diving in this part of the Red Sea. Sandy bottomed, it consists of a small lagoon, canyons, an outside plateau, coral heads and reef walls. This is a very large site and offers numerous and varied dive routes and profiles. Ras Samadai has become a firm favourite with dive guides and returning visitors alike, who take pleasure in exploring its three main parts, which can be dived separately or as a combination. This is an intensely complex site, where one can easily get lost; therefore it is strongly recommended that one follows a local dive guide. In poor weather, the typical entry from the shore and into the lagoon can be awkward and it is best to dive at high tide. A rope is provided to make it easier. In general, the peninsula is exposed to the main coastal currents, making it an ideal place for coral and marine life to develop – especially evident on the reef walls and canyons between the pinnacles and coral heads. The sandy-bottom of the lagoon area is relatively sheltered and is home to numerous bottom-dwelling species. The inner pool is ringed with pillars and offers a multitude of coral and fish species in this 60m by 200+m wide area. These fish species include unicorn, surgeon, fusiliers, grey snappers, groupers, rays and tangs. The outer coral garden is accessed from the first pool and then by passing through the small canyon between the reef and large pillar. It is here you’ll discover large plateaus and coral gardens of stag horn, leaf, dome, acropora and table coral formations, with a wide accompaniment of fish species. The pillar system is home to a variety of marine life, and diving this area –which entails moving in-between the various pillars and through the valleys – can be very rewarding. As a result of the large area, a typical dive will take approximately 70 minutes, and is therefore only recommended for divers with good air consumption. Watch out for eagle rays, turtles and bottle nosed dolphins.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Diving Gota Abu Dabbab

Location: 3 km offshore, 33 km north of Marsa Alam Access: Boat dive Dive Difficulty: All divers Depth Range: 5m – 20m Dive Site Overview

This offshore site makes up part of the Abu Dabbab reef system and is quite large, often taking several dives to explore fully. Gota Abu Dabbab’s shape, variety and wide range of possible dive profiles and routes make it a popular site for safari boats, especially with its shallow depths (20m max), protected central area interesting topography, dolphin sightings and numerous coral gardens. The site is based around the two large rocky outcrops of North and South Gota, to the east between which lies a ring of hard and soft coral-covered pillars. These two pillars are also known as Abu Dabbab II and Abu Dabbab III. When seen from underwater, they present an impressive view rising towards the surface. This view is enhanced by the sites generally hilly underwater topography, and makes for some excellent, and dramatic, underwater landscape photography (subject to good visibility of course). Towards the south of the north Gota is a rare field of green sponges and central to the site, lying on the sandy-bottom (at 14m), is one of the few wrecks in the area –that of the dive safari boat Heaven One. Sunk in 2004/2005 (accounts vary) as a result of a fire, only the remains of the lower part of its hull survive underwater to be dived. Its water and fuel tanks can be found on top of the reef plateau of South Gota. A large coral grouper is often seen under the keel or near the wreck, while angel fish and black spotted sweetlips are a common sight nearby. Between the wreck and the South Gota you will discover red tip anemone (rare in this region), and their accompaniment of clown fish. Also keep an eye out for nudibranch, barracuda, puffer and boxfish, while blue spotted stingrays can often be seen in the sandy areas. On the northern side of the South Gota, a canyon and small cave system exists. Dolphins are frequently sighted at this reef, possibly attracted by the shallow and sheltered central area. Gota Abu Dabbab often attracts divers back for repeat visits and is generally considered one of the best dive sites of the area. Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Other Resorts Marsa Alam is currently undergoing a very strong growth period with tourists flocking to the the area thanks to the improved access resulting from the international airport and the recognition of the world class diving that calls this region home. Here are a few of the completed resorts you may wish to visit when in this region before the Marsa Alam Beach Resort is completed. Iberotel Coraya Beach Resort The Iberotel Coraya Beach is built elegantly in a Moroccan style that rhymes with the rich surroundings of the area, the resort proudly offers class service in a comfortable and relaxed setting. The breathtaking colors of the sea, the comforting shelter of the mountains and the mysterious untouched reefs and marine life are just a scent of your most unforgettable holiday at Iberotel Coraya Beach Resort, cozily located in the private and secluded Coraya Bay. Kahramana Beach Resort Desert embraces the sea in an unspoiled remote area, 38 km from Marsa Alam international airport. Magical surroundings, stunning views, and incredible sunsets - this is Kahramana Beach Resort. Relax and rejuvenate at this stunning resort that is built as one with the surrounding nature. The location is famous for its natural beauty and access to world class diving sites. The resort is dramatically situated on two hills, Palm Bay to the north and Laguna Bay to the south. Iberotel Lamaya Resort The Lamaya is a stunning family resort situated in Madinat Coraya, in the Marsa Alam region. The Lamaya is part of the complex containing the Coraya and Samaya resorts and is the 5 star resort of the group. An all inclusive resort, the Lamaya is widely used in Thomsons’ package deals.

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Commercial Centre - Opposite Resort

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Wellness Centre

Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


Useful Websites Official site for the Egyptian Tourist Authority Official website for the Egyptian Tourist Office Visa information, contact details for visa section and visa form downloads Databases containing accommodation options, transport, local tour companies, articles, maps etc. Comprehensive information on the Red Sea The Ministry of Investment official online resource Cairo International airport details of flight schedules etc Marsa Alam International airport online directory Info on Hurghada airport This is the online edition of Egypt Today magazine Egyptian Museum in Cairo Mahmoud Khaild Museum official website Coptic Museum official website A multi-purpose travel website Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2


This document contains confidential information for exclusive use of the intended recipient. If you are not an intended recipient, please contact Sue Lovett immediately at This document may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words such as plans, expects, should, believes, anticipates or words of similar import. Members, potential investors and other readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are predictions based only on current information and expectations that are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause future events or results to differ materially from those set forth or implied by the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are only made as of the date of this executive summary and IPI does not undertake any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Whilst all care has been taken to ensure the information contained within this document is true and accurate, this document holds no contractual value. This document and information contained herein may not be duplicated or disseminated without the express written consent of Stark Enterprise Ltd. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2



Marsa Alam Beach Resort Additional Information Guide V2 1 The architecture of Quseir is a delight. The oldest part of town lies between the...