Nuweiba  
 

 Eighty-five kilometres north of Dahab, and 73 kilometres south of Taba lies the delta of Nuweiba. It was formed by the yearly flooding of Wadi Watir, which brought sand. gravel, and boulders from the central Sinai plateau all the way down to the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, forming the delta, a triangular land mass jutting out into the sea.

Nuweiba can roughly be divided into 3 main sections: In the south, tucked at the foot of the steep mountains of the interior and lying on the shore of an expansive bay, are the port and luxurious oasis of Nuweiba Muzeina. This coastal resting spot has drawn travellers for centuries, having long been an important port for Muslim pilgrims en route to Mecca.

Today, Nuweiba Muzeina's magnificent beaches and coral reefs are the most common draw, and the bay is home to a number of resorts and tourist villages. The port continues to offer a ferry service to Aqaba on the Jordanian coast, on a daily basis.

 

A bit further north, in the middle of the delta, is Nuweiba City, which is built around the former Israeli Moshav, Neviot, established during Israeli occupation, (1967 to 1982). Its significance was the marking of the tribal boundary between the Tarabin tribe in the north and the Muzeina tribe in the south. In the veteran town center bazaars, supermarkets, internet cafes and restaurants cater for every need.  At the entrance of the city next to the court house and opposite the hospital lies the post office, open from 9.00 to 14.00 except Fridays and on holidays.

A couple hundred metres north of Nuweiba town is Nuweiba el-Tarabin. Although possessed of an equally lovely beach, Tarabin is more modestly developed, for the area is home also to the Bedouin Tribe of Tarabin. It consists of a thick grove of palms, a shallow bay and the ruins of a Turkish fort. The well inside the ruins has served the Bedouins as a fresh water source for centuries. Tarabin is known for its lively oriental atmosphere.

 

Along the beach lively outdoors restaurants furnished in Bedouin style with carpets and cushions invite to lay back and relax and let the time pass by.

Investors have discovered the commercial importance of the virgin beaches between Nuweiba and Taba further to the north, on the Egyptian-Israeli border, and have ultimately opened deluxe hotels to mass tourism, camp owners and family hotels suddenly saw themselves in competition with well-known chain hotels offering flight and hotel packages to unbeatable prices.

The whole 73 kilometre strip between the two towns has been gobbled up and over-developed. Almost nothing is left of the empty pristine beaches I remember when I first arrived here in 1985.

 

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