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Egypt, why the media is ruining tourism, and why it’s actually safe to go there.

Hi all,

Since announcing 2 blog posts ago that Ana and I intend to relocate to Dahab, Egypt. We have had many people ask us if “that is such a good idea”

Most of this has been down to poorly written articles from the media which are often incorrect and cleverly worded to “stir the pot” to try and draw as many views to ‘their’ view on the current situation and conflicts out in Egypt. The knock on effect this has is terrible, and for someone who feels pretty close to the country itself, quite heart wrenching as well.

My intention from this post is to attempt to show people a different view, one based on proven facts and information, collectively with my own experiences and additionally information from friends I have currently living across Egypt…obviously I’m biased and ‘Pro’ travelling to Egypt, and here’s why.

The Media

Lets start with our friends from the tabloids. The media have been rubbing their hands together and spinning stories to do with Egypt and it’s conflicts for a long time. For example I remember back in 2013 when the same “dead” person was shown to be “dead” in 3 separate locations from 3 separate reporting/news companies, I can imagine how that phone call went…

“OK we have a job for you, we need you to act dead in multiple locations…”

2 weeks ago there was an attack in the Northern Sinai, in an area called Sheikh Zuweid, one of the most Northern parts of the country, it is 453km away from Sharm El Sheikh by car, so at best a 6 hour 30 minute drive and it was being labelled as “just a few miles” away by a few newspapers, last time I checked ‘a few’ meant 3…or another small amount.

egypt1

 

Yep, definitely just “a few miles” away.

What really infuriated me was this image below doing the rounds

egypt3

 

It’s so misleading, its amazing how many people I saw actively replying/posting about it “look, they’re so close! Egypt is dangerous”

The Northern Sinai has been a “No travel zone” as advised by the FCO for as long as I can remember. Also those killed, were not tourists, they were militants, members of the Army, people doing what they can to make the world a safer place, it’s horrible to say but what they’re doing is a risk they take on knowingly.

Also recently, there was a reported attack in Cairo, see the below map.

egypt2

Cairo has been a city of conflict and risk for a long time now, but recent media spinning keeps making it sound like this is all recent and new. Yes things are bad in Cairo but does that mean you shouldn’t travel to Egypt overall? Not at all. Going by that, not travelling to Sharm due to issues in Cairo/Northern Sinai is like not going to London because of problems in North Wales.

Currently, the FCO have Egypt as a country as ‘Severe/High’ and have done since the early 90’s (maybe even earlier than that, but I cannot confirm this) – other countries which are also labelled as high can be seen below.

egypt4

By the same rating system England is just as likely to an terrorism attack than Egypt, along with multiple other countries.

Going back to the FCO the following is stated on their page regarding Egypt

egypt5

 

And also one final part to note

Over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

For our intentions of travelling we plan to base ourselves out of Dahab (you can see it on the maps above, North of Sharm El Sheik) I have visited Dahab 5 times in the past 2 and a half years and have felt nothing but safe there. Nobody walks around in fear of something happening. None of my friends live there wondering if there is going to be an attack any minute…all traffic in and out of Sharm El Sheikh (and further afield) is heavily monitored and controlled by the military with multiple checkpoints. It’s one of the most amazing & magical places I have been lucky enough to visit so far.

What it ultimately boils down to is this. The governments & the FCO will always know far more than they ever release, they are saying it’s ok to travel to Sharm, which being the neighbouring town to Dahab, is good enough for me.

The day they change this statement, is the day I will reconsider my future.

In the meantime take a few minutes and watch this video – https://vimeo.com/48561076

You’ll see why I love it so much 🙂

What’s being done?

Both the US & British Military are working closely with the Egyptian Army to tactically tackle these terrorists, and despite the uprising from them in the past few years they are being pushed back, and they are losing ground (going from the latest reports) – I, like most people hope for a day where terrorism is no more, but I live in the more with the view that somewhere in the world will always be a threat of some description, do not let it control you. When you do, they terrorists are winning.

I’ve ranted enough, I hope this has shed some more accurate light on the situation at hand.

Anyway, on a more cheery note, I’m off to Dahab in Egypt this very Thursday! and I cannot wait 🙂

Jake

Photography
  1. i m going back to Dahab in a few days too! 🙂 love Dahab!

  2. Love your post Jake. I am actually just writing a piece on Dahab and the Sinai for a German travel writer competition. Lets hope it gets published and people get to see my version of it… A female, backpacking tourist in Egypt

  3. Hans v/d Berkmortel-Postma

    Indeed, the media is blowing story’s up without any now how of what is realy going on or based on tru facts, any way I am coming to Sharm in December, and I believe it’s the 8th time now, but I love to come there and spend my vacation with the diving and friends.

    • Hey Hans,

      I completely agree, its incredibly frustrating. Enjoy your trip to Sharm. Make your next visit after to Dahab 🙂

      Jake

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more!! We’ve been going to El Gouna, just outside Hurghada, since 2007, and are returning there in August 2015 and we cannot wait, the people couldn’t be friendlier and I honestly feel safer walking around El Gouna at night time than I do in my home town in South Wales! Egypt is a beautiful country!

  5. Nice article Jake. Thanks for describing our beautiful town in a nice way. Definitely needed at the moment.

  6. Thank you sooo much Jacob for sharing this!
    I’ve already shared with groups planing to travel to Janub Sinai,
    from Sweden.

  7. vix

    I have family that moved to Dahab,and its an amazing place, it is so wrongly written about iv been every year for 6years and will still keep going. My family love it out there and wont move back which I don’t blame them.

  8. gavriel

    I totally agree! I go pretty regularly and find that the whole ‘security’ situation is blown out of proportion. Have a great time! I’m sure you will 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for the great article,well said Jac
    In answer to your question I would say it is the war on Egypt and all other Arab countries,two weeks ago most medusa anonced that Isis already takes over Shekh zoied city on north Sinai but the eg. Army with his news release with photos and vedios proved that he give the terrorists a good lesson and kills handreds in a heavy day,and everyday the U.S. Is sending 10 to 40 air strik attacking Isis killing no one but actualy dropping more weapons and support for them own created hell dogs. So far Egypt is one of the countries if not the only one fighting this Isis .
    Thank you again and I hope I did explain my point of view – تحيا مصر

  10. Not only good written, it’s totally true! I can testify to the fact that it is totally safe.

  11. My husband and I have visited Egypt 3 times in the last 6 years. Once the day before the first lot of trouble. We have always felt safe and the Egyptian people are wonderful. It is criminal that they are made to suffer because of stupid media. I love Egypt and cant wait to go back.

  12. well said jake, I’ve been to Egypt numerous times and looking to move out very soon. I feel safer their than I do in other countries, including England. Good luck with your move

  13. A very well written article! I’ve been living in Cairo for 15 years. We’ve lived through revolution and egypt’s worst times. I wish tourists to return back. Not many places in the world can beat Red Sea!
    Though in Cairo I do feel safe, we go out and enjoy our life in full. The security is tightened at the moment.
    Thanks for the article again!

  14. Thanks for the great article, absolutely true. One thing I have to ask though please, next time can you highlight our beautiful city of Luxor too. I have lived here for 6 and a half years and have always felt as safe as you do in Dahab. 🙂

  15. I’ve been coming to Sharm since 2003,I’ve been there 3 times in the last 6mths and as a frequent visitor to the south Sinai i have never read such rubbish,i have never encountered any trouble or been informed of any by my many Egyptian friends and Ex-pats

  16. well said in very clear and direct way hopefully the egyptian media one day to grow up and check the truth instead just catching untrue news and starts to publish every where think this because they r so lazy to get the true news so well done on ur article and i assure all who commented above sharm is so safe so come and enjoy ur vacation in city of peace nd love ,, more agin thank you so much 🙂

  17. Thanks Jake for saying what needs to be said and hopefully helping to save Dahab…my love and my home for the last 18 years

  18. Hi Jake!!
    I am an Egyptian that moved recently to Canada, and can’t tell you how much it breaks my heart that people in Canada only seen egypt as a “war zone”. Thank you tremendously for sharing your views and sharing the truth! Dahab is amazing, enjoy to the max 🙂

  19. Well said Jake. Dahabians thank you!

  20. Well said Mr. Jack. Actually u put tears of joy into my eyes.. As one of millions Egyptians, who loves this country like no bodyelse, I’m very happy to finally know that great people like ur self and ur readers understands the true situation in Egypt, also love A piece of it that much, and not dragged by the false media.. Many thanks to u and to your respected readers…

  21. Mr. Jake;
    I apologize about misspelling yourname.. I phones and it’s auto correction problems

  22. Well said Jake, great article and totally true.
    God bless you my dear.
    I hope to meet you in Luxor.
    Emad Samaan

  23. Great article, we have a small flat in Luxor and are slowly watching it die. So distressing. We will be back as usual for the second time this year soon.

    Pat Yates

  24. You’re article is irresponsible. You appear to be basing your claim that “it is safe to go to Egypt” on your experience in one resort town. I have travelled to and in the Middle East frequently, and very much love the culture and people, especially Egypt and Cairo, but I would never go on record as saying it’s safe to go there, just as I would never say it is safe to walk around any British city late at night.

    • I’ve pointed out that the media are portraying the entire country as unsafe, which simply isn’t the case. That’s the point I am making here. 🙂

  25. Bev

    We’re going back to Dahab in Oct, it will be our 3 visit to Dahab and 5th to Egypt. We have never felt threatened there and everyone goes out of their way to make you welcome, but it’s heartbreaking to see how they are struggling through lack of visitors. There is always an element of risk whatever you do, but avoiding the Red Sea resorts is like saying “I’m not visiting Wales cos a bomb went off in London”!!!

  26. I lived in El Gouna (hurghada) for two years and I felt incredibly safe there and Loved it. I didn’t want to leave. I even took part in a protest in hurghada with no repercussions …. it was a peaceful protest and the Egyptian people were so happy and proud for me to stand with them.

  27. Well said. Thanks a lot for your fabulous words.
    As an Egyptian citizen living abroad, I view what is going in my country now as a battle between 2 sides, while tourism industry falls as a victim to such conflict.
    Egypt is safe, including Sharm El Sheikh and elsewhere, warm-hearted Egyptians can never harm their guests.

    Can’t wait to go to Sharm for spending my annual holiday in 8 days.

  28. I’m a Cairo citizen, and I can easily say that I feel more safe in Sinai than I do back home. That being said, whenever a foreigner asks me if they should visit Egypt as a whole, I say by all means. Even though we get our share of problems here in Cairo, it never was able to affect the lives of people in any kind of way. People over here (locals and foreigners alike), were able to carry on whatever it is they do (work, travel, sightsee, enjoy the Ramadan life style) without a single shred of violence affecting any of their intended activities.
    Your article is very truthful, Jake, and it applies to the rest of Egypt as well, and not only to Sinai. I hope the day comes when I get to see tourists flocking back here as they did before, without a single worry on their minds.

    PS: I just came back from Dahab three days ago, and it was beautiful. If you wanted some peace and quiet however, you should have planned your trip during Ramadan, as the upcoming Thursday will be the day before our feast and vacation destinations will get quite packed 😀

  29. Excellent article, its good to see somebody telling the real truth about Egypt. It is too easy for people to believe how the media portray things rather than the reality.

    Good news doesn’t sell newspapers though so why would they mention it eh?

  30. Egypt,we went to sharks bay in sharm el sheik not long ago and we are lucky that our niece who lives in naama bay,was happy to show us around napq,ras Mohammed,Soho square,many places,and judging by the amount of armed guards on checkpoints,in our hotel,entry to coves in ras Mohammed,Egypt is probably one of the safest places to visit in these troubled times..the airport is manned by security with guns,not scary,they’re very welcoming.i cannot state how safe we felt in and out and around our hotel and shark.so please,don’t let the media put you off,if you do your missing out on a beautiful country and amazing people…

  31. Very well said !

    I shall be driving up to Nuweiba from Sharm Airport tomorrow morning and have made the trip about 20 times during the past 2 months. I definitely find the area safer than most other parts of Egypt and even safer than many parts of Europe.

    I have complained bitterly and repeatedly to the British Embassy in Cairo and to the FCO Travel Advice Team for this continuous erroneous and unjust advising against travel to the area except for essential purposes.

    We need more well-written and wel-informed articles like your Jake to be out there in the public domain.

  32. Great story and so true the media is indeed giving fals information and becaurse of that tourists are afraid to vist beautifull and amazing Egypt

    i have posted your article on my page to support tourism to Egypt
    https://www.facebook.com/friendsofegyptsupporttourismtoegypt

  33. Looks like you made this post to persuade yourself…
    I’ve been in Egypt in 2010, would love to go back but I won’t as it looks as safe as Tunisia…

  34. Great article, for me this illustrates one thing that’s crucially important.

    Living in the world today means that you are no longer safe anywhere. So living your life trying to stay away from troubles will ruin your whole life and the life of others as well.

    So a terrorist attack can happen in London exactly like it can happen today in Cairo. This might sounds a little harsh but it’s absolutely true.

    Moreover, you would expect more civilian casualities in London than in Cairo because these terrorists in Egypt are trying by all means not to confront with the egyptian people and make this only with the regime. Silly, but that’s how things goes.

  35. Hi Jake,

    Thanks for writing this and letting people know what a beautiful place Egypt is to visit. I read the articles in the British press and was dismayed to find they are using FCO advice that has been published for years as well as the usual provocative, ridiculous images. As you correctly point out Egypt is a safe as many other tourist destinations and people should be afraid to come here.

    Just a couple of things confused me in your article:

    Firstly the soldiers that died in Sinai were young, poor conscripts from Upper Egypt who have no choice in joining up or not. They’re not really doing this knowingly which makes their deaths even more tragic. Also you might find this article interesting which is the viewpoint of a North Sinai resident – it gives another view on the army making the world a better place:

    http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/07/12/a-message-from-islamic-state-to-al-sisi/

    Secondly saying that Cairo is a ‘city of conflict and risk….yes things are bad in Cairo’ is a sweeping, ill-informed statement that is just untrue. I have lived there since before the revolution and whilst, yes, Cairo has been through some troubling times things are certainly not bad in Cairo and there is no more conflict or risk than anywhere else in Egypt. This statement is very damaging to the much needed tourist industry in the capital city and I do not know where you have got this information from.

    Lastly, I am confused as to what terrorist uprising you refer to. If you are referring to the 2011 revolution then calling the millions of Egyptians who went to Tahrir terrorists is untrue and hugely insulting. If you are referring to the Islamists that took advantage of the security vacuum in Sinai post revolution or the insurgence after the depostion of Morsi then neither of these are an uprising. As far as I am aware there has been no Islamist uprising in Egypt in recent history.

    Whilst I appreciate what your article is trying to do and am happy that you are promoting Egypt I am just concerned that a couple of your statements may be more damaging than the original purpose of the writing.

    Good luck in Dahab – as you know it is the most amazing place and you are bound to love it there,

    Julie

  36. I have a apartment in hurghada I go 3 times a year and have never felt unsafe I get fed up of people saying oh I wouldn’t go to egypt and me trying to convince people it is beautiful thanks for article

  37. Oh your post came at a most opportune time. I’m in the process of making plans to visit Hurghada. Many of my friends and family arevtrying very hard to discourage me, to no avail, I might add. I live in Texas just outside of Houston. Violence is an everyday event. I’m so looking forward to the trip, I’ve never travelled outside of the states. Iam still trying to figure out passports and all that. Lol. Thank you again for the informative article, and giving my hopes a boost. I hope you have a safe journey and a wonderful time.

  38. Pingback: Traveler's Thoughts on Why Egypt is Safe to Visit | Archaeoadventures: Women-Powered Travel

  39. ive been to egypt several times since the rvolution and have always been treated so well and given lots of help since im in a wheelchair.i have never ever felt unsafe and impressed at the security messages
    egypt is nothing like tunisia. ive been there too and didnt see same levels of security. i love egypt it feels like my second home ive made great friends there some even treat me like family
    i hope more and more people will visit this wonderful country

  40. Hi jake was planning a trip to Sharm with my partner in October ,diving for me and relaxing by the pool for my partner!have been a tad anoyed about all the negative media coverage,thanks for the positives !!have you any suggestions on places to stay which are good for divers and partners ?cheers Roger

  41. We started holidaying in Egypt in 2005, at that time our girls were only 9 & 13 and the week we had to pay the final instalment of the holiday was the same week that Gazala Gardens was blown up. We had a family meeting about it and all decided we would go. We’ve stayed in Sharm 12 times now and watched the commercial development of the town and earlier this year my husband and I and very close friends stayed in Marsa Alam, which resembles Sharm as we first saw it in 2005. Over the 10 years we’ve been visiting Egypt we’ve also been to Cairo, Tabq, Taba, Hurghada, Luxor, Karnak, Namaa Bay, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Valley of The Kings, Valley of The Queens to name but a few of the wonderful places we’ve been able to savour. Egypt is in ours and our girls words “a 2nd home” and long may it continue!

  42. Hi Jake…i actually dont dive in Dahab…well i never did lol i go to enjoy the simple life, relax and connect with myself…I m really looking forward to going back 🙂

  43. Thank you so much for your words! They came at the most perfect time! My mum and dad are moving to Cairo in three weeks! I’m very excited for them as I have been to various parts of Egypt several times and I’m totally in love with it! I have been there on most occasions when the media is portraying egypt to be a danger zone and I’m looking at Tahir square and seeing celebrations whereas the media is showing shootings and riots, so I am not one to believe in what the media says! However, with everything that has happened recently I have picked up a huge fear of where they are going and I am worried… I know inside it is safe but I am starting to develop a huge worry for them because of so much negativity in the media…. If anyone can advice for Cairo situation I would hugely appreciate it!! Thank you xx

  44. first thanks for the nice blog written by Jake,i confirm that Egypt is very safe and we really need tourism.for info about tours and packages in Egypt please check http://www.egypt-tourpackages.com . waiting to see you with us .cheers

  45. Francisco

    I agree with you. I am travelling to Egypt in September and the media really gets you frightned. We considered cancelling the trip but, as for now, we are going. We will stay in Hurghada and hope for the best ! Looking at your map the risk threat of Egypt is equal to Spain or a bunch of other European countries which I have visited before, trouble-free. So lets see how it goes 🙂 Nice article !

  46. This was spot on couldn’t agree anymore im due to fly to sharm on 24th september and can’t wait 2nd time this year my family were really worried and concerned when I rebooked but I told them shark is safe and I’ll be safe now im so excited to be coming back speshally that its for my birthday so celebrating too haha xx

  47. Hi Jake, it is great to read that others are going to Egypt no matter what the medias are writing. I do the same. I Travel to Egypt several times a year and feel it is my second home. Even during the periods where there ARE problems I still travel and I always start my journey in Cairo, visiting friends and business partners. I have always felt secure and I have been driving throug Cairo at all times of the day, without beeing afraid. In my opinion all big cities have problems, but at least in Cairo not all people have a gun like in USA. Besides that Cairo is so big that you can ALWAYS avoid any problem, if there is one. Unfortunately most media are always making things worse and if you don’t know Cairo or Egypt in general you get the impression that every bad thing happens within a radius of 100 m which is absolutely not true. I love Egypt and I will never stop going there, but I also wish for the Egyptian people that the tourists will soon be back to this amazing and beautiful country.

  48. Hey!! Really i am amazed by all the comments didnt know many people are so in love with my country u have my heart!! Its obviously safe and i can never stop loving every detail about it but u guys made me love it more and appreciate what God granted us with all the nature the beaches the old streets the ancient part the night life and the lovely tourists 😉

  49. Thanks a million for your article about Egypt …. Actually I have been to so many countries and to Europe … But the warmth you can find in Egypt is not found in any other place in the world …. Pretty Egypt … very good prices comparing to any where … Friendly people …we love our guests …. I can remember days were Egypt used to be fully booked with Tourists … But the conspiracy against this Beautiful and strong country never stopped … other countries have interests in ruining our Tourism …. Don’t believe them … We are Egyptians and we hand around everywhere … Come visit Egypt !!!

  50. Clearly written before the the Mexican tourists were gunned down by an attack helecoptor in the Western Desert or 224 people were killed by a bomb on a plane leaving Sharm Airport.

  51. I was witness how media overreacted in Istanbul. Me and my husband were on holiday there. We saw with our eyes how there wasn`t rebellion just a few people on the square. When we turned the tv we realized that media has broadcasted absolutely different story. This had happened 2 years ago. Now we are planning to move to Turkey. I am sure that we will be safe. Best regards!
    http://manwithvanbalham.com/

  52. Yes! I’ve just returned from a three week trip and written my own blog post about our very safe and wonderful trip. More of us with blogs need to get the word out. While I don’t intend to move there, I can see why many people would want to. Here is my post in case anyone is interested… http://smartliving365.com/fearless-travel-and-adventures-in-egypt/

  53. Jake –

    My name is Russ Climie and I found your travel blog through my former tour guide in Egypt, Waleed.

    I am a photographer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After looking at your site I had to reach out! My wife and I are travel fanatics, always planning the next trip.

    It looks like you’re traveling everywhere and I’m trying to figure out how you’re doing it.

    It looks like you’re self employed in the IT world. Does that mean you work from anywhere and get paid per project, so it funds your travel lifestyle?

    Or are your photos and writing paying for everything?

    I would love to learn more if you’re willing to share!

    Best,

    Russ

  54. Having been to Hurghada many times on holiday with no problems, living there was a different kettle of fish.
    It was an experience I would never repeat and am glad I have moved to a civilised country where women can walk without being told they need a husband. Being called a western bitch because I spoke my mind with their benial comments. It’s not a country for the faint hearted, child cruelty, animal cruelty, halal meat butchered on the streets …. Egypt has made its own bed and must suffer the consequences of allowing archeaic ideology, lack of freedom and a male dominated society to run the country into the ground.
    Go and visit, make your own mind up … some people find nicer places to go !

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