Taba: the abandoned paradise

Shaimaa Al-Aees
3 Min Read

Taba is a small, Egyptian border town with mountains encircling its tourist resorts and its coastal strip near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, the northernmost resort of Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera, and Egypt’s busiest border crossing with neighbouring Eilat, Israel, despite it consisting of little more than a bus depot and a luxury hotel (complete with casino). It is a frequent vacation spot for tourists, from Egypt and abroad, especially those from Israel, as a weekend getaway or on their way to other destinations in Egypt.

One of the most beautiful scenery in the region is the Salah Al-Din Citadel, one of the fortified castles in the heart of the Gulf of Aqaba.

“Taba’s atmosphere is perfect, especially in the summer, and we love to come to attend parties and concerts at Taba Heights resorts, especially that the prices of rooms are suitable for spending the week-end,” a Jordanian tourist told Daily News Egypt.

Her husband said that the concerts had a special atmosphere, and that the distance between Jordan and Taba is not great.

A European tourist said, “Taba is one of the best in Egypt to enjoy the sun, sea, and colourful fish close up. Moreover, the mountains shining under the sun, and the sky is clear at night, filled with stars.”

“Its borderline between the mountains gives it a special charm,” said an Egyptian tourist visiting Taba for the first time.

Some events occurred in Egypt after the revolution of 25 January, which affected the tourism sector in Egypt and the occupancy in the whole Sinai region, with occupancy rates sometimes reaching only 25% or less.

This led the management of Taba Heights—a fully self-sufficient resort town—to launch promotional parties to attract tourists, especially Arabs. The company also seeks to attract tourists from European countries through a number of promotional activities, including exhibitions outside Egypt and holding international celebrity concerts.

Taba Heights held a series of trips starting in January to activate tourism, and Taba Heights continues to hold other celebrations to attract tourists to the region, which is suffering from a lack of promotional activities by the concerned state agencies, even though it is one of the best tourist places on the land of Egypt.

Emad El Tarabishy, senior owner representative of Taba Heights Resort, told Daily News Egypt that the occupancy rates during the season of concerts reaches 90% of its open hotels.

He complained from lack of promotion by the Tourism Promotion Authority, which neglects the Taba region in its promotional activities.

He added that Taba Heights is interested in reviving tourism in Sinai—for its unique landscape—and overcoming the low tourist turnout that has recently been witnessed due to the current instability.

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