The Lights of Dahab – Photo Essay

Dahab is the most enchanting town in Egypt. This mellow, sunny spot lies quietly on the Red Sea in the southern Sinai, swimming in a peaceful yet exciting atmosphere of Arab exoticism. Its indigenous people are a mix of Egyptian and Bedouin, its sizeable expat community largely Scandinavian and British, its tourists primarily Russian and European. A potpourri of cultures, Dahab has no trouble keeping a firm grip on its own identity in its dress and behaviors, its local food and its language as well as its architecture and décor. One of the pieces of Dahab that shows off the local colors in brilliant form are the lights that help decorate the town. Uniquely designed, colorful and clever, these local lights have become my favorite Dahab signature sight.

A first glance at any restaurant along the Red Sea will give you an eye full of lights.

A variety of lights hanging in a restaurant in Dahab

Many shops in Dahab sell these lights for tourists to take back home to remind them of this cool little town.

One of the many shops in Dahab, Egypt selling colorful lights

Many of Dahab’s lights are made of baskets hanging upside down with a light set inside, the outside of the basket covered with a piece of colorful cloth. It is frequently windy in Dahab, and these lights sway gorgeously in the breeze.

Basket with pink material covering it - Dahab, south Sinai, Egypt

Turqouise light in Dahab, south Sinai, Egypt

See the moon beneath the light?

Another of Dahab’s most popular lights are its round lamps adorned with colored glass.

Light shaped like a ball in Dahab, Egypt

Its egg-shaped lights are even more popular.

Multi-colored lights in the shape of eggs

Dangly lights are another Dahab specialty.

Clay light with green glass dangling from the bottom

A bell-shaped green light with dangling pieces of green glass hanging from it

Put all of these lights in one room, and you have this!

Shark Restaurant in Dahab

Meya Meya Restaurant in Dahab, Egypt

Indoor lights aren’t the only ones for which Dahab is known. Street lights running along the corniche on the waterfront are also a signature Dahab sight.

Street lights along the corniche in Dahab

So popular are these lights that sometimes people like to swipe them. Or perhaps it is the wind that takes them down?

Street lamp with two missing lights

Whether you buy them, steal them or just take photos to remember them, the lights of Dahab are not to be forgotten.

13 Comments Post a Comment
  1. RyukyuMike says:

    Brilliant colors and we can see why you enjoy that part of the world so much!

  2. Steve says:

    What an interesting place. I didn’t know that you could find so many different lights there. They are all so colorful. I sure hope that the last photos lights weren’t stolen.
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  3. Great pictures! And my favorite is the one with the moon :) I would love to see this in person! I also had no idea Dahab has such a mixture of cultures, that’s fantastic. I also love that it maintains its own culture anyway.

  4. Sabina says:

    Dahab is a very colorful place, Mike :)

  5. Sabina says:

    I hope so too, Steve. But who knows? ;)

  6. Sabina says:

    I love the moon photo too, Ayelet. I didn’t notice the moon was there till I was looking over my photos long after I took them. :) Yes, Dahab has quite the blend of cultures. I hope you’re going to be able to go some day.

  7. Giulia says:

    I bought two of the egg-shaped ones in Cairo and brought them back to Italy… one (green and purple) is in my bedroom and another one (light blue) is in the kitchen. Everybody loves them!

    Ahhh I have the feeling I’ll get some more. hehe:)
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  8. Sabina says:

    Beautiful! I hope you do get some more.

  9. Nancie says:

    These are gorgeous and make me want to go to Dahab.
    Nancie recently posted..Capture the Color: Travel Photo ContestMy Profile

  10. Sabina says:

    You should come to Dahab, Nancie. There’s a lot of sights way more gorgeous than these lights. :)

  11. This is really a pretty place. Everywhere is beautiful lighting. How a riot of color world. It is so wonderful. The egg-shaped lights is interesting. I love it! Appreciate your sharing.
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  12. Sabina says:

    Thanks! The egg-shaped lights are so cool. My favorite are the basket lights with the cloth over them.

  13. Thanks! The egg-shaped lights are so cool. My favorite are the basket lights with the cloth over them.

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