This pearl of the gulf actually consists of two villages; the Bedouin village of Assalah is the southern half, with the business and administrative center of Dahab to the north. There are also clusters of holiday villages that cater to affluent visitors. Assalah is the most developed part of Dahab, 2, 5 miles up the coast from downtown. Historically, most visitors to Dahab have been backpackers traveling independently and staying in the hostels in this area. It is a sprawling conglomeration of palm trees, shops, campgrounds, hotels, bars and restaurants that lie along the shore of Ghazala Bay. Assalah has a distinctly bohemian feel. Less lay back, but still relaxed, is the area just south along El-Qura Bay. Here, upscale luxury holiday villages and dive centers attract a very different clientele.

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