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Debunking the top 5 myths heard about Sharm el Sheikh at DIVE 2018

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Camel Dive Club & Hotel recently had the marvelous experience of sending a representative; yours truly, to DIVE 2018 at Birmingham NEC over the rather chilly weekend of 27 and 28 October 2018. Even though there are still no direct flights from the UK to Sharm el Sheikh, it was definitely not a waste of time attending. The Experience Egypt stand, where Camel Dive Club & Hotel co exhibited was busy from the minute we opened with many of the British public asking similar questions.

Based on this, I figured that many more of you might have heard incorrect information about one of the top dive destinations in the world. Therefore, here I go, trying to debunk the common rumours.

  1. Sharm el Sheikh Airport is CLOSED! – UNTRUE

Sharm el Sheikh Airport is open for business as usual and has never been closed. With over 51 airlines flying in everyday from all over the world, including direct flights from (in no particular order): Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Switzerland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Latvia, Giorgia, Armenia, Lithuania, Belorussia, Poland, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. It is definitely not closed.

2. Sharm el Sheikh must be a ghost town. – UNTRUE

With currently over 45,000 people arriving in Sharm el Sheikh every week, I am not sure where we would hide all these people for Sharm to give the impression of a ghost town. I won’t lie to you, it has been a tough few years for this charming town but it is definitely on the up. November even saw Sharm hosting the World Youth Forum for the second year running. This event brought thousands of youths and world leaders from around the globe, representing over 60 delegations.

The only ghostly events occurring recently have been the local Halloween celebrations, including the annual party at the historic Camel Bar located in the heart of Na’ama Bay.

  1. It is difficult to reach Sharm el Sheikh from the UK – UNTRUE

It is true that there are still no direct flights from the UK to Sharm. But with so many other options in the form of Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines (via Istanbul) from many UK airports, Egypt Air (via Cairo) from Heathrow and a variety of other routes direct from European Airports, there is no excuse not to visit the tranquil and safe resort.

My personal preferred method is with Egypt Air who Camel Dive Club & Hotel used to send me to the show. I left Sharm el Sheikh at 05:30 in the morning and arrived in Heathrow at 13:00 lunchtime. For the return, I decided to take the red eye flight so that I could sleep on the plane. I left Heathrow at 22:30 that enabled me to land in Sharm in time for a late breakfast at 08:45. There were brief stopovers in Cairo on each trip, which I gratefully used to stretch my legs and grab a quick coffee, to ensure I arrived refreshed at each destination.

Additionally with 2 bags of 23 kilograms and 8 kilograms of hand luggage, my extra Christmas supplies were not limited so your dive equipment wouldn’t be either.

  1. There are no British divers visiting Sharm el Sheikh – UNTRUE

The number of British divers we have embraced diving with us during 2018 at Camel Dive Club & Hotel this year has increased by 32%. This is thanks to many loyal, repeat guests but also new divers who had decided to take the opportunity to visit the legendary Sharm dive sites after hearing about the amazing sightings that have been experienced in 2018.

  1. The Diving must be brilliant now – TRUE

Ok this was a red herring, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to share with you that 2018 has been one of the best years of diving that has been experienced in the last twenty or so years according to long term residents, instructors, return divers and me!

The Sharm diving public has dived with schools of dolphin, whale sharks, mantas, turtles, sailfish as well as a whole range of different sharks in addition to the usual Red Sea suspects. All of these encounters have been framed with the stunning Red Sea hard and soft corals that are currently blooming.

So before you strike Sharm off your list of your dive destination for 2019, remember not to believe everything you hear. Come and visit us now in Sharm el Sheikh, where the summer never ends.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information please about Camel Dive Club & hotel, please visit the website by clicking here.

Beth "my lovelies" Sanders achieved her PADI Open Water in her native Wales and became completely addicted to the underwater world. Her fixation has cost her jobs, boyfriends and a whole load of other 'respectable' things so finally she had to make the diving pay! Becoming a Scuba Instructor was the only option... Beth was very lucky to combine this with her love of warm weather and has lived in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt since 2007. After joining the team at Anthias Divers as General Manager, Beth can usually be found chatting with guests and even occasionally underwater!

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Breaking News: Captain charged in Conception boat fire tragedy

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According to reports in the international press today, it has been announced that the Captain of the dive boat Conception, which was completely destroyed by fire last year, resulting in the tragic loss of 34 passengers and crew, has been charged with 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter. 

The Captain Jerry Nehl Boylan was among five crew members to escape the blaze on board Conception, a dive boat operated by Truth Aquatics, which took place in the early hours of 2 September 2019 whilst the boat was moored offshore, close to Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California.

The BBC reports that Mr Boylan has not publicly commented on the charges, and is expected to surrender to the authorities at a later date. According to the BBC, each charge of seaman’s manslaughter carries up to 10 years in federal prison.

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Crossover to NAUI for FREE!

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As a boost to help the diving industry, NAUI are still offering a FREE Instructor cross-over course together with five free certifications to all Instructors. This can include Open Water, Advance, Rescue, Nitrox and various other specialities and can be mixed and matched so all five do not necessarily need to be for the same certification.

NAUI have also frozen the membership fees for 2021 for instructors crossing over or restarting.

NAUI’s Southern UK Rep Simon Lodge says: “Throughout this year, the diving industry has severely suffered so as a result, to help kickstart the diving industry NAUI will not be charging membership fees 2020/2021 to any new instructors.” 

Founded in 1960, NAUI Worldwide is one of the scuba industry’s largest not-for-profit agencies whose purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments. As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI: A Higher Standard!

For more details please contact Simon Lodge (Southern UK Rep) on simon@europe.naui.org or Craig Warner (Northern UK Rep) on cwarner@europe.naui.org.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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