How Dahab Became Egypt’s Most Pet-Friendly Town
by Nadine Arab
Unfortunately, Egypt is not the world’s most pet-friendly destination. In fact, stumbling upon stray animals is not a surprising phenomenon whatsoever. Moreover, pet owners’ often struggle to find pet-friendly places where they could hang out.
Despite all of that, more people are trying to change that nowadays. We now have animal shelters; like ESMA, that raise awareness to to break the stereotypes that surround stray animals. A few hotels and resorts have also started allowing guests to bring in their pets. We can’t deny that there’s a slight but noticeable change, but out of all places in the country, there’s no place like Dahab when it comes to animals. The entire town is pet-friendly.
Dahab, a small town located on the southeast coast of Sinai, is not just home for stunning coral reefs, but for cats and dogs. You can’t really tell if the animals you find are stray or owned; there’s no need for a leash in Dahab. A lot of the Bedouins and local residents rescue stray dogs and raise them in their homes. Not just locals, but foreigners as well. These dogs aren’t all baladi, in fact, many of them are of mixed-breeds. Wadi for instance, one of the Bedouins’ dogs, is a beautiful Husky and German Shepherd crossbreed. You might spot a dog casually resting on a surfboard in the middle of the sea on your next visit, that’s probably him.
Because of Dahab’s paw-welcoming atmosphere, many people prefer to drive themselves all the way from Cairo to Dahab just to be able to take their pets with them. An American tourist told us that this was the only way he could take Murphy, his golden retriever, to Dahab. He even created a Facebook account for her due to her popularity increasing among people in town.
“I wanted to see the selfies people took with her. So if you happen to be in Dahab don’t forget to tag Murphy if you were lucky enough to meet her,” he told us.