The fabulous array of dive spots around Sharm and Na’ama is the chief attraction of both resorts, offering endless scope for boat and shore diving. Divers are not allowed to explore the reefs near Na’ama and Sharm el-Sheikh independently; all diving must be done with a guide, which in practical terms means sticking with trips run by dive operators.
A plethora of dive centres offer an extensive range of courses, trips and equipment rental. All the centres listed here are open daily (mostly 8.30am–6pm). Dive boats leave around 9am from the Sharm el-Maya marina, and most centres will collect you from your hotel and drop you off again. Trips to the Gordon and Jackson reefs in the Tiran Strait or Ras Mohammed cost €55–65; a one-day Thistlegorm trip €90–120. Space permitting, snorkellers can join any boat for about €25. Some of the centres offer liveaboards too. Before signing up for any courses, ask where you’ll be doing your training: the water in Sharm el-Maya is less pleasant than in Na’ama Bay thanks to the former’s proximity to the marina. All Sharm and Na’ama dive centres are members of the South Sinai Association for Diving and Marine Activities (t 069 366 0418, w southsinai.org), which regulates and promotes the diving industry in the region and organizes regular clean-ups of the sea.
In case of diving emergencies, contact Dr Adel Taher at the Hyperbaric Medical Centre near the marina (t 069 366 0922 or t 0122 212 4292). There is also a 24-hour emergency hotline (t 012 333 1325) and a second decompression facility at the International Hospital in Hay el-Nur (t 069 366 8094). Dive schools charge an optional €6/£E48 per diver for three weeks’ cover allowing emergency use of the chambers. For more information, visit w deco-international.com.