Is Sharm El Sheikh Safe to Travel to Right Now Is Sharm El Sheikh Safe to Travel to Right Now

Is Sharm El Sheikh Safe to Travel to Right Now? Expert Opinions

In recent years, the picturesque city of Sharm el-Sheikh has become a focal point for travelers seeking both adventure and relaxation by the Red Sea.

2024 Update: Is Sharm El Sheikh Safe for Tourists?

Yet, amidst its growing popularity, questions about safety persist, leading many to wonder, “Is Sharm el Sheikh safe?” Understanding the current safety landscape is crucial,

not only for those planning to visit but also for the broader context of tourism in Egypt. With the region’s security situation evolving, assessing safety measures and risks has never been more important for ensuring a secure and enjoyable travel experience.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the safety situation in Sharm el-Sheikh,

covering topics from the latest security enhancements and the evaluation of terrorism risks to advice on avoiding petty crimes and navigating transportation safely.

Additionally, it touches on the significance of travel insurance,

understanding cultural norms, and the importance of engaging with the local economy responsibly. For travelers questioning “Is Sharm el Sheikh safe 2024”,

this piece offers the latest insights and expert opinions to assist in making informed decisions about your next holiday destination, including what is the current situation in Egypt now and how it impacts tourists.

Understanding Sharm el-Sheikh’s Current Safety Landscape

Sharm el-Sheikh, often celebrated for its serene beauty and as a haven for tourists, finds its safety perceptions influenced by various factors,

including geopolitical tensions and regional conflicts. The city, known for its peace, faces challenges in maintaining its image as a safe destination for travelers worldwide.

Geopolitical Influences

The proximity of Sharm el-Sheikh to the Israeli border, approximately a three-hour drive,

places it in a unique position concerning geopolitical influences. The area’s safety and tourism inflow are directly affected by the broader regional dynamics, including the ongoing Gaza war. This conflict has led to a noticeable decrease in the number of tourists,

especially from regions directly involved in the tensions.

The city’s dependence on visitors from neighboring countries, particularly Israel, means that any escalation in regional conflicts can have immediate impacts on its tourism sector.

Impact of Regional Conflicts

Regional conflicts have a tangible effect on the safety landscape of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Gaza war, for instance, has prompted potential visitors to reconsider their travel plans,

fearing for their safety in the Middle East. This apprehension is not unfounded, as areas within Egypt and Jordan that border Israel are advised against for travel. However, it’s important to note that most popular tourist destinations, including Sharm el-Sheikh, are situated a good distance from these high-risk areas. The city’s tourism sector, particularly resorts catering to European holidaymakers, has felt the impact, with a decline in tourist numbers due to safety concerns.

Government and Travel Advisories

The unpredictable security situation in Egypt, highlighted by travel advisories, underscores the need for heightened caution. Certain regions within the country,

such as North Sinai and the Western Desert, are identified as particularly volatile and are recommended to be avoided. The entire country faces a significant risk of terrorist attacks, which can occur indiscriminately and without warning. Notably, coastal resorts in Sinai, including Sharm el-Sheikh, have experienced petty theft and tensions with local Bedouin ,

which may unexpectedly affect tourism. Despite these challenges, additional security measures are in place to protect the tourism infrastructure in Sharm el-Sheikh and other Red Sea resorts. Travelers are advised to remain vigilant, monitor developments, and follow the instructions of local authorities to navigate the safety landscape effectively.

In summary, while Sharm el-Sheikh is positioned as a city of peace,

its safety perceptions are influenced by geopolitical tensions, regional conflicts, and government advisories. Travelers considering visiting the area are encouraged to stay informed about the current situation and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Safety Measures and Security Enhancements in Sharm el-Sheikh

To ensure the well-being of visitors, Sharm el-Sheikh has implemented a variety of safety measures and security enhancements. This popular tourist destination in Egypt is known for its beautiful beaches and excellent diving opportunities,

and the Egyptian government is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all travelers.

Increased Security Measures at Resorts and Airports

One of the key areas of focus has been the increased security measures at resorts and airports. The city has seen a strong presence of security personnel and the deployment of advanced surveillance systems. These measures are designed to create a secure environment for tourists,

from the moment they arrive at the airport to their stay at the resorts. Additionally, airlines are required to sanitize airplanes before and after every flight,

and airports have introduced sanitizing gates or disinfection tunnels at all entrances. These steps, along with the enforcement of social distancing and

the provision of new face masks and gloves to travelers, underscore the comprehensive approach taken to safeguard health and security.

Role of Special Police Force in Tourist Areas

A special police force has been deployed to tourist areas, providing an additional layer of protection and monitoring. This specialized unit is tasked with ensuring the safety of visitors, offering immediate assistance if needed,

and deterring any potential threats. The presence of this force is a testament to the commitment of the local authorities to maintain peace and security in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Visitors are encouraged to take note of the presence of this force and feel reassured by the additional security measures in place.

Security Measures vs. Personal Experiences

While the introduction of stringent security measures has been largely welcomed, it has also led to mixed experiences among visitors. Some travelers have expressed feeling secure thanks to the visible security presence and the proactive steps taken by the authorities. However, others have raised concerns about the balance between security and personal freedom, highlighting the importance of finding a middle ground that ensures safety without overly impinging on the personal experiences of tourists.

It is crucial for the measures implemented to respect the rights and freedoms of individuals while effectively safeguarding against potential threats.

In conclusion, Sharm el-Sheikh has taken significant steps to enhance safety and security for its visitors. From increased security at resorts and airports to the deployment of a special police force in tourist areas,

these measures reflect a comprehensive approach to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. While the balance between security measures and personal experiences remains a topic of discussion, the overarching priority is the well-being of travelers, ensuring that Sharm el-Sheikh continues to be a safe and attractive destination for tourists from around the world.

Evaluating Terrorism Risks and Precautions

A Happy couple man and woman by the sea traveling on vacation in Sharm El Sheikh Safe for Tourists

Historical Context of Terrorism in Egypt

The landscape of terrorism in Egypt has undergone significant changes, particularly after the 2011 revolution. The ousting of President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 marked a pivotal shift,

turning sporadic violence into organized, premeditated attacks aimed at destabilizing the state. These attacks have targeted police stations, checkpoints, and other symbols of the Egyptian security apparatus,

reflecting a strategy to challenge the military’s authority directly. This evolution in tactics shows a disturbing trend of violence being used as a tool to achieve political ends, not just as a means of defense or protest.

Current Threat Level and Advisories

Terrorism remains a persistent threat across Egypt, with the North Sinai region being the most volatile. Groups like Daesh have established a significant presence here, exploiting the area’s geopolitical sensitivities. Attacks are often indiscriminate, with potential targets including Egyptian security forces, religious sites, and places frequented by foreigners. The risk intensifies around religious festivals and public holidays, where large gatherings increase the vulnerability to attacks. The British and U.S. governments have issued stern warnings about the risks of terrorism, advising against all travel to North Sinai and urging heightened vigilance across Egypt.

Practical Tips for Staying Safe

  1. Stay Informed: Always check your government’s travel advisories before planning your travel and stay updated on local news during your stay.
  2. Avoid Known Hotspots: Refrain from traveling to high-risk areas, especially North Sinai and border regions near Libya and Gaza, where the threat of kidnapping and terrorism is elevated.
  3. Be Vigilant During Public Gatherings: Increased caution is necessary during major religious or public events, which are particularly attractive targets for terrorist actions.
  4. Cooperate with Security Protocols: Adhere to all security measures at airports, hotels, and tourist sites. The visible presence of security forces is there to ensure your safety.
  5. Emergency Preparedness: Have an emergency plan in place, know the contact details of your embassy, and carry essential items like a first aid kit and a charged mobile phone at all times.

By understanding the historical context and current advisories, and following practical safety tips, travelers can better navigate the complexities of visiting Egypt amidst its security challenges.

The Importance of Being Vigilant Against Petty Crimes

While Sharm El Sheikh and other parts of Egypt offer travelers an enriching experience,

it is crucial to be aware of petty crimes that can impact one’s safety and overall travel experience. Petty crimes, including theft and scams, though often considered minor, can significantly disrupt a traveler’s plans and sense of security. Understanding the common types of petty crimes,

identifying high-risk areas, and adopting protective measures can greatly enhance a traveler’s ability to enjoy a safe and worry-free visit.

Common Types of Petty Crimes

Petty crimes in Egypt range from theft of personal belongings such as jewelry, telephones, and wallets, to more sophisticated scams involving overcharging and fraudulent services. Tourists and resident citizens alike may fall victim to these offenses. In some instances, documents are falsified to unlawfully transfer property or vehicle ownership. Additionally, distraction thefts are common, where thieves operate in pairs or groups to divert a tourist’s attention and steal their possessions. Being aware of these common petty crimes is the first step in safeguarding oneself against potential losses.

Areas of High Risk

Certain locations are more prone to petty crimes, notably tourist hotspots,

crowded public spaces, and areas with a high concentration of tourists. Public transport and markets are also areas where pickpocketing and bag snatching occur more frequently. It’s important for travelers to be extra cautious in these areas, especially in Sharm El Sheikh, where petty crime rates are notably higher in comparison to other regions. Avoiding known trouble spots, protests, and remote areas, especially at night, can reduce the risk of falling victim to these crimes.

Protective Measures for Tourists

  1. Minimize Carrying Valuables: Carry only a small amount of cash and use copies of important documents, leaving originals in a secure location.
  2. Secure Belongings: Always keep valuables, passports, and essential documents in a hotel safe or a concealed money belt to prevent theft.
  3. Stay Informed and Vigilant: Be cautious and aware of your surroundings, particularly in crowded areas and public transport.
  4. Use Reputable Services: Opt for trusted service providers to avoid scams, especially with taxis and at restaurants or shops.
  5. Report Crimes: If you are a victim of a crime, immediately report it to the local tourist police available in hotels and tourist sites to enable prosecution.
  6. Respect Local Customs: Dress conservatively and avoid walking alone at night to reduce unwanted attention or harassment.

By adhering to these protective measures,

travelers can significantly mitigate the risk of petty crimes, ensuring a more secure and enjoyable visit to Sharm El Sheikh and other parts of Egypt.

Navigating Transportation Safely in Sharm el-Sheikh

Navigating transportation in Sharm el-Sheikh, a renowned tourist destination known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife,

requires awareness and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This section delves into the various transportation options available,

focusing on taxis, shuttle buses, and private transfers, and provides practical advice on dealing with taxis, negotiating fares, and avoiding common scams and overcharging tactics.

Choosing Safe Modes of Transportation

When exploring Sharm el-Sheikh, tourists have several transportation options, each with its own set of considerations for safety and convenience. Taxis, shuttle buses, and private transfers are the primary modes of transport, with each offering different benefits. Shuttle buses and private transfers, in particular,

are highlighted as more reliable and potentially safer options, especially for airport transfers or longer journeys. These services can be arranged through hotels or reputable companies, providing a layer of security and peace of mind for travelers.

Dealing with Taxis and Negotiating Fares

Taxis are ubiquitous in Sharm el-Sheikh, serving as a common method for getting around. However, navigating the taxi system can be daunting, especially for first-time visitors. It’s crucial to negotiate the fare before entering the taxi to avoid being overcharged. Tourists should be informed about the typical costs for various routes and insist on agreeing on a fare upfront. Utilizing licensed and reputable taxi companies is recommended to enhance safety. Additionally, being cautious of drivers who claim their meter is broken or who attempt to take longer routes is important for avoiding overcharges.

Avoiding Scams and Overcharging

Scams and overcharging are not uncommon in Sharm el-Sheikh,

with some taxi drivers and other service providers attempting to exploit tourists. Awareness of common scams, such as unauthorized airport entrance fees or overpriced felucca rides, can help travelers avoid these pitfalls.

Negotiating prices in advance, using reputable services, and being firm on the agreed-upon fare are effective strategies for preventing overcharging.

Additionally, travelers are advised to handle their luggage independently to avoid porter scams at airports and to be wary of anyone offering unsolicited assistance with tickets or transportation.

  1. Key Tips for Navigating Transportation Safely:
    1. Choose shuttle buses or private transfers for longer distances or airport transfers.
    2. Always negotiate taxi fares in advance and use licensed taxi services.
    3. Be aware of common scams and tactics used to overcharge tourists.
    4. Verify official charges and refuse to pay any unauthorized fees.
    5. Share travel details with a friend or family member for added safety.

By following these guidelines and exercising caution,

tourists can navigate the transportation system in Sharm el-Sheikh safely, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable visit to this beautiful destination.

Traveling to Egypt offers an enriching experience steeped in ancient history and vibrant culture. However, to ensure a respectful and hassle-free journey,

it’s crucial to understand and adhere to local customs, traditions, and legal restrictions. This section delves into the cultural norms and legal considerations that travelers should be mindful of, with specific advice for female and LGBT+ travelers.

Respecting Local Customs and Traditions

Egypt’s rich cultural tapestry is largely influenced by its Islamic heritage. Visitors are expected to respect local traditions and laws at all times, especially during religious periods such as Ramadan. Dressing modestly is advised, particularly in rural areas, mosques, and markets. Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon, and behaviors acceptable in tourist resorts may not be well-received elsewhere.

During Ramadan, which in 2024 will likely span from March to April,

travelers should be aware of the altered opening hours for shops and restaurants.

Non-Muslim guests may find themselves separated from Islamic guests in hotels and restaurants during fasting hours, often behind screens, to respect the fasting practices. Additionally, driving patterns can become erratic as people rush home at dusk, necessitating extra caution on the roads.

Egypt’s legal system imposes strict regulations that travelers must follow to avoid penalties. It’s illegal to promote religious conversion from Islam to Christianity. Carrying a valid photo ID is essential as police regularly conduct ID checks. Consuming alcohol outside licensed venues or possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs can lead to severe consequences, including imprisonment or the death penalty for drug offenses.

Photography restrictions are significant, with bans on capturing military sites, government buildings, and even certain cultural aspects without permission. The use of drones without prior authorization from the Egyptian Ministry of Defence is prohibited and can result in imprisonment.

Advice for Female and LGBT+ Travelers

Female travelers, particularly those journeying alone, should exercise caution in crowds, public transportation,

and less frequented tourist sites due to the prevalence of sexual harassment and unwanted attention. Dressing conservatively and avoiding eye contact with harassers is recommended.

Although same-sex sexual activity is not explicitly criminalized, the LGBT+ community faces legal and social challenges. Public expressions of homosexuality or same-sex affection can attract negative attention. It’s advisable for LGBT+ travelers to exercise discretion and avoid public displays of affection. Additionally, social media and dating apps should be used with caution as they have been employed by authorities to entrap LGBT+ individuals.

Legal ConsiderationDescriptionConsequences
Religious ConversionIllegal to promote conversion from Islam to Christianity.Legal penalties
ID ChecksRegular police ID checks.Carry valid photo ID at all times.
Alcohol ConsumptionOnly in licensed venues.Arrest for consumption elsewhere.
Drug OffensesPossession, use, or trafficking severely penalized.Imprisonment, life sentence, or death penalty.
Photography RestrictionsBans on military, government buildings, and without permission.Arrest and fines.
Drone UseWithout authorization is banned.Imprisonment or fines.

Understanding and adhering to these cultural norms and legal restrictions not only ensures a respectful interaction with the local community but

also safeguards travelers against potential legal issues. By navigating these considerations thoughtfully, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the rich experiences Egypt has to offer.

Engaging with the Local Community and Economy Safely

Engaging with the local community and economy during a visit to Sharm El Sheikh offers travelers a unique opportunity

to enrich their travel experience while contributing positively to the destination. However, it’s essential to approach these interactions with respect and awareness to ensure they are both safe and beneficial for all involved.

Interacting with Locals

When meeting and engaging with the people of Sharm El Sheikh, travelers should be conscious of cultural norms and practices. Observing how locals interact with each other provides valuable insights into appropriate behaviors. Dressing modestly and using the traditional Arabic greeting “Assalamu alaikum” can show respect for the local culture. It’s also advisable to learn and use basic phrases in the local language, which can greatly enhance interactions. Before taking photographs of people or their property, always ask for permission to avoid causing offense. Additionally, discussing sensitive topics such as politics or religion should be avoided, and gestures of hospitality, like accepting a cup of tea, should be received with gratitude to honor the local customs of generosity.

Participating in Local Economy Responsibly

Supporting the local economy is a vital part of responsible travel. Visitors are encouraged to purchase goods and services directly from local businesses and artisans. This not only contributes to the community’s economic well-being but also offers an authentic glimpse into the local culture. When shopping for souvenirs or experiences, opting for fair-trade and ethically produced items ensures that your purchases have a positive impact. Popular shopping destinations like Soho Street, Naama Bay, and the Old Bazaar offer a variety of local products, from handmade jewelry to traditional spices. However, travelers should be vigilant against pickpockets in crowded areas and practice bargaining, a common aspect of the shopping culture in Sharm El Sheikh.

Selecting Souvenirs and Experiences

Choosing souvenirs and experiences that genuinely represent the local culture and support the community is crucial. Look for items that are locally made, such as Egyptian pharaoh and pyramid statuettes, which not only serve as mementos but also help sustain traditional crafts. Avoid purchasing products that could be harmful to the environment or are obtained unethically, like items made from endangered species. When selecting experiences, prioritize those that offer a respectful and sustainable interaction with the local culture and environment. Engaging in activities that allow for meaningful cultural exchange, such as visiting local markets or participating in traditional cooking classes, can provide lasting memories while benefiting the local community.

By following these guidelines, travelers can ensure their interactions with the local community and economy in Sharm El Sheikh are respectful, safe, and mutually enriching.

Planning Ahead: Insurance, Emergency Contacts, and More

Traveling to Sharm El-Sheikh offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. However, to ensure a stress-free experience, it’s crucial to plan ahead, especially when it comes to insurance, emergency contacts, and health and safety precautions. This section provides valuable insights into making informed decisions in these areas.

Selecting the Right Travel Insurance

  1. Understand Coverage Needs: Assess the activities you plan to engage in, such as diving or desert safaris, to ensure your travel insurance covers these specific adventures. Remember, some activities considered high-risk might require additional coverage.
  2. Medical and Evacuation Coverage: Ensure your policy includes comprehensive medical coverage and evacuation. Medical facilities in Sharm El-Sheikh can be expensive, and in the case of serious injury or illness, evacuation might be necessary.
  3. Read the Fine Print for Exclusions: Be aware of any exclusions in your policy, such as pre-existing medical conditions or incidents related to alcohol consumption. Knowing these can prevent surprises if you need to make a claim.
  4. Consider COVID-19 Coverage: Given the ongoing global situation, opt for a policy that includes coverage for COVID-19 related health issues and trip cancellations or interruptions.

Preparing Emergency Contacts

Emergency ServiceContact Number
Tourist Police126
British Embassy+20 2 279 160 00
  • Hotel and Local Resources: Keep the contact information of your hotel’s front desk handy. They can be invaluable in assisting with local resources and guidance in emergencies.
  • Local Hospitals and Clinics: Familiarize yourself with the nearest medical facilities, such as the International Medical Center and Sharm International Hospital, which offer quality care.

Health and Safety Precautions

  1. Stay Hydrated: The climate in Sharm El-Sheikh can be extremely hot, making hydration essential. Carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
  2. Practice Good Hygiene: Regular handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer, especially before meals, is crucial to avoid illnesses.
  3. Food and Water Safety: Opt for bottled water and ensure that food is thoroughly cooked and served hot, especially when eating outside reputable restaurants.
  4. Sun Protection: With Sharm El-Sheikh’s abundant outdoor activities, protecting yourself from the sun is vital. Use sunscreen with high SPF, wear a hat, and seek shade during peak sun hours.

By taking these proactive steps, travelers can significantly enhance their safety and enjoyment while exploring the natural beauty and cultural richness of Sharm El-Sheikh.


Throughout this comprehensive exploration, the evolving dynamics of safety,

security measures, and cultural considerations in Sharm El Sheikh have been meticulously analyzed to present a nuanced understanding of what travelers can expect. The insights drawn from expert opinions and authoritative advisories elucidate the importance of vigilance, informed preparation,

and respect for local norms to ensure a harmonious and secure visit. It is clear that, despite challenges posed by regional tensions and the universal threat of petty crimes,

Sharm El Sheikh remains a beacon for those seeking the allure of the Red Sea’s tranquility, augmented by diligent efforts to safeguard its visitors.

The array of safety measures, from heightened security at tourist hotspots to tailored travel insurance advice,

offers a template for navigating the complexities of modern travel within such a historically and culturally rich locale. By engaging responsibly with the local economy and community,

embracing prudent health and safety practices, and adhering to legal and cultural standards,

travelers can profoundly enhance their experience. Sharm El Sheikh, with its unparalleled beauty and the concerted endeavors of its stewards and denizens,

stands resilient and inviting, epitomizing the balance between preserving serenity and ensuring the well-being of those drawn to its shores.


How safe is it to visit Sharm el Sheikh currently?

Sharm el-Sheikh is currently considered safe for travel according to the Foreign Office. This assessment remains unchanged following the joint military actions by the US and UK against Houthi bases in Yemen early in 2024.

What are the current travel advisories for Egypt?

The most recent travel advisory suggests that travelers should reassess their need to visit Egypt due to the risk of terrorist attacks, which could happen at any location, including religious sites and tourist attractions.

What caused the decline in tourism to Sharm el Sheik? 

Tourism to Sharm el Sheik significantly dropped after the tragic incident in November 2015, when Metrojet flight 9268 was destroyed by a bomb, resulting in the deaths of 224 Russian tourists and crew members. Following this event, the UK and several other countries, including France, Germany, and Russia, prohibited direct flights to the resort.

Is public display of affection allowed in Sharm el Sheikh?

Public displays of affection, such as kissing, even a peck on the cheek, may be frowned upon in certain areas of Egypt, including Sharm el Sheikh. While handholding and shaking hands are generally acceptable, strictly observant Muslims may avoid any physical contact with individuals of the opposite sex.

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