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Taba - ATA Arab Travel Agency
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Taba

Is a small Egyptian town near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Taba is the location of Egypt’s busiest border crossing with neighbouring Israel. Little more than a bus depot and a luxury hotel (complete with casino), Taba is a frequent vacation spot for Egyptians and tourists, especially those from Israel on their way to other destinations in Egypt or as a weekend getaway. It is the northernmost resort of Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera.

Taba was located on the Egyptian side of the armistice line agreed to in 1949.  During the Suez Crisis in 1956 it was briefly occupied but returned to Egypt when Israel withdrew in 1957. Israel reoccupied the Sinai Peninsula after the Six-Day War in 1967, and subsequently a 400-room hotel was built in Taba. Following the 1973 Yom-Kippur War, when Egypt and Israel were negotiating the exact position of the border in preparation for the 1979 peace treaty, Israel claimed that Taba had been on the Ottoman side of a border agreed between the Ottomans and British Egypt in 1906 and had, therefore, been in error in its two previous agreements. Although most of Sinai was returned to Egypt in 1982, Taba was the last portion to be returned. After a long dispute, the issue was submitted to an international commission composed of one Israeli, one Egyptian, and three outsiders. In 1988, the commission ruled in Egypt’s favour, and Israel returned Taba to Egypt in 1989. As part of this subsequent agreement, travellers are permitted to cross from Israel at the Eilat – Taba border crossing, and visit the “Aqaba Coast Area of Sinai”, (stretching from Taba down to Sharm el Sheikh, and including Nuweiba, Saint Catherine’s Monastery and Dahab), visa-free for up to 14 days, making Taba a popular tourist destination.

The resort community of Taba Heights is located some 20 km (12 mi) south of Taba. It features several large hotels, including The Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Sofitel and Intercontinental. It is also a significant diving area where many people come to either free dive, scuba dive or learn to dive via the many PADI courses on offer. Other recreation facilities include a new desert style golf course On October 7, 2004, the Hilton Taba was hit by a bomb that killed 34 people including Israelis.Twenty-four days later, an inquiry by the Egyptian Interior Ministry into the bombings concluded that the perpetrators received no external help but were aided by Bedouins on the peninsula. In February 2014, a coach taking tourists to Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai exploded in Taba shortly before crossing the border to Israel. At least two South Korean were killed and 14 injured, the blast was blamed on terrorists.

Taba heights’ temperatures are slightly cooler and it has slightly more rainy days. It receives slightly less sunshine as the rest of Egypt. Egypt’s cultural tourism trade had fluctuated since the 19th century, increasing in popularity alongside the rise of Egyptologyas an academic and amateur pursuit. Successive Egyptian governments have placed great emphasis on the value of cultural tourism, “confident that no other countries could actually compete in this area” . 

Good to Know

Country
Egypt
Visa Requirements
Egypt Entry Visa is required For entering Egypt including all Cities.
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Currency used
Egyptian Pound (EGP), Unites States Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR)
Area (km2)
3.72 km2

Municipalities

Taba Protected Area Located just southwest of Taba is a protected area on 3590 km².This protected area includes geological formations such as caves, a string of valleys, and mountainous passages. There are also some natural springs in the area. The area has 25 species of mammals, 50 species of rare birds, and 24 species of reptiles. Since Taba existed only as a small Bedouin village, there was never any real transportation infrastructure. More recently, Al Nakb Airport, located on the Sinai plateau some 35 km (22 mi) from Taba,  . Many tourists enter via the Taba Border Crossing from Eilat, Israel and a marina has been built in the new Taba Heights development, some 20 km (12 mi) south of Taba, and which has frequent ferry sailings to Aqaba in Jordan, although these are restricted to tourists on organised tours.

Tourists from South Asia and East Asia, in particular, have been identified as responding well to marketing campaigns that focus on Egyptian cultural tourism. Tourism Bureau representatives have announced plans to increase marketing spending on those regions. According to industry representatives, the government, “recently [2014] announced a master plan to attract 25 million tourists by 2020”. The plan includes dedicated online and traditional marketing strategies focused on assuring prospective tourists that cultural tourism centres are safe .

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