Abu Dabbab Bay, located near Marsa Alam, is one of the most renowned snorkeling spots of southern Red Sea. Facing a beautiful sandy beach, the bay hosts extensive seagrass beds and healthy coral reefs where snorkelers can easily spot green sea turtles, stingrays, hundreds of colorful reef fish and possibly dugongs.

Blue cheek butterflyfish at Abu Dabbab

How to get there?

Abu Dabbab Bay is located about 30 kilometers north of Marsa Alam. Several hotels are located around the bay, including Malikia Resort Abu Dabbab, Abu Dabbab Lodge and Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort. If you stay in one of these resorts, you’ll be just steps from the snorkeling spot. Many local companies also offer day trips to Abu Dabbab departing from the main hotels of the Riviera, including beach entrance fee, lunch and snorkeling gear (price varies depending on departing point and what’s included, from €40pp.). Finally, it is also possible to go to Abu Dabbab by car or taxi, and then just pay the entrance fee to the beach (about €10pp. for the day).

Abu Dabbab snorkeling map

Water entrance

You can enter the water at any point of the beach: either in the central part (if you want to start by snorkeling the seagrass meadows), or at its ends (to get directly to the coral reef areas).

Exploration

The snorkeling area covers the entire bay, which has seagrass beds in its central part, and is bordered at its both ends by coral reefs.

Snorkeling with blue spotted stingray at Abu Dabbab

Abu Dabbab is famous for its green sea turtles, many of whom coming to feed and rest in the bay. It is in the seagrass meadows facing the beach (see map) that you’ll have the best chances to encounter them, peacefully grazing on the seabed (↕2-4m). This spot is also known to be regularly visited by some dugongs (or “sea cows”), impressive herbivorous marine mammals, attracted by the bay’s extensive seagrass meadows. Dugongs remain rare, however, and you’ll need to be very lucky to encounter them.

Coral reef in Abu Dabbab

After exploring the seagrass meadows, reach the coral reefs fringing the both sides of the bay. On the drop-offs, very healthy in some places and where giant clam abound, you’ll come across groups of hundreds of sergeant major and green chromis, bluecheek butterflyfish, Sohal surgeonfish, pufferfish and dozens other colorful reef fish species. Moray eels and lionfish are also common on the reef. If you are lucky, you may also encounter a guitarfish or a blues potted stingray, often seen on sandy bottoms.

Restaurants and accommodation

Three hotels, the Malikia Resort Abu Dabbab, the Abu Dabbab Lodge and the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort are set around the beach. There are also several restaurants and shops on the beach.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaAbu Dabbab Marine Park
  • Maximum depth18ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a nice sandy beach
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsEntrance fee (€10pp.) or all inclusive snorkeling tour (from €40pp.). Free for hotels guests.
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.