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Marsa Mubarak, a sheltered bay south of Port Ghalib, has become famous for its huge sea turtles and resident dugong. Accessible from the beach or on a boat tour, the bay hosts a diversity of marine environments, including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and a wide variety of species. Marsa Mubarak is considered the best chance you will have in the Red Sea to swim with dugongs, even though they are not always present in the bay.

Bluespotted ribbontail ray in Marsa Mubarak
Bluespotted ribbontail ray are a frequent sight in Marsa Mubarak seagrass beds.

How to get to the Marsa Mubarak snorkeling spot

Mubarak Bay is located about 1.5 miles south of the Port Ghalib marina, and almost in front of Iberotel Costa Mares resort. There are several options to reach the area:

  • By foot from Iberotel Costa Mares
  • By foot from Three Corners Fayrouz Plaza Beach Resort. A path along the sea towards the south allows you to reach the area in about 20 minutes (800m). Swimming along the house reef from Fayrouz to Marsa Mubarak is no longer allowed.
  • By tour boat, through booking a snorkeling trip. Most tours depart from Port Ghalib Marina or the nearby resorts and reach the spot in 15 minutes. Some trips will take you to both Marsa Mubarak and Marsa Shouna, a little further south. If you participate in a dugong tour, note that wearing a floating vest is mandatory in the water. You won’t be able to skindive/freedive.
  • Shore access to this spot from the road, without staying in a hotel, is not recommended as it is uncertain.

Marsa Mubarak snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Marsa Mubarak

If you explore this spot from the shore, you will enter the water from the beach. You can enter the water wherever you want but a prefered enterance is on the north side of the beach if you want to be closer to the reef.

If you take part in a tour, you will enter the water from your boat.

Marsa Mubarak snorkeling tips

Marsa Mubarak boasts diverse marine environments, including a coral reef to the north and seagrass beds in the center of the bay.

Pufferfish in Marsa Mubarak
An immaculate puffer spotted in reef areas. Several species of puffers can be encountered at this location (see the species list at the bottom of the page).

To the north, a fringing reef is a home to many fish. The underwater relief is varied, including a drop-off and many small patch reefs (↕6-18ft/2-6m). This area allows you to observe the Red Sea reef life, including dozens of easy-to-spot fish species.

The most common seen are the Klunzinger’s wrasse, the Sohal surgeonfish, the Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish, as well as several species of parrotfish.

Green sea turtle with shark suckers attached
In Marsa Mubarak, the green sea turtles are frequently seen with remora attached to their shell.

Closer to the beach and in the middle of the bay, extensive seagrass beds attract large green sea turtles (↕12-18ft/4-6 m). Busy grazing on the seagrass meadows, they are present in Marsa Mubarak almost every day.

Most of the time, turtles have large shark suckers attached to their shell, sometimes up to 3 or 4 on the same turtle. There are few other fish in this area, but bluespotted ribbontail rays are often reported being seen.

Yellow-spotted triggerfish in Marsa Mubarak
A juvenile yellow-spotted triggerfish in Marsa Mubarak shallows.

It is also in the seagrass beds that you may have the chance to encounter a resident dugong. It is mostly seen on the left side or in the center of the bay.

Marsa Mubarak is considered the best spots in the Red Sea for dugong encounters. You will have higher chances of spotting the dugong early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the bay is less crowded.

Dugong in Marsa Alam
Encounter with a dugong in Marsa Alam.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are no restaurants on the beach. The nearest hotel is the beachfront Iberotel Costa Mares.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach or a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsPrice of a snorkeling tour. Free shore access uncertain

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.