Hurghada city is located to the most eastern part of the eastern desert of Egypt on the red sea coast. The city stretches to 36 kilometers along the seashore to be the biggest destination on the red sea coastline, Hurghada is 455 KM away from Cairo and 180 KM only from Qina, the closest city to Hurghada.
The city is named after “Hurghad” which is some kind of a long-lasting Arabic tree which was widely planted in the past, the word was derived later to “Hurghada” the present name of the city.
POPULATION & HISTORY
Hurghada is following the administration of the red sea governorate which includes (Ras Gharib, Safaga, Quseir, and Marsa Alam) but the city has the major governmental facilities and headquarters of travel and business agents.
Today, there are 248,000 inhabitants in Hurghada according to the latest statistics and the southern represent much of the city’s population due to the short distance between the city and local villages in south of Egypt.
Hurghada is accommodating different cultures and backgrounds. The local Egyptian lifestyle is overwhelmingly noticeable in the city’s local areas. While, the European lifestyle is prominently apparent in some places due to the significant presence of citizens either living or running their own business in the city.
Besides being an important stop on the trade routes for caravans, travelers and pilgrims between Egypt and Saudi Arabia for decades, Hurghada used to be a small fishing village as well, that lasted till the sixties when the government paid attention and support for exploring the city’s desert for oil wells, but work didn’t end up with the expected results then. A few years after, the Egyptian government gave a full back up to Egyptian businessmen to invest in the new city, but investments were basically in tourism field. However, that didn’t seem enough then!
In the late 1980’s Hurghada was put on top of the government’s priorities with a set independent annual budget. Real Estate projects were largely expanding along the touristy ones. Numerous economic residential complexes were built everywhere in Hurghada which attracted natives across the country to move to the new city and settle down with their families. From the 1990’s and on, thousands of people have moved to Hurghada and hundreds of huge projects had massively enlarged the city. Going back in time, it’s amazing how the city which would take a visitor just a few hours to see, would take a few days now to cover its total area.
WHERE TO GO
Hurghada has many places and spots known by some local names. there are many options where visitors can enjoy days and nights out in the city, the city is divided into 3 major districts as following:
THE TOURIST CENTER
It’s also known as the promenade of Hurghada – the area is the largest in the city, it’s a walkway extends to 12 km. The guests can get to find some nice cafés all way along such as Hard Rock and Little Buddha, shops, and bazars. It’s a good place to go for a run or a walk.
MAKADI AND SAHL HASHEESH
These two districts are located 30 KM. south of Hurghada. Both districts are quite new comparing to the rest of the city. They’re totally touristy areas, the residents there don’t get to experience much of the city. Although, they are both well-known for having the best hotels within the city due to the ongoing investments in fancy hotels and private properties.
The district which is situated 45 KM. to the north of Hurghada used to be just a resort housing a small number of hotels. but in a very short time, El Gouna had rapidly turned out to be a city of its own, El Gouna is owned by a group of Egyptian businessmen and investors led by the famous billionaire Sameeh Saweras. Today, there are more than 34 worldwide resort and hotel compounds within El Gouna in addition to the major corporation’s headquarters and state buildings providing the basic services a resident might need.
Sakkala is the downtown of Hurghada and the most vibrant part of it. The Sheraton street which runs through the whole district is a good place to shop for genuine Egyptian souvenirs and gifts. There are a lot of small bazars where tourists can easily find what they looking for. A few meters right next to the district’s square, the visitor can get to the “New Marina”, the marina is a well-organized place and a very luxurious spot, it’s a highly recommended place for tourists to spend a night out. The marina is popular for Clubbing and dinning. There’s a plenty of restaurants serving a variety of international and oriental cuisines along with coffee shops serving Shishas and local drinks for very reasonable prices.
El Dahar is the busiest district and the most local one, it is where most of the locals live. Modesty is the main characteristic seen everywhere through the district’s market and its humble buildings especially the locals’ residentials. The district houses the old market and some landmarks such as the oldest mosque and cathedral of the city.