Posted by: nuweiba | May 17, 2008

Its happy hour! Sharm El Sheik

The first time I arrived in Sharm El Sheikh as a fresh-faced tourist, I enquired of the locals as to the whereabouts of the bars in town. The reply was, “There are only two — Pirates or Camel.”

A lot has changed in the last 15 years as enterprising locals and foreigners alike have branched out into bars, restaurants, entertainment and the fulfilment of every holidaymaker’s dream.

While every hotel has it’s own bar or lobby area serving drinks, the range of independent bars has grown and now a wide variety of tastes are catered for in a range of surroundings from the most opulent to the traditional Bedouin ‘tea-tent’.

The majority of bars can be found located in the bustling Naama Bay area, the cosmopolitan centre of Sharm El Sheikh. Brimming with shops, Parisian-style pavement cafes, five star restaurants and brand-name nightclubs, you are never far from a thirst quenching drink, a delicious cocktail — or a mocktail for those who don’t want alcohol.

Take a trip along the Promenade from the town centre and you will soon come across beach bars and restaurants. The Maritim Jolie Ville has a lovely Beach Bar with a sophisticated atmosphere and a panoramic view of the bay. Lunchtime and early evening bring Happy Hour and the chance to try the drinks menu at half price. 

Wander a little further and you come upon the Ghazala Beach bar. Renowned for its two-for-one Happy ‘2’ Hours, there is also live entertainment each evening and a dance floor for those feeling energetic.  If you want to go a little further a-field then hop in a taxi and head to Terrazzina beach in Sharm el Maya — this is strictly for the Ibiza fan club and on Friday’s it takes on a Bora Bora beach party atmosphere.

If you require a little more peace then try El Fanar for a drink. The view is spectacular; you can see Tiran Island all the way to Ras Mohamed National Park. El Fanar has an extensive imported wine and beer list. However, local drinks are not served.

Just a little further along the promenade brings you to the Hilton Fayrouz, where the Flambe Pool Bar gives an excellent setting in which to watch the world go by, or visit the famous Pirates Bar with its friendly staff, big screen sports and amazingly low price on beer between 6pm and 9pm. In the heat of summer, the air-conditioning in Pirates is a welcome relief and there are often residents in the bar who are more than happy to chat to first time guests and provide a comprehensive tourist information centre.

Back in the centre of Naama Bay is the Camel Bar. Infamous for it’s peanuts in the main bar, there is a choice of seating at ground level, first floor sports bar or the relaxed roof bar with its stunning views of the bay and mountains.

Dotted all around Naama Bay are smaller Bedouin-style bars, some offering alcohol and some just soft drinks. Most will have traditional shisha pipes. At any time of day or night puffing on a shisha while the world hurries by is an ideal way to shrug off the daily stresses of life.

Truly independent is the Tavern bar and its sister bar T2. The Tavern is a ‘Brit Pub’ and a great favourite with British guests. Showing big screen sports and keeping prices relatively low have made it popular with the package holiday makers. Karaoke twice a week is also an attraction.

 T2, the sister bar in Council Street in Hadaba also has a very British feel. The recently opened pool bar is a great asset now summer is here as everyone loves to cool off in the water or sit at the swim-up bar. When T2 first opened, it was very much ‘residents only’, but more and more guests are discovering this little bar with a great English breakfast, weekend speciality pies, and large open-air terrace. 

The Hadaba area of Sharm El Sheikh boasts another ‘English Style Pub’ known as Papas. Located next to the Aquapark it is frequented by tourists, ex-pats and Egyptians alike. Reasonable prices and the pool table make it a popular destination amongst the many divers in Sharm.

For a more ‘up-market’ drink then Little Buddha provides a pleasant chill out lounge bar atmosphere with plenty of Buddha bar vibes.  Pacha’s VIP lounge balcony bar also provides a great panoramic view of the dance floor and a late night drink.

Sharm has definitely come a long way from being a 2-bar town.  It is now a cosmopolitan city with a fantastic fusion of cultures from across the globe. Take the opportunity to mingle and experience the true flavour of this wonderful international city.

The variety of styles, choice of local or imported alcohol and the arrival of the big players like Hard Rock Café, Little Buddha and TGI Fridays mean there is something for everyone from the tried and tested to the exotic unknown.

By Jane Talboys and Tina Roume



  1. It’s been over 20 years since I was in Nuweiba; I am amazed by your description of the place, one of my favorite in the world. Thank you for your posts.

    Is Lamy Sliman Aid living there? If so, please send regards from Natalie.

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