Taba, Egypt

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Taba
Taba is located in Egypt
Taba
Taba
Location in Egypt
Coordinates: 29°30′N 34°53′E / 29.500°N 34.883°E / 29.500; 34.883
Country  Egypt
Governorate South Sinai
Time zone EST (UTC+2)

Taba (Egyptian Arabic: طابا Ṭāba , IPA: [ˈtˤɑːbɑ]) 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 Germany and Russia. Taba is the location of the only Israel-Egypt border crossing, though in recent months the border has been shut due to security concerns and Egyptian xenophobia towards Israelis. Geographically, it is the northernmost resort of Egypt's Red Sea Riviera.

History[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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 twoSouth Korean were killed and 14 injured, the blast was blamed on terrorists.[4][5]

Climate[edit]

Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh),[6] as the rest of Egypt.

Climate data for Taba
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27
(81)
31
(88)
34
(93)
41
(106)
44
(111)
44
(111)
47
(117)
46
(115)
43
(109)
39
(102)
37
(99)
31
(88)
47
(117)
Average high °C (°F) 20.9
(69.6)
22.6
(72.7)
25.8
(78.4)
29.9
(85.8)
33.8
(92.8)
37.2
(99)
38.2
(100.8)
38.7
(101.7)
35.9
(96.6)
32.4
(90.3)
27.3
(81.1)
22.5
(72.5)
30.43
(86.78)
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.6
(60.1)
17
(63)
19.9
(67.8)
23.8
(74.8)
26.5
(79.7)
30.4
(86.7)
31.8
(89.2)
32.2
(90)
30.1
(86.2)
26.6
(79.9)
21.8
(71.2)
17.2
(63)
24.41
(75.97)
Average low °C (°F) 10.4
(50.7)
11.4
(52.5)
14
(57)
17.7
(63.9)
19.3
(66.7)
23.7
(74.7)
25.5
(77.9)
25.7
(78.3)
24.4
(75.9)
20.9
(69.6)
16.3
(61.3)
11.9
(53.4)
18.43
(65.16)
Record low °C (°F) 3
(37)
3
(37)
8
(46)
11
(52)
16
(61)
21
(70)
22
(72)
23
(73)
21
(70)
16
(61)
8
(46)
5
(41)
3
(37)
Precipitation mm (inches) 4
(0.16)
6
(0.24)
5
(0.2)
3
(0.12)
1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.04)
3
(0.12)
6
(0.24)
29
(1.16)
Avg. rainy days 2 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 10
 % humidity 49.5 51 47 38 34.5 29 24.5 32 39.5 44.5 47 50 40.54
Mean daily sunshine hours 8 9 9 10 12 13 13 13 12 10 9 7 10.4
Source #1: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 14m[6]
Source #2: BBC Weather for records and humidity,[7] Weather2Travel for rainy days and sunshine[8]

Taba heights' temperatures are slightly cooler and it has slightly more rainy days. It receives slightly less sunshine.[9]

Taba mean sea temperature[8]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
22 °C (72 °F) 21 °C (70 °F) 21 °C (70 °F) 23 °C (73 °F) 25 °C (77 °F) 26 °C (79 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 27 °C (81 °F) 25 °C (77 °F) 23 °C (73 °F)

Taba Protected Area[edit]

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.[10]

Transportation[edit]

Flag Plaza, Taba

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, was upgraded and renamed Taba International Airport (IATA: TCP, ICAO: HETB), and now handles half a dozen charter flights a week from the UK as well as weekly charter flights from Belgium, Russia, Denmark, and The Netherlands. 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.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°30′N 34°53′E / 29.500°N 34.883°E / 29.500; 34.883