The Sinai Peninsula and Red Sea Coast: Places to Explore

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El Gouna

El Gouna is the dream of an Egyptian businessman who has utterly transformed a secluded bay and its surrounding resources. In 10 years, this virgin seacoast has been transformed into an established resort town and also a settlement for more than 10,000 full-time residents. Equipped with its own wells in the mountains, a hospital with a hyperbaric chamber for dealing with divers' decompression problems, four power plants, a school, a department of the American University in Egypt, and an impressive array of services, this environmentally friendly resort town is practically self-sustaining. El Gouna caters to wealthy Egyptians and expat workers who come to unwind from the hustle and bustle of Cairo, plus year-round tourist arrivals.

Designed around a series of seawater lagoons, the heart of El Gouna is al-Qafr, also known as Downtown, a modern rendition of a traditional Egyptian settlement. To the north is Abu Tig, a majestic marina filled with multimillion-dollar yachts designed to re-create the atmosphere of the French or Italian Riviera. A second, larger marina with accompanying hotels, apartments, and golf course was rolled out in 2010. South of al-Qafr is El Gouna's original golf course, which is surrounded with lagoon-side villas and apartments. Visitors have the choice of 16 hotels and an excellent range of water-sports activities.

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