How safe is Sharm el Sheikh?

Is it safe to holiday in Sharm el Sheikh right now?

  • Jens headshot 2:6:23
  • The Travel Mum

We have just returned from a lovely holiday in Egypt. Naturally a lot of you are asking “How safe is Sharm el Sheik?”. We had the exact same worries before we went and therefore I want to take you through the current travel advice, as well as some practical tips for visiting Sharm el Sheikh in 2024.


Why Travel to Sharm el Sheikh?

Sharm el Sheikh is a beautiful tourist destination with year round sun and lots to explore. Whether you want to lounge by the pool in a luxury resort, explore beaches, visit some world famous historic sights or snorkel/dive at some of the best coral reefs in the world – Sharm el Sheikh has something for everyone.

With many budget friendly packages and DIY deals to be had, theres no doubt many of us are eyeing it up for our next trip.

Need help planning a trip to Sharm el Sheikh? Try our search feature by signing up for free! Alternatively check out our premium membership, for £30 per year we can help you plan the perfect budget trip.


How safe is Sharm el Sheikh?

When considering the safety of travel to any destination, it’s important to check the current FCDO advice on the government website. This information will be updated often and help you make an informed decision. (The information in this post is true as of 4th March 2024.)

With the ongoing conflict in Gaza and issues on the Red Sea, many people are naturally concerned about travelling to Egypt. The FCDO currently don’t have any warnings against travel to the popular tourist regions of Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam. This extract was taken from the gov website:

“Additional security measures are in place to protect the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam and other tourist areas on the Red Sea. Security forces carry out routine security checks on vehicles and at airports. These are in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula and further south. These areas do not have a travel advice warning.”

There are however travel advisories against visiting other areas of Egypt, these are summarised in the below map. More details can be found here.

Taken from the website

How close is the Gaza conflict?

Although Egypt borders Israel on its northeastern side, many of the popular tourist hot spots are a significant distance away meaning they have avoided any conflict. Sharm el Sheikh is the nearest popular tourist region, but it is still over 5 hours by road to the closest bordering town with Israel. Uk flights are operating as usual to Sharm el Sheikh and do not cross into Israel airspace.

Is it safe to walk outside of your resort?

Sharm el Sheikh is predominantly a tourist town. People are there on their holidays or because they work in the tourist sector. Few people live there, mainly due to it being insanely expensive for them to do so.

When travelling anywhere it is important to be aware of local laws and customs. Egypt is mainly an Islamic country and it is against the law to encourage conversion to other religions including Christianity. Ensure you dress modestly in certain situations, particularly when visiting religious sites, during Ramadan (which is likely to take place March/April in 2024) and when visiting markets. Whilst in your resort there is a lot more leniency on dress code. We happily walked around in typical western summer wear.


Is there a lot of crime in Sharm el Sheikh?

Crime rates in Sharm el Sheikh are generally low but like most destinations there are reports of muggings, sexual assault and robbery. It is always important to remain cautious, especially when travelling alone. Try not to walk around by yourself at night time and ideally don’t get into taxis alone. Update family or friends on where you are planning to go before setting off on any journeys, and let them know when you get there.

Make sure children are always accompanied by someone they know and trust, and not left alone with excursion or hotel staff. Sexual assaults have been reported against minors.

You can report crimes to the local tourist police, make sure you do this before leaving the country. Contact the British Embassy on +20 2 27916000 for advice should you be involved in a crime.

Is it safe to scuba dive in Sharm el Sheikh?

The below guidance has been pulled from the government website:

“Safety standards of diving operators in Red Sea resorts vary considerably. Never dive or snorkel unaccompanied. Where possible make bookings through your tour representative. Very cheap operators may not provide adequate safety and insurance standards. Diving beyond the depth limit of your insurance policy will invalidate your cover. Shark attacks are rare, but there have been a small number involving tourists in the Red Sea region. Monitor any updates from local authorities or your tour operator.”

Can I drink alcohol?

Yes you can. It is however important to be aware that it is illegal to drink alcohol outside of a licensed restaurant or bar. So no drinking out of the streets.

Is the food safe to eat in Sharm el Sheikh?

You’ve probably heard stories of friends or family visiting Sharm el Sheikh and falling sick. This usually happens when bacteria is ingested from a variety of sources. Understanding where these infections can come from will help in best preventing illness.

  • Poorly maintained swimming pools can contain bacteria that if ingested, resulting in diarrhoea and sickness.
  • Tap water can contain bacteria. Only drink bottled water and brush your teeth with this too. Avoid ice cubes as these may be made with tap water.
  • Money can be covered in bacteria. Wash your hands regularly before eating, especially after handling money.
  • Avoid salads and uncooked foods. These may have been washed with tap water or handled with dirty hands.
  • Ensure food is hot when consumed.
  • Avoid street food and anything that looks like it may have been sat around for a while.

Have some emergency meds for the worst case scenario. Rehydration sachets will be really helpful if you do fall sick. Keep really well hydrated and maintain good hand washing as to not infect anyone else in your group.

Is Sharm el Sheikh safe for LGBTQ+ travellers?

Although homosexuality isn’t explicitly illegal in Egypt, couples have been prosecuted under the charge of ‘debauchery’ and even given prison sentences, therefore discretion is advised for gay travellers in Egypt. Public displays of affection are frowned upon for all travellers in Egypt, not just those in same sex relationships. It’s worth being aware that holding hands, arm linking and kissing on the cheek are all very normal between men (and women) in Egypt and aren’t in themselves linked with being in a same sex relationship.

I don’t fancy this. Can I cancel my package holiday?

Tour operators are unlikely to refund trips unless the FCDO advice changes to say “avoid all non-essential travel”. Whilst travel is still deemed as safe, companies have no obligation to offer refunds. It is worth getting in touch to see if they can offer any flexibility and change the holiday to a later date. If the advice does change, you are eligible for a full refund.

Perfect place for some winter sun (February 24)

Our overall experience

We really enjoyed our stay in Sharm el Sheikh. As I was in the third trimester of pregnancy it was a really chilled holiday. We only left the resort a handful of times and felt safe during these trips. We didn’t encounter any hostility or speak to anyone who had. When questioning the staff about the safety in Sharm el Sheikh, they would laugh and say it is very very safe here. We followed the food hygiene tips above and none of us fell sick.

Ordinarily we would explore far and wide when visiting a new country, we were keen to see the pyramids, visit Cairo and Luxor. Ultimately we decided it was best to enjoy a relaxing holiday in Sharm and save that adventure for a few years time!

I hoped this helped answer your question of “How safe is Sharm el Sheikh?”

Please let us know if you have any further questions!