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Naama Bay - Pros, Cons, Map


Page update - Aug 28, 2023

What are pros and cons of the Naama Bay district in Sharm El Sheikh? What beaches and hotels are there? Where to go, what to see and do? Where to go shopping? Where to change money, eat, buy alcohol and cigarettes? Read the answers and see the detailed map of the area on this page.

Prices and other information on this page were updated in August 2023.

Where is Naama Bay located?

It is located almost in the center of the resort city of Sharm El Sheikh (Sinai Peninsula, Egypt). For the exact location of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, see the detailed map in our review "Map of Egyptian Resorts". For the location of Naama Bay in Sharm El Sheikh, see the detailed map in our review "Sharm El Sheikh - map and description".

The main thing about Naama Bay

Naama Bay is famous by one of the best beaches in Sharm El Sheikh, but not only. This is also an area with an excellently developed infrastructure. There are: a large water park, a lot of stores and shopping centers, good cafes and restaurants. There is even a museum.

If you know well: where the best beach is, where the water park is, which hotel is better to book, then you will surely spend your vacation on five-of-five. Unfortunately, most tourists come there and just don't come out of the hotel. Just do not know where to go and what to see.

Read this page and you will know everything. Below on this page, we will give the detailed area map with all the interesting and useful places for tourists.

Pros of Naama Bay

The first advantage is the best beach in Sharm El Sheikh.

Naama Bay beach has golden-color sand on the shore and sand on the bottom of the sea, which is rare in Egypt on the Red Sea. The vast majority of Red Sea beaches have stony or coral bottoms. In Naama Bay, there are coral reefs in the sea that are already dead, but there are colorful fishes nearby.

That is, Naama Beach has everything - a flat sandy bottom and colorful fish. Unfortunately, the fish are not so many, because the reefs are dead after all. Such a beach "two in one" in Sharm is only in two places - Naama Bay and Maya Bay in the south of the resort city.

The second advantage is the location.

Naama Bay is located almost in the center of the city of Sharm El Sheikh. Most of the attractions are not far away. In the table below see distances, travel time, and prices of cab rides to different places.

For up-to-date cab fares in Sharm El Sheikh and other cities of Egypt, see our review "Taxis in Egypt". For the exchange rates of the Egyptian pound see our review "Money in Egypt".

Distance, km Distance, mi Ride time Taxi cost
*Sharm El Sheikh Airport 17 km 10.5 mi 25 min **100 EGP
Old town 9 km 5.5 mi 20 min 50 EGP
Aqua Blu water park (Albatros) 10 km 6.2 mi 20 min 50 EGP
SOHO Square & SOHO MALL 18 km 11 mi 30 min 100 EGP
Watania bus station 5 km 3 mi 8 min 35 EGP
Royssat bus station 10 km 6.2 mi 15 min 60 EGP
Hollywood Mall & Sharm Museum 3 km 1.8 mi 5 min 25 EGP
La Strada shopping mall & Dolphinarium 22 km 13.5 mi 35 min 100 EGP

* - Meaning the distance to the Sharm El Sheikh airport parking lot. Details below.

** - We don't think you can get a cab FROM the airport to your hotel for 100 pounds. Prepare 200. But you can ride TO the airport from your hotel by meter for 100 pounds.


Why do we measure the distance to the airport parking lot?

The fact is that the airport is big, and the exit from the parking lot is on the northwest side - that's the opposite side from the sea and hotels. There are hotels in Sharm El Sheikh that write ads like "100 meters (330 feet) from the airport!" And it's true, they are 100 meters (330 feet) from the airport's FENCE. And you have to drive around another 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the entrance and parking lot!

Be careful with the information about the distance between hotels and the airport. Double-check with google.maps.

The third advantage is the objects in walking distance.

Naama Bay has a lot of places of interest, and they are within walking distance from most local hotels. Now we will only list them, and tell you about each of them in detail as we go along on this page.

Cleo Park is one of the two large water parks in Sharm. The park is stylized under the theme of ancient Egypt. There are a dozen adult slides, two large children's areas, and a pool with artificial waves. Read more in our review "Cleo Park Water Park".

Genena City Mall is a large shopping mall in the format that is familiar to most Americans and Europeans. That is, it is a large multistory building with stores inside. Genena Mall is located in the western part of Naama Bay.

King Tut Museum is more of an entertainment site than a museum. It displays replicas (copies) of famous Egyptian ancient artifacts, including copies of Tutankhamun's mask and other treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb. The museum is located inside the Genena City Mall.

Naama Bay Shopping Street is a large and beautiful street with vendors' stores, restaurarts, and several small malls. You can buy almost everything there. There are a dozen restaurants and fast food places: KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and Hard Rock Cafe (was closed but at the moment this page was updated in August 2023 it is open again).

The fourth advantage is a balanced choice of hotels.

It would seem that the best beach in Sharm El Sheikh should be built exclusively with luxury and expensive five-star hotels. But NOTHING like that happened. And that's great. And to understand why this happened, we need to remember the history.

Naama Bay was one of the first beaches, where construction of hotels began in the 70s. Hotels were built not by the Egyptians, but by the Israelis, who took over the entire Sinai Peninsula in 1967 (during the Six-Day War). The Egyptians took Sinai back only in 1982, and continued to build.

There was no overall planning for the resort city back then. No one then thought Naama Bay would be the best part. Modest hotels were built there. That's how it turned out.

Naama Bay has hotels of all categories - from three to five. Everyone will find an option for his/her wallet and taste.

The fifth advantage is good developed infrastructure.

In Naama Bay, you don't need All Inclusive vacation at all. The stores on the shopping street have drinks and snacks. There are many restaurants and fast-food on the shopping street. It is quite comfortable to stay on the BB system (breakfast only).

But in our opinion the best would be the HB system (breakfast + dinner). Usually tourists on the beach or by the pool do not really remember about the food, so you can save time and money if you will not have lunch. In winter months this is extremely actual, because the daylight hours are short, and it's a pity to spend these hours eating.

The only exception is if you absolutely need alcohol. There are stores with alcohol on the shopping street, but the prices are high. And the prices are high not only in Naama Bay, but all over Egypt. Beer now is not cheaper than 30 Egyptian pounds for 0.5 liters in Egypt. See the details and prices in our review "Egyptian alcohol". If you need alcohol, you need All Inclusive.

Cons of Naama Bay

The first disadvantage is the beach is always full of people.

Naama Bay beach is long - about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile). But there are a lot of hotels along it. Hotels are lined up in two lines, and in some places there are even hotels beyond the second line.

Obviously, in this situation there will be a lot of people on the beach. See exactly how many people there are in the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge to full screen. This photo was taken in late October, which is one of the best months for a vacation in Egypt.

If you are personally satisfied with the situation in the photo, then go to Naama Bay. In our experience, this topic is VERY personal. How many people, as many opinions. Our job is to tell and show, and you already decide for yourself.

The second disadvantage. If you want to sunbathe on the beach on a sun lounger, then choose only a hotel on the first line.

Hotels in the second line most often give their guests access to the beaches of first line hotels (by agreement between hotels). There are not many sun loungers on the beaches. And right from the morning these sunbeds are occupied by guests of the first line hotels.

Guests of second line hotels come later, and there are no free sunbeds. It remains to sunbathe on your own towel or take some kind of mat for yoga or something similar. This problem screws up the vacation for many tourists who buy tours to second-line hotels.

The third disadvantage is you need to choose the hotel wisely.

There are many hotels in Naama Bay. The hotels are very different. Choosing a hotel is a complex issue, which we will talk about in detail.

Naama Bay map

See the map of the Naama Bay area below. It is a preview. Click to enlarge to full screen. We do this way for you - to save your traffic and save your time because the loading speed increases.

We have marked all the useful places for tourists on the map. The hotels areas are marked as blue areas.

We will refer to this map a number of times throughout this review.


How to choose a hotel

Choosing a hotel depends on how you want to spend your vacation.

If you want to spend your vacation in a sun lounger on the beach. Then choose a hotel only on the first line. As we have already said, guests from hotels in the second line are left without a sun lounger.

If the sun lounger on the beach is not important and you are ready to walk 10 minutes to the beach. Then it is better to choose a hotel on the second line. Why?

Firstly, it is cheaper. Secondly, first line hotels do not usually have a lot of territory. First-line hotels are small compared to hotels on the second line. This means a second-line hotel will have more pools, larger pools, wider assortment of buffets, and better entertainment.

If you want peace in the evenings and at night. Then choose a hotel in the central and eastern part of Naama Bay.

In the south-western part, there is a shopping street, nightclubs, bars, and loud music often sounds there. It is always very noisy there until midnight, and sometimes even after midnight.

If you want to have an active evening and night life. Then you better choose the south-western part. It is there where the bars, restaurants, discos, and nightclubs are, including the most famous club and bar in Sharm El Sheikh "Little Buddha" (pictured near, click on photo to enlarge).

But the problem with the beach is actual in this case. The beach there is the only one. It is shared by a dozen hotels. To find a free sunbed is unreal. The concentration of people in the water is always huge.

Naama Bay beach

Naama Bay beach is about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) long. The beach is slightly different in different areas. The ground part is the same everywhere - it is a beautiful golden sand. The bottom in the water differs.

Conditionally, the beach can be divided into three parts. These three parts are marked on our map above on this page.

The central part is considered the best. The bottom is sandy there, and you can swim without water shoes. There are coral reefs in some places, and there are colorful fish swimming on these reefs. You can swim and watch these fish with a snorkel.

All of the beach photos on this page are exactly from the central part. For example, the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge.

The south-western part is considered slightly worse, as there are almost no reefs and fish there.

The eastern part on the contrary is full of reefs, and there is little sand on the bottom. There are more fish, but it is desirable to wear water shoes.

The beaches of the Mövenpick hotel (the hotel has three beaches) are sheer reefs and rocks. The sand is only at the entrance to the sea, and reefs and stones begin after a couple of meters. The beach at Mövenpick is one of the most hostile in Naama Bay.

The beaches at Stella di Mare hotel are even worse. There is no direct entrance to the water. You will have to swim from the piers. For vacation with children, it is generally unacceptable, and adults are not very comfortable. Hotel Stella di Mare is expensive, but the beach is the worst in Naama Bay.

Can you go to beaches of other hotels?

You can. According to Egyptian law, all beaches are the property of the Arab Republic of Egypt. This is stated in Article 45 of the Egyptian Constitution.

By law, anyone can walk along the beach freely. However, we heard several stories of tourists who were stopped by the guards and not allowed to the beaches of neighboring hotels in Naama Bay.

Naama Bay shopping area

The shopping area is located in the western part of Naama Bay. The two main sites there are the shopping street and Genena City Mall.

The shopping street starts from El-Salam road (Sharm's main street) and runs southeast to the large (by local standards) Naama Center Mall. Then the shopping street turns almost 180 degrees and goes north along the coast. The total length of the shopping street is about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles). It is marked on our map above.

It's easy to recognize the shopping street as it is paved in pink and white wave paving. You can't miss it or mistake it for something else.

A little to the west is Genena City Mall, which is a large American-style mall. That is, it is a large building with several stories. At first look, Genena City looks like the malls we are used to, but only at first look.

There is NO supermarket like we are used to. There is NO food court with chain restaurants as we are used to. There are only local restaurants. But there is the King Tut Museum of replicas. FOR USD 15! To see the originals in Cairo is cheaper! Admission to the Cairo Museum now costs 300 pounds.

Is there any point in going to Genena City at all? Decide for yourself, but in our opinion it makes little sense. It is difficult to get to Genena City from the shopping street, because there is no direct passage and you have to go far around. The routes are marked on our map above on this page.

Where to buy drinks, snacks, gifts, souvenirs profitably?

The prices of drinks and snacks in the shopping area are very high. A 200ml bag of juice costs 15 Egyptian pounds, a large soda costs 60 pounds. By comparison, in Cairo the exact same bag of juice costs 5.25, the exact same soda costs 20.50. That is, the prices are three times higher.

BUT! There is one store there where the prices are adequate. You can buy the same juice for 7 pounds and a soda for 25 pounds. It's a big FIX PRICE store, which is in the shopping street, right on the corner, just after the Tropitel hotel. The store is marked on our map above on this page.

We highly recommend this store. You can pay at the cash register in Egyptian pounds, US dollars, Euros, UK pounds. The store has a good selection of Egyptian sweets, souvenirs, trinkets, food, and drinks.

By the way, next to the store there is an excellent master of sand painting in bottles. His name is Ibrahim. He does double-sided drawings, gives customers a little try for themselves, and does custom drawings. Recommended. He's a good fellow.

Prices for souvenirs in the shopping area are quite normal - not lower or higher than the prices at the popular tourist markets in Sharm or Hurghada. You can buy souvenirs in any shop or store, but do not forget to haggle. For the prices for souvenirs and gifts see our review "What to bring from Egypt".

Where to change money in Naama Bay

There are ATMs in hotels and on the streets of the shopping area. It is better to change money at the ATM of your hotel, as it is quite safe. We do NOT advise you to change money in the shopping area. You never know what kind of people are walking around there, it is better not to risk.

If your hotel has no ATM or exchange office, or if that ATM is broken. Then go to the CIB bank branch. There are two ATMs there that always work. The exchange rate is great. There's a policeman on duty nearby, and there are a minimum of people. In our opinion, it's the safest place.

The bank branch is next to the entrance of the shopping street, you will have to walk 200 meters (650 feet) along the street to the right (northeast). This bank branch is indicated on our map above. Read about how to use ATMs in our review "Currency exchange in Egypt".

Where to eat?

There are a lot of restaurants in the shopping district. Many tourists are afraid of the local catering.

There are several fast-food restaurants of world brands in the shopping area. It is quite safe to eat there, but expensive.

There are KFC and Pizza Hut on the shopping street, across from Naama Inn, and McDonald's further down the street. The fast-food places are marked on our map above on this page.

We certainly don't praise the local KFC. The prices are high according to the standards of Egypt. There is no coffee at all. A Zinger sandwich with fries and a drink costs 150 pounds. A Twister with fries and a drink is 140 pounds. The photo near shows the range from an Egyptian KFC.

But the Egyptian Pizza Hut is praiseworthy! Price of a large pizza - from 200 to 300 pounds (depending on toppings). But if you order a large cheese pizza, then on this pizza will be such a thick layer of cheese, which cannot be found in most countries.

McDonald's has even worse prices than KFC. A Big Mac is 120 Egyptian pounds! Meanwhile, at McDonald's in Cairo, it's only 86 pounds. NO COMMENTS!

Want to eat good and affordable food? Go to Pizza Hut.

Where to buy alcohol?

Several stores along the shopping street sell liquor. Bottles are displayed in the windows. For liquor prices, see our review "Egyptian alcohol".

One store even sells imported liquor, although by law only duty-free stores are allowed to do so. Is this liquor original? Is it counterfeit? Is it safe? We don't know. We have not checked. And we don't advise you to take the risk and check.

The photo near is a picture of the storefront, click on the photo to enlarge it. As you can see, the price tags are not posted, so you still have to haggle.

If you want to buy imported alcohol. Then go to the end of the shopping street, to McDonald's and to Maritim Jolie Ville Hotel. Then on the left in 100 meters (300 feet) is the Duty Free store. This Duty Free store is marked on our map above.

Read about the rules of Duty Free shopping for tourists in our review "Alcohol in Egypt".

Where to buy cigarettes?

Many stores in the shopping area sell cigarettes. But prepare for high prices. Multiply the official prices by 1.5 to 2 times.

Important and useful to know

- Although Naama Bay is a very civilized place, still don't let your guard down. Read our important reviews "What is not allowed in Egypt" and "How tourists are cheated in Egypt";

- When you buy souvenirs and gifts, do not forget that not everything is allowed to be taken out of Egypt. Read our review "What you can and can't take out of Egypt";

- On the shopping street, there are several shops where you can buy a local SIM with mobile Internet or recharge your balance. Which SIM to buy, read in our review "Internet in Egypt".

Have a nice vacation in Naama Bay, and read our interesting and useful for tourists pages about Egypt (find the list of the pages below).

TIPS FOR TOURISTS

What Don't Do in Egypt

Cheats of Tourists in Egypt

What to Take to Egypt

Sharks in Egypt

To Egypt With Kids

How NOT to Get Poisoned in Egypt

National Holidays in Egypt

Weather in Egypt by Month

MONEY AND EXPENSES

What Money in Egypt

Money Exchange in Egypt

How Much Money to Take to Egypt

TRANSPORT

Taxi in Egypt

Cairo Metro

From Hurghada to Cairo

From Sharm to Cairo

From Hurghada to Luxor

From Cairo to Ain Sokhna

Intercity Buses - Guide

GIFTS, SOUVENIRS, CUSTOMS LAW

What to Bring from Egypt

What You Can & Not Bring in Egypt

What You Can & Not Take out of Egypt

ABOUT EGYPT

What Language is Spoken in Egypt

Who Are the Modern Egyptians

Friday & Weekends in Egypt

Ramadan in Egypt

TELECOM

Internet in Egypt Cheaply

RESORT REGIONS

Sharm El Sheikh

Naama Bay

Hurghada

Ain Sokhna

Mediterranean Rivera

BAD HABITS

Alcohol in Egypt - Prices & Rules

Local Egyptian Alcohol

Cigarettes & Smoking in Egypt

Vape and iQos in Egypt

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