Hurghada was founded in the early 20th century. For many decades it was a small fishing village, but it has grown into a major Red Sea resort as a result of Egyptian and foreign investment that began in the 1980s. Holiday resorts and hotels provide facilities for windsurfing, kitesurfing, yachting, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The city is known for its watersports, nightlife, and warm weather. Daytime temperatures are around 30 °C (86 °F) most of the year, and during July and August temperatures can reach over 40 °C (104 °F). Hurghada is a popular holiday destination for Europeans, especially during the winter, and some spend Christmas and New Year there. Tourist numbers from Russia dropped significantly after the Metrojet Flight 9268 plane crash in November 2015.
Hurghada stretches for about 36 kilometers (22 mi) along the seashore, and it does not reach far into the surrounding desert. The resort is a destination for Egyptian tourists from Cairo, the Delta, and Upper Egypt, as well as package holiday tourists from Europe. Today Hurghada counts 248,000 inhabitants and is divided into:
El Ahia and El Helal, the northern part;
El Dahar (Downtown) is the old part;
Sekalla is the city center;
El Kawsar is the modern part;
El Memsha (Village road) is a pedestrian road stretching over 4 km.
Along with the El, Mamsha can be found many of Hurghada‘s new hotels, restaurants, and shops. Most of the newest and biggest hotel resorts located in the area between Mamsha to Sahl Hasheesh (Village road). After Sahl Hasheesh there is Makadi Bay with its hotels. Dahar is the oldest part of the town, where the town’s traditional bazaar, the post office, and the long-distance bus stations, Go Bus and Upper Egypt Bus are situated. The busiest area is its “city center” Sakala, which is spread along Sheraton Road. There are some hotels, shops, and restaurants along Sheraton Road.
The city is served by the Hurghada International Airport with scheduled passenger traffic connecting to Cairo and directly with several cities in Europe. A new terminal was opened in 2015 to accommodate rising traffic.
A fake Lidl store in Hurghada
Although a town in its own right, Hurghada’s current major industry is foreign and domestic tourism, owing to its dramatic landscape, year-round dry and temperate[dubious – discuss] climate, and long stretches of natural beaches. Its waters are clear and calm for most of the year and have become popular for various water-sports, particularly recreational scuba diving and snorkeling.
Dive sites around Abu Ramada Island, Fanadir, Giftun Kebir, and Giftun Soraya are popular. Tourists also visit shipwrecks such as the El Mina or the Rosalie Moller. The beach at Hurghada is not secluded; out to Sigala, the beach is then followed by coastal holiday villages and then desert.
Hurghada has 4 schools for Russian children, which are: Galaxy (Созвездие), Our Traditions (Наши Традиции), Dina (Дина) and The World of Knowledge (Мир знаний) (the Russian School Hurghada); as well as the newsletter MK in Egypt. Much of the signage in the city, as of 2015, is in Russian. In June 2015 MK in Egypt publisher Yulia Shevel stated that there were about 20,000 Russians in Hurghada, giving it Egypt’s largest Russian population, though only about 3,000 were officially documented. Russian women staying in Hurghada often marry Egyptian men through an ‘urfi (non-shariah) process.
In 2017 the Russian Consulate was open in Hurghada.
Hurghada has a subtropical desert climate (Köppen climate classification: BWh), with mild-warm winters and hot to very hot summers. Temperatures in the period December–January–February is warm, but in the evening’s temperature may drop from an average of 20 Celsius degrees to 10. November, March, and April are comfortably warm. May and October are hot and the period from June to September is very hot. The average annual temperature of the sea is 24 °C (75 °F), ranging from 21 °C (70 °F) in February and March to 28 °C (82 °F) in August.
The highest temperature recorded occurred on June 12, 2013, and was 46 °C (115 °F), while the lowest record temperature was recorded on February 2, 1993, and was 0 °C (32 °F).
there are special organized tours to discover the magic of the area