2018-09-24 16:05:58date was

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  • Sinai Travel Restrictions Worsen with New ‘WhatsApp’ Rule


    Sinai tourism has been having a rough few years, what with all the security issues, planes dropping out of the sky, 4x4s banned, bad press, poor roads and scary checkpoints; and speaking of checkpoints, anyone who’s taken a road trip to Dahab, Ras Sudr or Nuweiba will remember that the worst part of the trip is often the Ahmed Hamdy tunnel in Suez. But hey, we thought, new year means new beginnings, and maybe this is the time for the government to make things easier on local tourists heading to Sinai, no?


    ahmed-hamdy-tunnelAhmed Hamdy Tunnel

    New rules issued by South Sinai’s security head General Ahmed Tayel yesterday have gone viral, including the new stipulation that travelers passing through the tunnel must either be from Sinai (with Sinai identified on their national IDs) or carrying a security ID as a public service worker or Sharm hotel employee.

    If travelers are tourists, then they must show proof of their accommodation booking, whether via a photocopy or WhatsApp photo, or a flat rental contract or sales purchase if they own or rent property in Sinai. This basically means adios to the Bedouin-style camps that you used to book over the phone, unless they step up and send formal reservation receipts via WhatsApp. Also, what’s up with mentioning WhatsApp specifically in a new regulation?

    15977654_1443188745706066_1868015306326002372_n(Image courtesy of Bey2ollak/Facebook)

    While we were looking forward to heading to Ras Sudr and Dahab this Spring, we’re not sure these new travel rules will have us rushing for our cars, and like many people have pointed out in their FB complaints, we’re not sure how WhatsApp photos or flat contracts are security measures to prevent terrorists from getting into Sinai.

    By Samar El Shams