AIBU to rain on dh's parade about taking 4 dc 's to Egypt for half term ?

(111 Posts)
FOURBOYSUNDER6 Thu 07-Feb-13 05:10:03

Dh made Last minute decision to book Hilton sharks bay resort in sharm el sheikh. Has anyone been recently? We have young boys is it ok for younger ones etc? Dc's aged 6, 5, 3 and 7 mths.... He is mega excited and wants to book but i am not sure .... Can't really afford it, I have irrational fears about dc 's getting shot, trafficked , food poisoned , too long travelling from uk..... I would love a holiday in the sun and we need one as it is long long overdue... But AIBU to just want to chill at a villa in south if France or Spain in summer where it feels so much more sensible with young children or am I being ignorant and unreasonable ? He fancies Hilton sharks bay. Budget can't stretch to mark Warner !!!! Has anyone been to Hilton and is it good or poor mans Egypt ... Why am I posting this at this time instead of sleeping !

cleo78 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:13:20

Thanks Dallas! Everyone has their own opinions obviously, but it does make me sad when I hear people writing Egypt off as an entire country when they have only experienced Sharm or Hurghada! Siwa for instance, is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited (an oasis over by the Libyan border) with the most friendly people.

But in all honesty OP, if you are feeling jittery about Egypt, and all you probably want to do (with kids in tow) is ensure they have a good time, then you are probably better off not coming. Are you really going to be able to relax?

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 20:14:55

I most certainly would not go to Dahab. It is absolutely not 'perfectly safe'.

Hurghada and the other side of the Red Sea are probably much safer.

Sinai is NOT safe. People are dying. The Bedouin are running riot there, Al Qaeda also have a presence, taking advantage of the chaos and proximity to Israel.

You may live in Egypt, Cleo, but you seem a bit blinkered to the risks.

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 20:16:05

My friend was murdered not far from Dahab in Ras Al Sultan. She also thought it was perfectly safe. It wasn't.

apostropheuse Thu 07-Feb-13 20:22:15

The thought of going on holiday anywhere where I needed armed guards to keep me safe just somehow doesn't appeal in the least.

I would be looking for somewhere else OP.

BegoniaBampot Thu 07-Feb-13 20:23:52

I've always avoided Egypt with the kids. Just seems more unstable and I seem to know folk who have had terrorist experiences there more than any other place. Go to lots of far flung places so not easily put off but Egypt just gives me a bad feeling. Also, quite a few folk I know have had some serious stomach issues, V &D etc.

cleo78 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:30:37

I am certainly not blinkered to the risks thank you. And I also said that the latter (El Gouna) was 'perfectly safe', not Dahab. I said that I would choose to go to either, and I would. I would not drive, as I am used to doing, as the vast majority of issues in the Sinai have taken place on the routes that I would have previously taken. I absolutely accept that despite there being minimal 'activity' at the moment, very unfortunate incidents have occurred in the past in these areas and may well do so in the future.

I apologise if my reply sounds quite abrupt kungfutea- I do appreciate that the situation with your friend sounds beyond horrific, and it is absolutely right to give a balance of experiences.

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 20:33:39

Sinai is in the middle of an insurgency. There is no law and order and things can go pear shaped very quickly. Things are far WORSE there than they were in 2004.

I agree not to tar all of Egypt with the same brush. In fact, having lived in Israel, I have had plenty of lovely holidays in Dahab, Nuweiba and various places in between.

I wouldn't go now, absolutely not.

cleo78 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:50:48

You're right re: the general lawlessness of the Sinai Kungfutea. Currently, Dahab and Sharm have not had such issues but as a result the security is high. Again OP, are you really going to be able to relax when you obviously already have warey thoughts in your head? Thousands (the actual numbers actually astounded me tbh!) of people are still coming on independent and package holidays, and the majority of those have a peaceful holiday. But at the same time, the FCO guidlelines are there for a reason too.

Dottyspot Thu 07-Feb-13 20:51:51

Sharm is fine as long as you stay within your hotel complex or go straight to the beach. The resort is horrendous, lots of sleazy men trying to sell you stuff, throwing things into your children's hands and then trying to get money off you! The resort is really, really sleazy. We couldn't walk 2 metres along the street without being hassled. Eventually we pretended we didn't speak English ( or any other language-Finnish s a good one to say as no one speaks that!) and be really firm.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 07-Feb-13 20:59:31

It's really not all bad, and I feel quite offended at Hissy's post. My experience of Egyptian people is not like that at all, and although I've never lived there, I have spent a lot of time in Egypt and have a lot of friends that live there, both British and Egyptian.

I feel completely safe walking around Sharm alone at night, and the 'hassle' (i wouldn't actually call it that) that you get from shopkeepers is nothing compared to what I've experienced in Morocco.

cleo78 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:21:18

Having just re read Hissy's post, I am left speechless. If I believed those things to be true, I certainly would never have chosen to give birth to my children here, raise them here and pursue my career here. Egypt is certainly NOT perfect...thats why there was a revolution 2 yrs ago. When I first moved here 8 years ago, Cairo was the safest place in the World that I had ever lived in (my own perception). That situation has changed, but not to level that Hissy is portraying.

FOURBOYSUNDER6 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:20:48

OOOOH so much food for thought .... Currently reading all these posts together with dh and discussing all issues raised ! smile thank you everyone, can't tell you how helpful this is .... Really, really appreciated .... Now where can i hide dh s Egypt brochure till dc s older and seems more appealing then and where did i shove this years centre parcs brochure where were we up to on this thread ....wink

MmeLindor Thu 07-Feb-13 22:23:47

Hissy
That is an astoundingly ignorant point of view to have of a country.

I have lived abroad and find that there are always expats who see only what they want to see of a country, and never stop slagging it off when they 'escape'.

Well seeing that you can't afford it OP, I'd go ahead and rain on his parade. Not much point hankering after something he can't have, he may as well get over it or look at something he can afford for the school break. Gran Canaria, or Southern Spain is warm in February, and cheaper too.

ifancyashandy Fri 08-Feb-13 07:24:24

Can only reiterate what I posted up thread. Dahab on my own last Feb felt incredibly safe and welcoming. Yes I got 'hassled' by workers outside their bars and restaurants but no more than in, say, Spain. And it was good natured and cheeky. Not threatening. But Dahab is maybe used to solo female travellers due to the amount of low budget accomodation mixed in with the higher end hotels. I loved it.

JoanByers Fri 08-Feb-13 07:58:47

I hated Sharm, really horrible people there.

HintofBream Fri 08-Feb-13 09:00:20

We stayed at the Sharks Bay Hilton in June 2011 when there was a lot of trouble in Egypt as the revolution was getting underway. It was a quick cheapie week, made even cheaper because a lot of people were steering clear of Egypt so prices were rock bottom. At no point did we feel at all insecure. The hotel was fine, the people were delightful, and I would happily go again apart from the fact that I picked up a really terrible stomach infection, albeit probably at the airport - a hell hole - rather than the hotel. Not much of a beach, swimming from a jetty, but a huge pool, good food, excellent rooms.
If you are talking Feb Half term that's one thing, but we found the May/June half term week very hot, and I should imagine August would be intolerable.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Feb-13 09:06:24

Agree with ifancyashandy that any 'hassle' is good natured and cheeky. It's not threatening or bad in any way.

I think people that object to this need to open their minds a little bit. These people are working to try and feed their families, they are not picking on you personally just for the sake of annoying you.

I know qualified doctors in Egypt that work 16 hour days as waiters and still manage to keep a smile on their faces. They are doing what they have to do to survive, and the vast majority of Egyptian people I have met are very intelligent, compassionate people with a great sense of humour.

They have a strong work ethic because they don't have the luxury option we have of claiming benefits to survive. They have a 'can do' attitude and I think there's a lot of British people that could learn a lot from Egyptian attitudes.

In my experience, Egyptians have respect for women, and especially for disabled people, in much greater quantities than I see displayed in this country.

QOD Fri 08-Feb-13 09:26:41

We stayed at the other Hilton the other side of the road, newer and a bit more secure.
Sharm dreams resort .. We were a bit worried beforehand about how you had to cross the road, grassy area in middle so you can do it in two parts, but infact there are loads of old fashioned sleeping policemen on the roads so all the traffic slowed to a crawl and you could safely cross.

We did walk over and through the Sharks bay one, one big difference we found was that yes it had the benefit of being beach front, but it wasn't actually very secure.
Anyone could walk thru the walkways and come into the hotel area although the security did chase off obvious hawkers.

We were slightly concerned before we flew (December 12) as a bomb plot had just been thwarted, but the dreams resort was 100% secure, guards at gates and no one non staff or resident could get in, no hawkers. Would leave camera and phone by pool and swim, whereas couldn't do that at the sharks.

We did get harassed at the shops, you should be ok with your dh though.

I loved it and will go again ALTHOUGH I wouldn't take my 14 yr old timid dd with me as she freaks out at the attention (I went with my mum)

QOD Fri 08-Feb-13 09:33:59

Oh oh and I've been before too with dd and mum but a secure complex where we only left for specific trips to Cairo etc, that was Hurgharda.
You have to use alcohol gel EVERY single time you handle money and before eating and you'll be fine, never a twinge of tummy trouble.

expatinscotland Fri 08-Feb-13 09:38:36

He's barking. If you can't afford it, why not look for an alternative?

BegoniaBampot Fri 08-Feb-13 09:48:07

Cloudsandtrees - have you travelled through counties like Egypt and Turkey on your own or without a male companion? You can't generalise on all Egyptians etc but to say they have more respect for women is crazy. Have you any idea what it's like to be a lone woman and have you experienced the harrassement and sexual assault which is through the roof.

niceguy2 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:25:14

People on here have dismissed security concerned based on anecdotal 'evidence' of their own experience in Egypt........The FOC doesn't issue warnings lightly

Firstly I would say that people have dismissed security concerns having been there and seen the situation first hand for themselves. And they have felt safe enough that they are now happy to recommend it to others. The troubles are far far away. The equivalent would have been for people to say "oooooh don't travel to Edinburgh, they had riots in London. It's dangerous!"

The FOC website shows clearly the parts of Egypt you should avoid. Sharm is not one of them.

Having been a regular traveller to Egypt I'd have to say that the tourist parts are safe. As for food poisoning, if you eat at reputable restaurants, drink bottled water and bottled beers then you will be fine. But I always do that when travelling anyway.

The main centre of trouble now is Tahrir Sq in Cairo where the after Friday prayer riot is almost a regular fixture. As a colleague of mine told me when I asked him how he felt about the troubles. "We wake up, we go to work, we come home. Life goes on."

The main problem I have with Sharm is there's not actually a hell of a lot to do there.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Feb-13 10:26:21

I have traveled in Egypt on my own, not Turkey though. I have experienced bad attitudes for being female, but not significantly more so than I have from men in this country.

I do have a couple of female friends that live in Egypt that wear wedding rings although they are not married, so I do know that some bad attitudes exist, but I don't think that are as widespread as some believe. I don't think I have experienced the worst of it because I look Arabian, and on the whole I have had very good experiences of Egyptian people.

cantspel Fri 08-Feb-13 11:36:17

I have been to egypt many times and am one of the mad types who go in august as i love the heat.

I am not a lover of sharm. It is a purpose built tourist resort. Egyptians men come from the major cities of luxor, cairo and Alexandra to work there so there are no locals as such. You will find very few women working in the hotels and the one's that do are either european or Coptic from alex.

Naama bay is a hell hole and you are just seen as a walking wallet to be fleeced. Men will try to drag you into their shops and restraunts. i have had them try dragging my son's in so i would follow and pull at my arm. plus they will often try to lock the door once you are in the shop.
The young men who work there are sleazy and i have been touched up in a toy shop of all places when shopping alone with my sons.
These young men are not how every egyptian behaves but the tourist resorts are not full of your average hard working egyptian. They attract the more base element who are just looking to make easy money and many tourists are an easy mark.
These men are the ones who service the older european ladies looking for fun and probably make more money doing so than an the professional classes. The Egyptian economy is all squ wif as a sleazy waiter in a tourist hotel is making more in tips form stupid brits than a doctor.

I love Egypt. It is a country rich in history and culture but you wont find that in sharm or any tourist resort.

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