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 !

LongWayRound Thu 14-Feb-13 20:34:47

Just watching this video, and finding it hard to square with the generalisation that "Egyptians [read: Egyptian men] have respect for women" - presumably only as long as they stay indoors. On the other hand, it gives me great respect for the Egyptian women with the courage to speak out against abuse which is so deeply engrained.

As a tourist in a package holiday resort, you won't be confronted with this, but it's worth bearing in mind.

BegoniaBampot Fri 08-Feb-13 14:04:03

People say it is safe, the problem I have us that they were actually targeting tourists, it wasn't just people unlucky to be caught up in an internal conflict. Know the past government tried to really clamp down on that but not sure how successful it was and what the new government's take on it is.

As someone else said many Muslim countries are becoming much more hard line now than they were in the past. The fundamentalists seem to be gaining more power and control. I have Turkish and Malaysian friends who are worried about the changes they have seen in their countries in the past few years.

We went there on holiday (Hurghada and Luxor) a long time ago pre-kids. I quite enjoyed it, and we might have gone back, only other places are more appealing...usually France but considering a long haul at the moment, Egypt isn't on the list.

The water at Easter was cold. Pool was freezing (and that was with wet suits on), and the weather on the coast was not perfect (warm in land).

6 months after we went, there was a massacre at the Temple of Hepshetsut (sp?) near Luxor. We'd visited it, and it had seemed perfectly safe. I guess that the 60 odd people who died had thought the same thing.

I do appreciate that most of the troubles seem to be in Cairo, but I wouldn't want to go to Egypt at the moment given how women are treated and given the recent actions of some members of the police.

OP - I would second others, and wait for the summer. France of Spain would be great later in the year.

ubik Fri 08-Feb-13 12:56:55

Sunrise in the desert is truly magical. I loved the way the stray dogs would it together to watch the sun come up. It is an amazing place but Cairo is not for the faint hearted.

It's a shame - look at film of Cairo in the 1970s and none of the women have their heads covered and it looks like a Mediterranean city. Now all women appear to have at least their heads covered and attitudes have changed.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Fri 08-Feb-13 12:45:37

The politics of the place would really put me off.

I had stones thrown at me in Egypt.

My husband was arrested on the border coming by local ferry from Jordan, and they would not let me see him, they would not let me get my passport from him, or any money. (He had our passports and money) They threatened to deport him and send him back to Poland. After 4 hours they were able to understand that he was a British Resident, and they let him go.

I lost count of all the times I had my arse pinched, my arms stroked, my neck touched, a hand up my back inside my blouse.

I wore long linen trousers, long sleeved blouses, and a lose (out of africa style) scarf covering my hair. And I was still treated like a piece of dirt.

But, I still want to go back when the kids are older, and the region more peaceful.

I loved camping in Egypt. Seeing the sun set, and raise over the dessert was a sight to behold. And running around at night looking for cover to sneak a shower with water bottles was quite an experience.

ubik Fri 08-Feb-13 12:28:10

It's interesting about Dahab

Dp and I backpacked around Egypt nearly 20 years ago and at that time Dahab was full of junkies, i mean proper addicts. It was a very strange place, like some sort of wild west frontier. We also went to a place called Tarabin which was much nicer.

When we got to Sharm el Sheik, to cross to Israel, It was this enormous building site, with miles of beaches and huge empty hotels. It was weird.

ScaredySquirrel Fri 08-Feb-13 12:21:27

we had one bad experience in Egypt when we were there last October. We walked to the railway station in Cairo late on Friday afternoon and there were some very rowdy young men out. Nothing happened, but we felt threatened and my 12 yo dd felt scared. However, she had refused to take my advice about covering up and was wearing a skimpy sundress. I would go to Cairo again actually even now, but would just avoid tahrir square and be a bit more cautious on Fridays. I don't think the FCO website advises to stay away from Egypt.

I have been to Egypt several times. It is definitely more conservative now than it was in the past. You have to cover up. But I don't think these concerns apply to Sharm. I've been to Dahab and would also prefer that to Sharm. I do think you would be fine going to that resort with your children - they are young and would enjoy it much more than the pyramids etc anyway. The family I met with 5 young boys (I often wonder if she is on here!) had gone to the 4 Seasons and had a fantastic time.

JoanByers Fri 08-Feb-13 12:18:23

Surely Israel is safer than England?

<googles Peckham crime rates>

Kungfutea Fri 08-Feb-13 12:17:41

I think many posters posting haven't a clue about the dangers and threats in Sinai. It's a completely different kettle of fish to what's happening in Egypt proper and far more of a threat to the average tourist to whats going on in Cairo.

There is a reason why Israelis, who used to flock en-masse to Sinai, have completely stopped coming. It's not safe - and this is in comparison to Israel, not England.

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Feb-13 11:45:04

ML hi, Hissy had a very bad time of it in Egypt IIRC her posts about her marriage etc, certainly more extreme than the experience most unhappy expats make.

I went to Sharm in March and the water was cold. It was also, I thought, a fairly boring place for a holiday. Dh dives a lot so he quite enjoyed that aspect of it. If you don't dive, there isn't really that much to do. We have been to Egypt twice but this was before the recent civil unrest began, so we were able to travel about and I am glad we went because we are all interested in ancient Egypt and it was nice to mix the sight-seeing with some quiet days at the beach/pool. If it was just two weeks in the hotel, I wouldn't personally fancy it.

I wouldn't go there atm though. Perhaps if you travel a bit later, the Canary Islands?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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)

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.

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.

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

I hated Sharm, really horrible people there.

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.

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.

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'.

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

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