Known as Egypt's beachside playground, Sharm el-Sheikh sits on the Red Sea at the bottom tip of the Sinai Peninsula. It has hosted numerous peace conferences and thus is known as the City of Peace (albeit with very tight security). That all said, thousands flock annually to this fun-in-the-sun destination (37 miles of beach, for instance) that has more than 150 resorts to choose from – and which makes convening in Sharm el-Sheikh event venues so easy.
The Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (SSH), at the north end of Sharm el-Sheikh but less than a mile from some of its resorts, has regular service from numerous European cities, although there is no direct service from North America. It serves 5.5 million passengers a year, making it the second-busiest airport in Egypt after the Cairo International Airport.
There are no stand-alone convention venues in Sharm el-Sheikh; the nearest to that is the Maritim Sharm el-Sheikh International Congress Center, which can host events of up to 2,000 persons in such areas as its 22,000-square-foot exhibition hall and 11 meeting rooms. It is connected to the 337-room Maritim Hotel & Resort Royal Peninsula.
Hotels able to host excellent meetings and functions include the 835-room Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort, Villas & Spa, which has the Al Pasha Grand Ballroom, among other spaces; the 629-room Hilton Sharks Bay Resort, which has meeting space for up to 250 persons; the 471-room Hyatt Regency Sharm el-Sheikh Resort, which has three meeting rooms and the Grand Ballroom; the 423-room Concorde El Salam Hotel Sharm el-Sheikh, which has six function spaces, including the St. Tropez Ballroom for 250 persons; and the 401-room Savoy Sharm el-Sheikh, which, among other space, has the Egypt Hall for up to 1,400 persons.
Sharm el-Sheikh is in many ways a made-up place, one large resort, so it certainly does not have the breadth of venues that Cairo has. In the resort section of Sharm el-Sheikh, there is little independent function space, so you'll be back in the hotels, even though most of those hotels compete to be as un-Egyptian as they can. Choices of interesting function space include the two cool choices in the Sahara heat, the ice rink and the ice bar, both at Soho Square, which nestles between the aforementioned Savoy Sharm el-Sheikh and 300-room Sierra Sharm el-Sheikh hotels.
For local dining venues in Sharm el-Sheikh, go to Tam Tam where it is possible to eat on the covered roof, or Abou El Sid, which is above the Hard Rock Cafe (both in Naama Bay). Good hotel choices include Jeita, and Egyptian restaurant at the 331-room Radisson Blu Hotel; Arabesque at the 136-room Four Seasons Sharm el-Sheikh, and Shish Bish Restaurant, with decided Egyptian overtones, at the 401-room Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort.
Sharm el-Sheikh's nightlife is legendary, which most attendees will appreciate. For nature lovers, Ras Mohammad has been saved as a national park for wildlife.
Note that U.S. citizens do not require a visa to visit this part of Egypt if the trips lasts 14 days or fewer.