Originally published in The Sunday Telegraph, 9 February 2013
It’s the Egyptian destination that drew more than 300,000 Britons last year to its combination of sand, sunshine and scuba diving, in Red Sea waters that are clear, calm and warm all year round.
Its 100-plus hotels can accommodate 200,000 visitors a week, willing to pay between £60 and £120 a night for a double room in a luxurious beachside location, all set in the dramatic desert landscape at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Yet just 40 years ago Sharm el-Sheikh was little more than a sleepy fishing village, with a handful of guesthouses and other tourist facilities erected after the Israelis occupied the Sinai peninsula during the Six Day War.
The transformation of the barren stretch of desert coastline into the glittering resort of palm trees and pools that stands today was due in large part…
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