Sinai Divers announces temporary closure
Sinai Divers, one of the founding centres of dive tourism in Sharm el Sheikh, has announced that it is to close from 1 April on a temporary basis until flights return to the resort.
It was set up and run by Rolf Schmidt and his wife Petra Roeglin and has been one of the leading dive centres in the area.
The said in an open letter this week:
'We are so sorry to inform you, that we will have to close temporarily our diving centre in Sharm el Sheikh as of the 1st of April 2016.
'It was an extremely difficult decision for us to take and we hesitated for a long time to make this announcement. During the past three years, the economical situation in Sinai and especially in Sharm el Sheikh has become increasingly difficult. Since the incident last October the situation became even worse with all direct flights being cancelled.
'Many hotels and diving centres had to close down in the last few months. We were hopeful that the direct flights from Europe would resume at the end of March, but unfortunately that is not the case. The major tour operators will not operate any flights again before November 2016. Without regular and sufficient bookings it became impossible for us to continue our daily operation.
'We will inform you of any changes and should the flights to Sharm restart earlier than expected we will reopen the centre for sure.
'The Sinai Divers Backpacker Centre in Dahab, the Oasis in Marsa Alam and the centre in Aqaba Jordan will continue operating as usual.
'Of course we will stay in touch with you over Facebook and keep you updated with airline news, events happening in and around Sharm and post interesting articles and stories.'
DIVE's correspondent Mark 'Crowley' Russell, a former employee of Sinai Divers said: 'For a centre such as Sinai Divers to shut down their operation – temporary though that might be – signals how desperate the times have become for business in Sharm.
'I am biased because I love the place, and I love that dive centre more than any other that I have ever been to, never mind worked for, and if I could plead with governments and tour operators to reconsider then I would, but there’s not a lot I can do by myself. We need your help – write to the companies, write to DIVE, start petitions, share this article, let’s get the boats out – the Red Sea is waiting.'