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Sharm el Sheikh Egypt
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Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

January 17, 2006
This is a Landsat thematic mapper image of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in 1984.

Located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula on the southern tip, Sharm el-Sheikh overlooks the very important shipping route of the Straits of Tiran.

Its geographical location made it a strategic naval choke point that was the cause of much military conflict. Its closure prevented Israeli shipping from entering and leaving the Red Sea. In 1979, after thirty years of bloody conflict and five all-out wars, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. Since the mid-1980's, Sharm el-Sheikh has made the transition from stark military outpost to tourist hot spot.

Before 1967, Sharm el-Sheikh didn't even appear on most maps, and it was politics rather than diving that first brought the world's attention to this tiny port. Situated right at the approach to the Strait of Tiran, Sharm became famous when Egypt's President Nasser decided to blockade the straits, thus cutting off Israel's access to the Red Sea. The direct result of the blockade was the Arab-Israeli conflict of June 5th, 1967, and Sharm el- Sheikh only began to grow in 1968, under Israeli occupation. Over the ensuing years it gradually began to attract divers, travelers, and resort guests, but its strategic importance is still evident.

The grey rectangles visible the image is the Sharm el-Sheikh airport which has undergone a notable expansion due to the growth of the tourist industry.

The town's large southwestern inlet, Sharm el-Sheikh bay, remains a military harbor.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Landsat
  • Instrument: Thematic Mapper
  • Acquisition: 21-Aug-1984
  • Center coordinates: lat. 27.78, lon. 34.20