South Sinai Governorate

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South Sinai Governorate
Governadorat de Sinai del sud.png
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South Sinai in Egypt.svg
South Sinai Governorate on the map of Egypt
Coordinates: 29°03′N33°50′E / 29.05°N 33.83°E / 29.05; 33.83 Coordinates: 29°03′N33°50′E / 29.05°N 33.83°E / 29.05; 33.83
CountryFlag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Seat El Tor (capital)
  GovernorKhaled Fouda Saddiq Mohammed [1]
  Total33,140 km2 (12,800 sq mi)
 (January 2018)
  Total104,000 [2]
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
HDI (2017)0.701 [3]

South Sinai Governorate (Arabic : محافظة جنوب سيناءMuḥāfẓah Janūb Saīnāʾ) is the least populated governorate of Egypt. It is located in the east of the country, encompassing the southern half of the Sinai Peninsula. Saint Catherine's Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox Church monastery and UNESCO World Heritage site of world renown, is located in the central part of the governorate.

Governorates of Egypt Top tier of the countrys jurisdiction hierarchy

For administrative purposes, Egypt is divided into twenty-seven governorates. Egyptian governorates are the top tier of the country's jurisdiction hierarchy. A governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion. Most governorates have a population density of more than one thousand per km², while the three largest have a population density of less than two per km².

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in the northeast corner of Africa, whose territory in the Sinai Peninsula extends beyond the continental boundary with Asia, as traditionally defined. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Sinai Peninsula peninsula in the Red Sea

The Sinai Peninsula or simply Sinai is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 600,000 people. Administratively, the vast majority of the area of the Sinai Peninsula is divided into two governorates: the South Sinai Governorate and the North Sinai Governorate. Three other governorates span the Suez Canal, crossing into African Egypt: Suez Governorate on the southern end of the Suez Canal, Ismailia Governorate in the center, and Port Said Governorate in the north.


Municipal divisions

The governorate is divided into the following municipal divisions for administrative purposes with a total estimated population as of July 2017 of 102,507. [4] [5]

Municipal Divisions
Anglicized nameNative nameArabic transliterationPopulation
(July 2017 Est.)
Abu Radis (incl. Abu Zenima)قسم أبو رديسAbū Radīs incl. Abū Zanīmah16,737Kism (urban and rural parts)
El Torقسم الطورAṭ-Ṭūr39,113Kism (urban and rural parts)
Dahabقسم دهبDahab2,942Kism (urban and rural parts)
Nuweibaقسم نويبعNuwaybi'a7,280Kism (urban and rural parts)
Ras Sidrقسم رأس سدرRas Sidr16,480Kism (urban and rural parts)
Saint Catherineقسم سانت كاترينSānt Kātirīn4,560Kism (urban and rural parts)
Sharm El Sheikh 1قسم أول شرم الشيخSharm ash-Shaykh 113,232Kism (fully urban)
Sharm El Sheikh 2قسم ثان شرم الشيخSharm ash-Shaykh 21,445Kism (urban and rural parts)
Tabaقسم شرطة طاباShurṭah Ṭābā718Kism (fully rural)


The governorate has been the site of several terrorist attacks. In 1985, a mass murder occurred in the Ras Burqa resort and killed 8 people (7 Israeli tourists and 1 Egyptian policeman). The 2004 Sinai bombings that targeted tourist hotels in and around Nuweiba killed 34 people and wounded over 170. In 2005, Sharm El Sheikh was hit by a terrorist attack. 88 people were killed, the majority of them Egyptians, and over 200 were wounded, at that time making it the deadliest terrorist action in the country's history (exceeding the Luxor massacre of 1997, which killed 62 people). [6] 2006 saw the Dahab bombings, which killed 23 people and wounded 80.

Ras Burqa massacre

The Ras Burqa massacre was a mass shooting in 1985 on Israeli vacationers in Ras Burqa, a beach resort area in the Sinai peninsula, in which seven, including four children, were killed by Egyptian soldier Suleiman Khater.

2004 Sinai bombings

The 2004 Sinai bombings were three bomb attacks targeting tourist hotels in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, on 7 October 2004. The attacks left 34 people dead and 171 injured.

Nuweiba coastal town in South Sinai, Egypt

Nuweiba is a coastal town in the eastern part of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Located on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Sinai insurgency, although happening mainly in the neighboring North Sinai Governorate, has occasionally spilled over to South Sinai. In February 2014, a tourist bus was attacked in Taba. The perpetrators killed the Egyptian bus driver and three South Korean tourists.

Sinai insurgency conflict, starting 23 February 2011, ignited by Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai insurgency is an ongoing conflict in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, between Islamist militants and Egyptian security forces, which has included attacks on civilians. The insurgency began after the start of the Egyptian Crisis, which saw the overthrow of longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in the Egyptian revolution of 2011.

2014 Taba bus bombing

The 2014 Taba bus bombing was a terrorist attack on a tourist coach in Taba, Egypt on 16 February 2014. The bus had been parked, waiting to cross into Israel at the Taba Border Crossing, when a lone suicide bomber entered the open bus and detonated his explosives. Four people – three South Koreans and the Egyptian bus driver were killed, and 17 others injured.

Taba, Egypt City in South Sinai, Egypt

Taba is a small Egyptian town near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Taba is the location of Egypt's busiest border crossing with neighbouring Eilat, Israel. Taba is a frequent vacation spot for Egyptians and tourists, especially those from Israel on their way to other destinations in Egypt or as a weekend getaway. It is the northernmost resort of Egypt's Red Sea Riviera.


According to population estimates, in 2015 the majority of residents in the governorate lived in urban areas, with an urbanization rate of 51.1%. Out of an estimated 167,426 people residing in the governorate, 85,502 people lived in urban areas as opposed to only 81,924 in rural areas. [7] The Bedouin inhabit the Mount Sinai area. Due to poor accessibility, at times the orchards in the mountains have served to hide narcotics smugglers in the region. [8]

Bedouin Group of Arab nomads who have historically inhabited the Arabian and Syrian Deserts

The Bedouin or Bedu are a grouping of nomadic Arab people who have historically inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and the Levant. The English word bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people. Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East. They are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans, and share a common culture of herding camels and goats. The vast majority of Bedouin adhere to Islam, although there are some fewer numbers of Arab Christian Bedouins present in the Fertile Crescent.

Mount Sinai Mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt

Mount Sinai, also known as Mount Moses, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai, which is considered a holy site by the Abrahamic religions. Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus and other books of the Bible, and the Quran. According to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.


Saint Catherine's Monastery Katharinenkloster Sinai BW 2.jpg
Saint Catherine's Monastery

Saint Catherine's Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox Church monastery and UNESCO World Heritage site of world renown, is located in central part of the governorate, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, in the city of Saint Catherine, Egypt. Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. [9] The site contains the world's oldest continually operating library, possessing many unique books including the Syriac Sinaiticus and, until 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus. [10] [11]

Saint Catherines Monastery Greek Orthodox monastery in South Sinai, Egypt

Saint Catherine's Monastery, officially "Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai", lies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, near the town of Saint Catherine, Egypt. The monastery is named after Catherine of Alexandria.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

Saint Catherine, Egypt City in South Sinai, Egypt

Saint Catherine is a city in the South Sinai Governorate. It is located at the outskirts of the El Tur Mountains at an elevation of 1,586 m (5,203 ft), 120 km (75 mi) away from Nuweiba, at the foot of Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine's Monastery. As of 1994, its population was 4,603.

Raithu Monastery is situated in El Tor. It was built on a site where some 40 monks were massacred in the 4th or 5th century. [12]

Cities and towns


Related Research Articles

Sharm El Sheikh City in South Sinai, Egypt

Sharm El Sheikh is an Egyptian city on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 73,000 as of 2015. Sharm El Sheikh is the administrative hub of Egypt's South Sinai Governorate, which includes the smaller coastal towns of Dahab and Nuweiba as well as the mountainous interior, St. Catherine and Mount Sinai. The city and holiday resort is a significant centre for tourism in Egypt, while also attracting many international conferences and diplomatic meetings.

Beni Suef Governorate Governorate in Egypt

Beni Suef is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is situated in the center of the country.

Sohag Governorate Governorate in Egypt

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North Sinai Governorate Governorate in Egypt

North Sinai Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country, and encompasses the northern half of the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered in the north by the Mediterranean Sea, in the south by South Sinai Governorate, in the west by Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez Governorates, and in the east by the Gaza Strip and Israel. Its capital is the city of El Arish. A governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion.

The 2005 Sharm El Sheikh bombings were a series of terrorist attacks perpetrated by an Islamist organization on 23 July 2005 in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. Eighty-eight people were killed as a result of the attacks, the majority of them Egyptians, and over 200 were injured, making the attack the deadliest terrorist action in Egypt's history, until it was surpassed by the 2017 Sinai attack.

Mitla Pass In the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt

The Mitla Pass is a 480-metre-high (1,570 ft) pass snaking 32 kilometres (20 mi) in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, wedged between mountain ranges to the north and south. It is located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Suez. It is the monotonous ride through here and Nekhel, a wilderness that provides the shortest route between Nuweiba and Cairo. Buses carrying tourist to Mount Sinai, St. Catherine's Monastery, and Feiran Oasis travel through here.

Red Sea Riviera

The Red Sea Riviera, Egypt's eastern coastline along the Red Sea, consists of resort cities on the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and along the eastern coast of mainland Egypt, south of the Gulf of Suez. The combination of a favorable climate, warm sea, thousands of kilometers of shoreline and abundant natural and archaeological points of interest makes this stretch of Egypt’s coastline a popular national and international tourist destination. There are numerous National Parks along the Red Sea Riviera, both underwater and on land. Desert and marine life are protected by a number of laws, and visitors may be subject to heavy fines for not abiding.

2006 Dahab bombings

The Dahab bombings of 24 April 2006 were three bomb attacks on the Egyptian resort city of Dahab, in the Sinai Peninsula. The resort town is popular with Western tourists and Egyptians alike during the holiday season.

The Sinai bus crash was a bus accident in the Sinai Peninsula in August 2006 which left twelve Israeli tourists dead. The tourists, who were Israeli Arabs, were riding a chartered bus as part of a convoy of eight buses carrying Arab tourists. The bus overturned and landed upside down between Nuweiba and Taba. The survivors claimed the driver intentionally crashed the bus and the incident was a terrorist attack.

Targets of terrorism in Egypt have included government officials, police, tourists and the Christian minority. Many attacks have been linked to Islamic extremism, and terrorism increased in the 1990s when the Islamist movement al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya targeted high-level political leaders and killed hundreds in its pursuit of implementing traditional Sharia law in Egypt.

Taba Border Crossing

The Taba Border Crossing also known as the Menachem Begin Crossing is an international border crossing between Taba, Egypt, and Eilat, Israel.

Minya Governorate Governorate in Egypt

Minya Governorate is one of the governorates of Upper Egypt. Its capital city, Minya, is located on the left bank of the Nile River.

Arab Bridge Maritime Company was founded in November 1985, to connect commercial routes in Asia and Africa. The company was founded by the governments of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.

Terrorism and tourism in Egypt

Terrorism and tourism in Egypt is when terrorist attacks are specifically aimed at Egypt's tourists. These attacks often end in fatalities and injuries and has an immediate and sometimes lasting effect on the industry. Attacks take many forms; blowing up an airplane carrying tourists, drive-by shootings of tourists, knife attacks on tourists and suicide explosions in a location where tourists are congregated. On the timeline of these events, the 1997 Luxor Massacre stands out - 62 tourists were ambushed and killed.


  1. "رسمياً.. المحافظون الجدد ونوابهم يؤدون اليمين الدستورية أمام الرئيس". Almasry Alyoum (in Arabic). 30 August 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  2. "Population Estimates By Governorate ( Urban /Rural ) 1/1/2018". Archived from the original on 2018-11-02. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  3. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. "South Sinai Governorates Subdivisions". Archived from the original on 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  5. "Markazes of Egypt". Gwillim Law. Archived from the original on 2017-10-19. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  6. "Bombers kill 88 at Egyptian resort". The Guardian. 23 July 2005. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  7. "Population Estimates By Sex & Governorate 1/1/2015" (PDF). CAPMAS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  8. Marx, Emanuel (30 June 2013). Bedouin of Mount Sinai: An Anthropological Study of their Political Economy. Berghahn Books. p. 74. ISBN   978-0-85745-932-9.
  9. "Saint Catherine Area". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  10. Schrope, Mark (1 June 2015). "Medicine's Hidden Roots in an Ancient Manuscript". NY Times. Archived from the original on 2015-06-01. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  11. Jules Leroy; Peter Collin (2004). Monks and Monasteries of the Near East. Gorgias Press LLC. pp. 93–94. ISBN   978-1-59333-276-1.
  12. El-Din, Morsi Saad; Taher, Ayman; Romano, Luciano (1 February 1998). Sinai: The Site & the History : Essays. NYU Press. p. 114. ISBN   978-0-8147-2203-9. Archived from the original on 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2016-11-07.