Italian influence expands at Camel Dive Club & Hotel
A few weeks after opening Vanilla, Sharm El Sheikh’s premier ice cream shop, Camel goes Italian again. Just next door the stylish Don Panino serves delicious home made wraps, paninis, tramezzinis, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and salads with an Italian-international twist. “This is our latest Italian child”, says Camel owner Hesham, “with Pomodoro and Vanilla being the demanding parents. When it comes to delicious food with genuine ingredients you simply can’t beat the Italians.” In order to find the perfect name for the new restaurant, Camel Dive Club started a little internal competition among its team. In the end it was Don Panino which got most of the votes, inspired by Don Corleone, Marlon Brando’s character in The Godfather. Whether you go for Smoked Salmon Wrap, Pesto Italian Panini or the classic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, food-craving divers and non-divers alike can order the Don’s fresh food and drinks at the counter to take away, or to enjoy in the modern outside seating area overlooking Na’ama Bay’s buzzing main boulevard.
The Deco Boys' story
It all started in 1998 when Thomas Chabanne was a dive guide and bonded with one of his divers, Steve Turley. Both of them were deeply into guitars although “Steve was a better musician than I was. But our minds clicked instantly as we laughed about the same things”, Thomas admits today. Together they came up with their first song: “The Shamandoora Blues”. “It always started the same way: we had a good laugh about the odd ends of diving in Sharm and it ended with a song”, Thomas says. In 2000 the “Deco Boys” had their first real gig in Camel Bar, an improvised session of 7 songs on the roof. It was not left unnoticed: South African Chris, former Camel Bar Manager, asked for more and he was very persistent. Thomas and Steve went diving and made mental notes on everything they could use for their songs. “Sharm and the diving business was an endless source for our inspiration”, says Thomas and “we had the time of our life: For one year we played intensively in our second home, the Camel Bar. Things were a bit different back then. With no mobile phones around, one had to rely on other means of communication. One day I was up on the boat´s bridge when I heard my girlfriend shouting over the radio´s channel 14: `Tonight get to Camel, everybody, it´s the Deco Boys performing!´ Our song `Radio 14´ was born.“
Steve left Sharm in the end of 2001, travelled to the UK then to South Est Asia. Then Thomas left in 2002. Funny enough, Steve came back in 2003 and tried to revive the Deco Boys with guitarist Ricki, but it wasn´t the same. Finally Steve went to the UK, got married and now has two kids, for one of whom Thomas is godfather. Thomas came back in April this year, mainly to teach Techdiving and instantly was welcomed by his old folks: “The Deco Boys are back”. Not surprisingly, Thomas rigged up his guitar and played to a cheering crowd in Camel Bar twice in the past month. “I love doing that”, he says “it is always different. Since we never expected the whole thing to get this big I am still surprised how well people are responding to our lyrics”, and “I have hundreds of ideas about new songs!” Soon Thomas will play a major gig in Camel Bar at Camel Hotel.
PADI Vice President visits Camel Dive Club
Mark Caney, PADI Vice President of Training, Education and Membership stopped by Camel Dive Club on August 13th to inform the Camel crew about the newest technical developments for digital underwater photography. “Today’s cameras provide a whole world of new possibilities” Caney said. He then visited Sharm’s reefs to test different cameras provided by Canon. Later the party chilled out with a dinner at El Fanar.
The new PADI Digital Underwater Photography Course offered at Camel Dive Club provides insider information on proper buoyancy and photography techniques and may be completed during two dives. If you are diving with Camel and just want to practice without doing the course, digital underwater cameras are available to rent.
Vanilla now open in Naama Bay
Cool down at Vanilla, now open at Camel Hotel in Naama Bay. Vanilla’s specialty is traditional home made Italian ice cream, created by Chef Claudio Pastrone. Whether you prefer creamy chocolate gianduia, nougat and pistachio or the tangy fruits of mango, strawberry and lemon, there are over 20 flavours to suit everyone’s taste. Each one is carefully blended from fresh milk, cream, fruits and the finest Italian ingredients.
Also on offer at Vanilla, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, iced coffees and milkshakes to refresh and revitalize. Accompany your drink with a choice of savoury and sweet pastries. Freshly baked bread, baguettes and rolls are available to take away.
Visit Vanilla for a perfect way to cool off, relax and indulge a little after a hot day on the boat or on the beach. Located underneath the Camel Bar, along the main pedestrian promenade in Naama Bay, Vanilla opens every day from 15:00-02:00.
Camel sponsors free diving record holder
Sharm resident Federico Mana became the new Italian free-diving record holder in the AIDA International competition held in Sharm on July 20-21. To win, Federico reached 52 m in just 2 minutes, free-diving without fins or line. Hesham Gabr, owner of Camel Dive Club & Hotel sponsored him for the event.
The competition was organized by Only1 Apnea Team and Apnea Academy Red Sea. The disciplines were “constant weight without fins” and “constant weight with fins”, where the divers have to reach a predefined depth by swimming only. A reference line exists as a guide only and cannot be used during the descent or ascent.
Federico’s record dive has made him the first Italian to reach 52 meters in this discipline. As he broke the surface, he was smiling and cheering. He thanked Guido Profumo, Giusy D and his sponsor, Hesham Gabr for their support and encouragement. Federico is now preparing for the Worldwide Apnea Championship, due to take place in Sharm in November. For further information, see www.federicomana.com.
Summer specials extended to August 31st
If you haven’t already booked your summer holiday but want plenty of sunshine, relaxation, friendly atmosphere and great diving in the Red Sea, why not check out our special offers? Prices start from Euro 310 for 7 nights at Camel Hotel plus your choice of guided boat diving, PADI Open Water or Advanced Course. The good news is the diving is spectacular this time of year with warm waters and schools of fish. The great news is this offer has been extended to Aug 31st. So don’t delay, click on special offers to book!
Camel introduces Akram, our new Bar Manager
Camel Bar enjoyed celebrations and emotional farewells last month. Camel Bar Manager, aka Super hero, Mike, left Sharm for new adventures in Africa. His successor, Akram Al Sharif joins Carol and Brendan running the bars.
Akram is no stranger to the party scene, with a background in entertainment public relations. From 2001-2005 he worked as a partner in the Cairo Jazz Club, before moving to Sharm. He helped organized Camel Dive Club’s 20th anniversary party in December 2006, the biggest party ever held at Camel.
Camel’s legacy will live on. As new Bar Manager, Akram plans to “continue providing guests and locals with the best service and atmosphere in town. Camel’s party nights, such as Thursday Night Live will keep running, along with special drink promotions and the latest sport coverage.”
We wish Akram the best of luck in his new position! Camel Bar
Hammerhead Sharks return to Jackson Reef
We all look forward to the summer months here in Sharm. July through to September is without a doubt the best time of year for diving and spotting big pelagic fish. With water temperatures of 27º C and up to 35 meters visibility, now is the time to get your dive gear on and explore the Red Sea at its best!
So far, a school of up to 20 hammerhead sharks were seen behind the back of Jackson Reef, Straits of Tiran. A dive group, led by Amer, one of Camel’s dive guides, jumped just behind the Lara wreck, waiting in anticipation for these beautiful but gentle creatures to emerge. It didn’t take too long for the group to spot their distinctive features swimming gracefully below them at about 30 meters and some were as big as 4 meters long!
There is an abundance of marine life out there, so don’t waste anymore time, experience the warm tropical waters for yourself. Daily Diving with Camel Dive Club