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This time last year, we were showing you photos of our boat in Dry Dock. It's surprising how soon a year has passed.
We need to have our boat inspected each year at dry dock. We could leave it 18 months but then we would be in our busy season and we know how much our regular divers enjoy being on MY elite with Captain Yahia, Zenger, Hamada and Ahmed.
Captain Yahia and Zinger are the only members of the crew that work on the boat when in Dry Dock. They organise the local craftsmen, parts and paint etc. We always get a warm welcome form Yahia and Zenger when we arrive to see how they are getting on, and they take so much pride in showing us what they are getting done. This year there are some structural ribs on the starboard bow that need to be renewed and in the middle photo above you can see captain Yahia showing and telling me all about it. He's also breaking it to me gently that it's going to cost loads.
The middle photo is of M.Y. elite after it came out of Dry Dock last year, and on the right is a photo of the new ribs that were replaced on the port bow two years ago.
We look forward so much to getting her back on the water for our divers to enjoy when they come to dive with us.
This year, Elite Diving is one of the official sponsors of the only UK Dive Show. The show is being held on March 4th & 5th 2023 at NAEC Stoneleigh, Kenilworth CV8 2LZ, United Kingdom.
To buy tickets click here
Come and visit Alun, Moyra and G at our stand 224.
How to Get to Stoneleigh
From London / M40. Leave the M40 at junction 15 and head onto the A46 towards Coventry. Follow the signs to Stoneleigh Park main entrance or NAEC on the B4113.
From the M6/M9. Leave the M6 at junction 2 and head onto the A46 towards Warwick or at the end of the M69, head onto the A46 towards Warwick and the M40. Follow the signs to Stoneleigh Park main entrance or NAEC on the B4113.
From the M1 (Northbound). Leave the M1 at junction 17 and join the M45 heading towards Coventry. Pick up the signs for the A45 Coventry (NOT Daventry). Stay on the A45 heading towards the A46, follow the signs to Stoneleigh Park main entrance or NAEC on B4113.
By Bus or Coach
Coventry bus station is 6 miles (10km) away from Stoneleigh Park. Warwick bus station is 9 miles (14km) from Stoneleigh Park.
Royal Leamington Spa. Warwick and Warwick Parkway rail stations are situated on the main London Marylebone line. The Birmingham line stop for the Virgin West Coast Mainline.
London Euston – Coventry services every 30 minutes weekdays.
London Marylebone – Warwick Parkway services every 30 minutes.
Birmingham – Coventry frequent services from Birmingham New Street, Birmingham International and Coventry.
From these mainline stations you will need to take a short taxi ride. Taxi ranks are based at both Warwick Parkway and Coventry stations, which are approximately 5 miles from Stoneleigh Park.
We hope to see you there.
Mark Russell, or Crowley to his friends, is the Senior Correspondent for DIVE Magazine online. He has a wealth of diving experience, especially of Sharm as he worked here for a good while for Sinai Divers. He also did some freelance work with Elite when he first came.
Egypt dive centres hit by currency devaluation
By Mark 'Crowley' Russell
Many dive centres – and other small businesses – in Egypt are suffering devastating financial losses after a massive fall in the value of the Egyptian Pound (LE) in recent months.
The Egyptian Pound was floated – that is, its value made dependent on the supply of, and demand for, the currency – in October 2022, as part of a deal to secure a US$3billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The value of the Egyptian Pound has since fallen dramatically, dropping from just over LE17 to 1 Euro at the start of 2022 to more than LE32:€1 by January 11, 2023.
Egypt, one of the world’s largest importers of wheat from Ukraine – one of the world’s largest exporters – has struggled financially since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which followed swiftly after the huge loss of tourism income during the pandemic.
Since then, soaring global inflation has led to a secondary drop in tourism, of which Russian and Ukrainian tourists made up 30 per cent in 2021, while inflation in Egypt hit 21.9 per cent in December 2022, with food prices rising by up to 37.9 per cent over the year.
The Egyptian Pound has devalued dramatically over the last year (top) and (bottom) fluctuates dramitically by the hour (source: XE Currency)
Payments made to Egyptian businesses in foreign currencies are automatically converted to Egyptian Pounds by the Egyptian banks that receive them, hence a booking for which €1000 was paid in February 2022 would be worth just over €500 to the dive centre today. Should a customer wish to cancel, refunding that amount would cost the dive centre almost double the payment it initially received.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that Egyptian dive businesses pay significant overheads in Euros for dive equipment and staff. Dive centres are essentially having to pay double the salary for half the earnings for bookings made in 2022.
As of the time of writing, the exchange rate remains extremely volatile – a Cairo businessman was quoted by an AFP reporter saying that he ‘sell[s] at one price in the morning, another in the afternoon, and a third at night.’ In the current global financial climate it is impossible to say when the Egyptian markets will stabilise, with some speculating that there may be another significant fall in the currency before it does.
Some European-owned centres will be less affected by the devaluation of the Egyptian Pound, as their bank accounts are registered in Europe and, therefore, are potentially saving some money on payments they need to make in local currencies.
One solution that may help Egyptian-owned businesses, however, is for customers to pay in stable currencies such as Euros, US Dollars and British Pounds when they visit. Dive centres are understandably hesitant to make such a request for fear they might be implicated in the burgeoning currency black market, but a polite enquiry before travelling and carrying at least partial payment in those currencies may have a significant impact on the survival of some of Egypt’s best dive centres.
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If you are not subscribed to DIVE online, we recommend you do. It's free and there's always some very interesting articles about the underwater world all around the globe. To see the above article on DIVE Newsletter, click on the following link https://divemagazine.com/scuba-diving-news/egypt-dive-centres-hit-by-currency-devaluation
It's good news for diving tourists however, your foreign currency such as The British pound, Euro or Dollar, goes even further now when dining out and shopping for local produce, and with our offer of 7 nights B&B and a 5 Day Dive pack including airport transfers for only £350 per person when two people share the same room. A bottle of local Stella Beer costs approx £180 for some very cheap 'Après Diving'.
Uni Sharm Hotel Under New Managment
It gives us great pleasure to announce that the Home of Elite Diving for the last Ten years, Uni Sharm Hotel, is under new management and it has had a face lift.
We haven't recommended people stay in the hotel previously, but now it has been fully refurbished, it is an ideal hotel for a Dive and stay Budget Holiday.
All the bedrooms have en suite with flat screen TV and a fridge. Most of the ground floor rooms have a veranda that gives you access to the pool area.
All the en Suites have everything you need to freshen up after a days diving.
There is new comfortable seating in the spacious lounge, water slides into the pool and a poolside bar which is ideal for some Après Diving socialising. There is also a British bar currently still under refurbishment.
An Example of a package offered is for 7 nights B&B for two divers sharing a twin or double room, a 5 Day Dive Pack and Airport transfers, all for only £350 per person. - Flights not included.
For one person in a single room for 7 nights B&B with a 5 Day Dive package and Airport transfers will be £423. - Flights not included.
We can also tailor a plan to suit your own personal needs i.e. ten nights 8 day Dive Pack, or 14 nights and 10 Day Dive pack etc.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Elite Shark Safari 2023
Due to popular demand, we will be running a Shark Safari again during Summer 2023.
All our other Shark Safari's has been a tremendous success with sightings and encounters of many different species of sharks and other Elasmobranches, saying that, we have had our best ever Summer of hammerhead sightings in Sharm on our daily boat this Spring and Summer.
We are looking at running a Shark Safari during the last week in June and another on the first week of July.
The Itinerary is planned for Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone. The cost approx. £1100 (flights not included)
Diving Cruise (Double/twin Cabin sharing) in full board, water, coffee and tea and planned route to board the BELLA LIVEABOARD.
Diving Program, air / weights / aluminium tank
Food and drinks all inclusive basis (non alcoholic).
Flights to Egypt
National Park Fees
Entry visa to Egypt.
Nitrox 12l or 15l
Equipment rental (We offer equipment for rent for additional charge).
There are two mandatory extra-charges for every guest:
- National Park Fee - 10 EUR per day per person at the moment. 2023 it could be increased by the government.
- Crew tips - recommended 10EUR per day per person.
If you are interested in joining one of our Shark Safari's, let us know which week, end of June or beginning of July.
A Non refundable deposit of £200 will secure your place. First come first served basis.
Please contact: email@example.com
After two years of restrictions due to the Covid Pandemic, SCUBA Diver Magazine and their associates took a big leap of faith to put this Dive Show together. A massive thank you and well done goes out to Mark Evans and his team of Go Diveshow Organisers.
Some of the big names that usually Exhibit were missing, and others were slow enrolling, us being one of them, although we were waiting for The Egyptian Tourist Board to make a decision of showing or not. Once we had that answer which was late in the day, we decided to take a stand of our own.
Being quite tentative ourselves, we just took a small stand with just Moyra and myself planning to man it. However we had a few offers of help which in the end we were very grateful for.
Our good friend and loyal diver Ian Cripps came to help and an awesome job he did telling the people who stopped at our stand about the amazing diving he's had over the years diving with Elite in Sharm. What ever Moyra and I said about our operation and our amazing staff, couldn't top what an actual client of ours was telling people. First hand experience and recommendation is the best form of publicity.
The Show exceeded all expectations. Even the organisers were pleasantly surprised by the turn out. Apart from the tickets that were presold to enter the show, there were far more than anticipated who turned up on the day and paid at the door.
Some guest speakers drew some good crowds to their presentations but we were too busy talking to people that were looking for diving in Sharm to go and sit to listen to any presentation that was going on. We were even too busy to take any further photos after the show started!!
We were very pleased with the response from the Diving Public and many have already booked with us to dive in Sharm over the coming months.
This Years Go Dive Prize draw Winner is Nigel Troth from Southport. Nigel is a very keen diver and St Helens Rugby Supporter. You can see him above holding a porthole which was acquired off the wreck of The Englishman.
Nigel has dived in Sharm many times previously, however, it will be the first time with Elite Diving. We look forward to giving him and his buddy a warm welcome into the Elite Family. Congratulations Nigel.
Bookings are coming in thick and fast. If you're thinking of joining us to dive, please let us know so we can manage our diary and so we can plan to give everyone the service we are well known for. It's great to see people's enthusiasm to get back diving in Sharm.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.
NAEC Stoneleigh has been announced as the new venue for the underwater exhibition Go Diving.
The Go Diving Show is a trade and consumer scuba diving exhibition. Hosting by Andy Torbet, our 2022 event will see the return of Steve Backshall, Monty Halls, Alex Mustard and a host of other local diving hero's to talk about all things diving. The show moves to a new venue at NAEC Stoneleigh, just 10 miles from its previous venue. The new space offers more exhibition space across 2 purpose-built halls, with 19,000 free parking spaces, better facilities, and no clash with rugby events.
The premier event in the UK diving calendar will take place at the venue on 4-6 March 2022.
The Go Diving Show is an exciting and interactive, trade and consumer, scuba diving exhibition, which allows seasoned divers, novice open water divers and even those interested in taking their first steps into the sport, the opportunity to get hand’s-on.
Showcasing new equipment from the major brands, visitors can take part in skills workshops, attend keynote presentations, venture beneath the sea on virtual reality dives, or just socialise with fellow divers in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Hosted for the third year in succession by adventurer and technical diver Andy Torbet, the 2022 show will see the return of headline speaker Steve Backshall, along with the likes of Monty Halls, Alex Mustard and a whole host of specialists in the arenas of technical diving, dive training and underwater photography.
Lynn Gardener, Account Director at NAEC Stoneleigh, said: “It is always exciting when we get to host an exhibition for the first time and Go Diving was the perfect fit, our halls can easily offer the space the event requires for their interactive displays and pools, where visitors can have a go at diving themselves.”
To find out more information about NAEC Stoneleigh, visit www.naecstoneleigh.co.uk or search for NAEC Stoneleigh on social media.
To find out more about Go Diving 2022, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/naec-stoneleigh/go-diving-show-2022/719142368926947/
SCUBA Magazine Advert March 2022
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from not only our dive centre dogs but form all the Satff at Elite Diving in Sharm El Sheikh
Why not buy a voucher for a buddy or partner as an ideal gift.
A voucher can be purchased for any amount, and redeemable at our dive centre in Sharm for any diving services.
It don't have to be just for Christmas. Any time is always a good time to receive a voucher for diving with us in Sharm, Birthday's, Anniversaries, or just to say Thank you.
Yet again, our loyal divers and friends have put us on top of the world. We are so humbled by the continued support that we get from people voting for us.
I was contacted by a few people who had said they had voted for us again and those people hadn't dived with us for over ten years, sometime due to their change in life such as starting a family to not being able to come with a direct flight. Those people said that they had voted for us as they haven't found any other dive center that has delivered to same level of care and service that our team supplies.
So not only must I thank our loyal divers for the votes they have given us, but also our amazing team from the ground staff who fills the cylinders and delivers them and the kit down to the boat and back each day, the office staff that controls the paperwork and bookings with such prompt and thorough answers to the inquiries we get, the boat crew with Captain Yahia and Zenger who makes sure all our divers enjoy their day on our boat, and also our amazing dive team of dedicated Dive Instructors that love what they do so much, they come diving on their days off on many occasions.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you one ad all.
Owner of Elite Diving with Divers United, has a wealth of diving experience and has been diving since 1984.