Is Hurghada in Africa or Asia?

Hurghada from the air

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When I booked my first trip to Hurghada Egypt – staying at the Grand Resort Hotel back in 2005 – I was totally confused as to whether Hurghada was in Africa or Asia.

Twenty years later and it’s still a topic of much debate and confusion, with different opinions, arguments and evidence making a case for both continents.

I’m going to examine them all in this guide, and summarise the historical, cultural, and geographical factors that are in play.

Carpets in Hurghada Store

The Geography of Hurghada

Hurghada is a popular tourist destination in Egypt, known for its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and crystal-clear waters.

The city is situated about 550 kilometres southeast of Cairo. When you’re here, why not take the opportunity to go from Hurghada to the Pyramids. Or choose a popular day trip from Hurghada, heading approximately 250 kilometres to Luxor, another popular tourist destination and important historical site.

As with much of Egypt, Hurghada is surrounded by vast desert landscapes, with the Eastern Desert stretching between the resort and River Nile.

Hurghada’s location on the Red Sea has made it an important port throughout history, connecting Egypt to trade routes with the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, and South Asia.

The Debate Over Hurghada’s Location

The question of whether Hurghada is in Africa or Asia splits opinion. Some argue that Hurghada is in Africa, while others believe it is in Asia. It’s a complex issue.

The argument for Hurghada being in Africa focusses around Egypt’s location in the north-eastern corner of the African continent.

Egypt is also commonly considered to be part of Africa, and as such, Hurghada would therefore be thought of in the same way. Egypt is also a member of the African Union, which further reinforces the idea that Hurghada is in Africa.

However, on the other hand, those who argue that Hurghada is in Asia point to the fact that Egypt is close to the Sinai Peninsula, which is part of the Asian continent. Additionally, Egypt is considered to be part of the Middle East, which is commonly associated with Asia.

See what we mean about it being complicated!

Hurghada from the air


From a historical perspective, Hurghada was part of the ancient Ptolemaic Kingdom, which was located in Asia.


Hurghada is located on the western shore of the Red Sea, which is considered by many people to be the natural boundary between Africa and Asia. Therefore, by being on the African side of the Red Sea, this means it’s African?

However, others point out that the Red Sea is not a definitive boundary between the two continents and that other factors should be considered.


Hurghada has strong ties to both Africa and the Middle East. The city has a rich history that includes influences from various cultures, including the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs.

Local people speak Arabic, which is the official language of Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.

Traditional Egyptian Souvenir

Final Thoughts

As we set out at the beginning of this article, the debate over whether Hurghada is in Africa or Asia is complex and multifaceted.

It has been debated by historians, geographers, and cultural experts for years.

While some argue that Hurghada is in Africa based on Egypt’s location and membership in the African Union, others point to its location and its historical ties to the Ptolemaic Kingdom, which was located in Asia.

Geographically, the Red Sea may or may not be a definitive boundary between the two continents, and culturally, Hurghada has ties to both Africa and the Middle East.

Given the complexity of this question, it is understandable that different perspectives exist. If pushed, we’d say Hurghada is in Africa. But does it really matter?

Not really. It’s is a popular destination regardless of whether it’s in Africa or Asia.

Hurghada remains a beautiful and popular tourist destination that continues to attract visitors from all over the world.