By Daniel Lanier
Sharm El-Sheikh, the former fishing village, now a luxury resort and diver's paradise at the south tip of the Sinai Peninsula, has everything that young partygoers are looking for during their vacation when they don't spend the night dancing at parties, discos and clubs. It has long beaches, brilliant sun, leisure and sport facilities, internet cafs and pool bars. Unfortunately, Sharm El-Sheikh is not famous for being a clubbing destination. Admittedly, its numerous five-star hotels offer a wide range of discos, pubs and bars, all of them with decent dance music and average light shows, not to speak of the cool drinks and a party crowd willing to be entertained all night long after a day of swimming, diving, horse-riding, para-sailing or discovering the beauty of Sinai's mountains. But though many of these dance spots are made quite professional, they often seem to be just another possibility to make the tourists spending their money inside of their hotels or their resorts.
Someone who could change this is Amr Ismail. The young man's recipe is simple: He organizes the kind of discos, concerts and pop events that he likes to attend.
Amr Ismail manages the Bus Stop beside the Sanafir Hotel in Sharm El-Sheikh's Naama Bay. The real red double-decker bus attached to the building and serving as the Bus Stop's main entrance became a landmark in Naama Bay. Beside daily discos and theme nights at the Bus Stop Amr Ismail arranges special events in the courtyard of the Sanafir Hotel as well as at a place he calls the Echo Temple, just a few kilometers outside of Sharm El-Sheikh in the desert, with the magnificent mountains of Sinai in the background.
Especially famous are Amr Ismail's House Nation parties in the courtyard of the Sanafir Hotel almost every Thursday night. The biggest drawback for bringing Sharm El-Sheikh into the international club scene of pleasure-seeking Europeans is the mix of ages. Tourists here are either sporty scuba divers or middle-aged family-oriented sun seekers, a deadly mix for ambitious DJ's, who find themselves being forced to satisfy all tastes.
Amr Ismail doesn't care. He has a mission and he takes the risk. Almost every Thursday he transforms the inner area of the Sanafir Hotel into an open-air techno and house music hotspot with live drummers, Brazilian dance or fashion shows, a large video screen and a distinctive light and laser show. At the end, the scene looks exactly like what the people would recognize from Ibiza or Mallorca, but without the opportunity to dive next day through some of the most exciting coral reefs of the world or to spend the afternoon with Bedouins in the desert, surrounded by a breath-taking landscape.
Amr Ismail's latest achievement is the Echo Temple, a desert stage seven kilometers away from Sharm El-Sheikh's main road, which occasionally invites for concerts performers such as Ra superstar Khaled or to house and techno parties with international DJ's. In this case, the location is easily reachable by a bus shuttle service.
Bus Stop, next to Sanafir Hotel, Naama Bay, Sharm El-Sheikh. South Sinai. Egypt. Telephone: +20696001-97 or 98. Fax: +2069600196. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.busstopevents.com/