Free Sinai Stamp in Sharm El Sheikh: myths and realities
Many broken copies on the theme of the so-called "Sinai Stamp", which Egyptians can put tourists at the points of entry into the Sinai Peninsula. It’s time to collect together all the information and give a detailed answer to the theme that it is for the mysterious stamp, why it is free, and where and how he gets it. Ahead of events Recommended immediately that the question of this free stamp is not relevant for driving on land from Israel through taboos, because for this category of tourists (regardless of their citizenship) the choice is not on the agenda. By default they put a Sinai stamp. For all the rest, traveling to Egypt through the airports of Sharm, Taba and the NEUBE seaport – the question is more than relevant.
- Egyptian Brand and Sinai Stamp
Where did the Sinai stamp come from?
As a result of the Peace Agreement of Israel and Egypt from 1978, which marked the end of the war between the two countries. Of course, they discussed Sadat, Begin and Jimmy Carter not at all stamps with seals. And the recognition of the Egyptian state is Israel, the consent of Israel to return Egypt seized in 1967, and the conclusion of a long-term world. Read more about Agreement in Kama Devide can be read on Wikipedia. Indirectly global peace agreement concern and tourism. The fact is that over the years of Israeli Board in Sinai (1967 – 1981), significant funds were invested in the development of infrastructure of this region. Airports in Sharm were built (Israelis called his officer), in Taba, El Arisha. Lugged a highway from Taba to Sharma and from Nuweiba to Suez. Not to mention the dozen of the settlements built by the Israelis with an excellent infrastructure. All this switched to Egypt, which was not quite satisfied with the Israelis – such valuable gifts former enemy nobody wished to do.
Therefore, the peace treaty was concerned with issues of compensation to Israel by Egypt. Both direct material and indirect. Israeli property in Sinai from the airports and ending with hotels on Sinai and ending with hotels (after all, it was the Israelis resort of Sharm el-Sheikh). Partly compensation took over the United States, partly – Egypt. As for indirect dividends, Israel demanded the right of free visa-free entrance to Sinai for their citizens from Egypt. It was explained by the fact that Sinai managed to become the second home for many Israelis living there for 15 years. Egypt, in turn, did not want to restrict its sovereignty and insisted on the right to independently determine the visa policy in his own country. In addition, the Egyptians were outraged by the reluctance of Israel to completely leave Sinai: despite the peace agreements, the Israelis did not completely leave Sinai, retaining its presence south of. There is a separate article about this, read which I strongly recommend that all interested in the history of this region. Until 1989, the Israelis held a small segment of the coast of South Tab, after which the International Arbitration Court recognized the sovereignty of Egypt.
Returning to K "Sinai Stampa"
Ultimately, the parties with a big creak came to an agreement on the issue of free visits by the Israelis Sinai. The Egyptians achieved the fact that free movement will be limited to the east coast from Taba to Sharm el-Sheikh, plus inland areas including Moise Mountain (Jabl Musa). The fact is that the Egyptians did not prevent the visit to the Israelites of their country, but required a preliminary registration of a visa under the standard rules. Plus, it was extremely not necessary that the Israelis would be voluntarily and uncontrolled in the area of the Suez Canal, which is a strategic object. On that and decided. So the concept appeared "Sinai stamp", Given free entry to Sinai Citizens of Israel for 15 days with the right of an unlimited number of repeated entry.
How the Sinai Stamp opened not only for the Israelis?
Already after the conclusion of a peace agreement and the opening of the borders, the question arose that tourists traveling between Israel and Egypt (they were quite a lot, and now it became even more) felt themselves suffered in rights. The situation in which the Israelis could have to rest free from Eilat to rest in Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh, but tourists from other countries were sent from the border to make a visa to Egypt. In addition, taking into account the fact that most tourists arrived at Sinai from Israel, the Egyptians at the beginning of the 80s decided to let everyone without visas, but only under the condition that they enter Sinai through one of the agreed border points: toba , Taba Airport, Port of Nuweiba and Sharm El Sheikh Airport.
At the same time, in order not to move away from the basic agreement with Israel, the Egyptians decided that firstly, this free stamp would not give the right to go beyond the limits of blue, and the second – on the border with Israel in the tab will be made exclusively "Sinai stamp". Later, already at the beginning of the 90s, when Egypt began the practice of receiving visas on arrival for tourists, Taba remained the only point of entry into the country where the visa brand was not glued, but only put a free stamp. Will Taba become the same point of entry into Egypt, as well as any other, where you calmly get a brand for $ 15 and go through the country? Possible but not on our century.
Practice to obtain a Sinai Stamp
So, if your plans are not included in the limits of blue, then you do not have to buy a visa brand for $ 15. Just remember that having received a free stamp for 15 days, you will not be able to go to other parts of Egypt. You will fall out from the bus on the first police gearbox, which are quite a few roads of the country. Separate tourists managed to drive with a Sinai stamp to the Suez Channel himself, and one friend even get to Cairo. But I note that it categorically not recommended it, because that person is completely accidentally caught on the routine check of documents in Cairo – spent three days in prison, after which he was deported from Egypt for violating the visa regime. Thus, you must leave Egypt solely through one of the boundaries mentioned above and in terms of not exceeding 15 days.
Why do Egyptian officials on the ground do not like the Sinai stamp?
Just because visa is money. They have internal instructions by default obliging everyone to buy a brand for $ 15 and only then go to passport control. Every year, Egypt visits up to 10 million tourists, which gives 150 million dollars only on visa stamps. They do not want to create the practice of transition to free stamps, although more than half of the tourists visiting Egypt do not go on excursions to Cairo and Luxor. They just stay in their hotels in Sharm – Dahab – Taba, and they absolutely do not need a visa brand. Therefore, Egyptian police are trying to stop any attempts to enter the country for free. Although there have no legal right to refuse you in the right to get a free stamp.
Our experience at Charm Airport
At the end of February 2010, we flew in Sharm el-Sheikh from Geneva on Easy Jet, and then intended to move in Dahab, and then to Israel. Bye a queue of tourists standing for a visa, immediately approached passport control, and stated that we want free "Sinai stamp". Officer with three stars (captain) manshedrally stated that such a stamp is made only by citizens of Israel. We objected that based on the Kemp-Vida Agreement from 1978, and the amendments to it from 1982, such a stamp is set to all tourists entering Sinai if those wishing. The captain diswrmed his hand towards the neighboring booth, explaining that the boss was sitting there – let him decide. Go back and repeat our wish to get a free stamp. This time our opponent is an officer with an eagle and an asterisk (lieutenant colonel). He challenged several phrases on Arabic with the first officer, after which he stated that such a stamp was put only if you enter the taboo. No our explanations helped and he summarized our short communication with words "Buy the brand like everyone else, or I will send you back to Russia".
But n in my rules retreat from the conceived. So I demanded to call the bosses. He replied that he was the bosses, kneading in his lieutenant. I objected that the chiefs do not sit in the booths in the seals, and the real head is likely behind the booth in the office. My opponent nervously stood up and threw his hands through our heads towards representatives "Tez Tour". It is asked, where the travel agency Tes-tour, to which we do not have nothing, because they flew on their own? Larkor opened very interesting. Ran up a frightened guide from "Tez Tour", And behind him the second and third. They began to tell us that the Sinai stamp does not exist, and that we should buy a brand. But we categorically refused to go behind the brand, insisting on their unconditional right. We added that we do not understand why we sent a guide – we are not with a group, but by ourselves. Then the guy recalled me aside and answered almost a whisper that they had a secret agreement with the police that all the largest operators should demand to buy visa brands. Guide nervously shields head, and completed his speech with words "I ask you, buy a brand, otherwise we will have problems because of you!". It came to the point that Big Boss from "Misr-Travel", and completely seriously tried to give us money for this very visa. But we refused.
Next, I broke through the passport control booth and ignoring the cries of the police entered the office to the airport police chief. His Account Cabinet for Passport Control Booths in the Inscription Department "Airport Authority". There was a gloomy man in civilian school behind a huge table and a portrait of President Mubarak over his head. Without waiting for me the police and workers of the Tes-Tour (and those fled behind me, frightened what happens), I said that I demand "Sinai stamp" Based on the agreement in Kemp-Devide from 1978, and I am not going to go beyond the limits. At that moment five or six police and employees ran at once "Tez Tour". They shouted on Arabic and poke into my side with your fingers, they say, you just look at what he opens here. Among Krikunov, the above-mentioned lieutenant colonel. Strikingly, but exactly half of all policemen sitting on passport control challenged work and went to watch what will be in the office of the boss. I am very sorry, but unhappy tourists from four aircraft (two from Moscow, one of the Geneva and one of Yekaterinburg) were forced to rebuild into the only remaining passport control booth.
. And what did the boss decided?
You will not believe, but the boss hit his fist on the table and shouted on the escaped police. He shouted that they would immediately returned to passport control. And those hurried back to workplace in order to stamp tourist passports. Started in the office only the boss, I and Lieutenant Colonel. Then turning to the English chief said that now I will be put on the Sinai stamp, and it will make it one Mr. – and pointed my finger on the lieutenant colonel with a distant physiognomy. And all. Indeed, this incident was exhausted. That frowner took my passport, took my companion’s passport and put us free stamps. And even added through the teeth "Welcome to Egypt".