South Sinai Governorate

South Sinai Governorate (Arabic: محافظة جنوب سيناءMuḥāfaẓah Janūb Sīnāʾ) is the least populated governorate of Egypt. It is located in the east of the country, encompassing the southern half of the Sinai Peninsula. Saint Catherine's Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox Church monastery and UNESCO World Heritage Site of world renown, is located in the central part of the governorate. Part of Egypt

South Sinai Governorate
Flag of South Sinai Governorate
Official logo of South Sinai Governorate
South Sinai Governorate on the map of Egypt
South Sinai Governorate on the map of Egypt
Coordinates: 29°03′N 33°50′E / 29.05°N 33.83°E / 29.05; 33.83Coordinates: 29°03′N 33°50′E / 29.05°N 33.83°E / 29.05; 33.83
Country Egypt
SeatEl Tor (capital)
 • GovernorKhaled Fouda Saddiq Mohammed[2]
 • Total33,140 km2 (12,800 sq mi)
 (January 2018)
 • Total104,000[1]
 • Density3.14/km2 (8.1/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
HDI (2017)0.701[3]

Municipal divisionsEdit

The governorate is divided into the following municipal divisions for administrative purposes with a total estimated population as of July 2017 of 102,507.[4][5]

Municipal Divisions
Anglicized name Native name Arabic transliteration Population
(July 2017 Est.)
Abu Radis (incl. Abu Zenima) قسم أبو رديس Abū Radīs incl. Abū Zanīmah 16,737 Kism (urban and rural parts)
El Tor قسم الطور Aṭ-Ṭūr 39,113 Kism (urban and rural parts)
Dahab قسم دهب Dahab 2,942 Kism (urban and rural parts)
Nuweiba قسم نويبع Nuwaybi'a 7,280 Kism (urban and rural parts)
Ras Sidr قسم رأس سدر Ras Sidr 16,480 Kism (urban and rural parts)
Saint Catherine قسم سانت كاترين Sānt Kātirīn 4,560 Kism (urban and rural parts)
Sharm El Sheikh 1 قسم أول شرم الشيخ Sharm ash-Shaykh 1 13,232 Kism (fully urban)
Sharm El Sheikh 2 قسم ثان شرم الشيخ Sharm ash-Shaykh 2 1,445 Kism (urban and rural parts)
Taba قسم شرطة طابا Shurṭah Ṭābā 718 Kism (fully rural)


The governorate is an attractive destination for tourism due to its amazing and fascinating nature scenes, however it has several terrorist attacks. In 1985, a mass murder occurred in the Ras Burqa resort and killed 8 people (7 Israeli tourists and 1 Egyptian policeman). The 2004 Sinai bombings that targeted tourist hotels in and around Nuweiba killed 34 people and wounded over 170. In 2005, Sharm El Sheikh was hit by a terrorist attack. 88 people were killed, the majority of them Egyptians, and over 200 were wounded, at that time making it the deadliest terrorist action in the country's history (exceeding the Luxor massacre of 1997, which killed 62 people).[6] 2006 saw the Dahab bombings, which killed 23 people and wounded 80.

The Sinai insurgency, although happening mainly in the neighboring North Sinai Governorate, has occasionally spilled over to South Sinai. In February 2014, a tourist bus was attacked in Taba. The perpetrators killed the Egyptian bus driver and three South Korean tourists.


According to population estimates, in 2015 the majority of residents in the governorate lived in urban areas, with an urbanization rate of 51.1%. Out of an estimated 167,426 people residing in the governorate, 85,502 people lived in urban areas as opposed to only 81,924 in rural areas.[7] The Bedouin inhabit the Mount Sinai area. Due to poor accessibility, at times the orchards in the mountains have served to hide narcotics smugglers in the region.[8]


Saint Catherine's Monastery

Saint Catherine's Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox Church monastery and UNESCO World Heritage Site of world renown, is located in central part of the governorate, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, in the city of Saint Catherine, Egypt. Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world.[9] The site contains the world's oldest continually operating library, possessing many unique books including the Syriac Sinaiticus and, until 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus.[10][11]

Raithu Monastery is situated in El Tor. It was built on a site where some 40 monks were massacred in the 4th or 5th century.[12]

Cities and townsEdit



  1. ^ "Population Estimates By Governorate ( Urban /Rural ) 1/1/2018". Archived from the original on 2018-11-02. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ "رسمياً.. المحافظون الجدد ونوابهم يؤدون اليمين الدستورية أمام الرئيس". Almasry Alyoum (in Arabic). 30 August 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. ^ "South Sinai Governorates Subdivisions". Archived from the original on 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  5. ^ "Markazes of Egypt". Gwillim Law. Archived from the original on 2017-10-19. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Bombers kill 88 at Egyptian resort". The Guardian. 23 July 2005. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Population Estimates By Sex & Governorate 1/1/2015" (PDF). CAPMAS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  8. ^ Marx, Emanuel (30 June 2013). Bedouin of Mount Sinai: An Anthropological Study of their Political Economy. Berghahn Books. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-85745-932-9.
  9. ^ "Saint Catherine Area". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  10. ^ Schrope, Mark (1 June 2015). "Medicine's Hidden Roots in an Ancient Manuscript". NY Times. Archived from the original on 2015-06-01. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  11. ^ Jules Leroy; Peter Collin (2004). Monks and Monasteries of the Near East. Gorgias Press LLC. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-1-59333-276-1.
  12. ^ El-Din, Morsi Saad; Taher, Ayman; Romano, Luciano (1 February 1998). Sinai: The Site & the History : Essays. NYU Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-8147-2203-9. Retrieved 2016-11-07.

External linksEdit