Marsa Alam is situated near the Tropic of Cancer where the Arabian Desert meets the Red Sea, and it has the appearance of a tropical paradise with its palm trees, mangroves and sea coasts fringed with barrier coral reefs. It has already gained a strong reputation amongst scuba divers due to its numerous and unspoilt diving sites both along the coast and offshore. Sightings of spinner dolphins, dugongs and hammerhead sharks are a frequent occurrence for those who venture into its waters.
Among the most famous beaches around Marsa Alam is the Abu Dabab beach. In Abu Dabab, turtles are a common sight and it is nearly guaranteed that when diving, one will see at least one turtle. For tourists who seek to see something less typical, there is marine wildlife like sea snakes, crocodilefish and octopuses.