A small Egyptian village near the northern tip of the Gulf of Eilat, Taba is the location of Egypt's busiest border crossing with neighboring Israel. Little more than a bus depot and a luxury hotel (complete with casino), Taba's primary function is to serve travellers from Israel on their way to destinations in Egypt, and as a weekend getaway for Israelis to gamble and scuba-dive.
Never populated by more than a handful of Bedouins, Taba rates a minor historical footnote as the last portion of Sinai to be returned to Egypt under the terms of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. As a result of a dispute about the location of the international border, the Israelis held onto the small stretch of Taba's coastline until 1989, when the matter was submitted to an international tribunal. The tribunal held that Taba was Egyptian territory, at which point Israel returned Taba to Egypt. As part of this subsequent agreement, Israeli travellers are permitted to visit Taba visa-free for up to 48 hours, making Taba a popular tourist destination.