Seen here is Saint Catherine's Monastery, founded by the Emperor St. Justinian the Great in 527, at the foot of Mount Sinai in Saint Catherine, South Sinai, Egypt. The monastery is Greek Orthodox and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Photo: AP).
Tourists will not be allowed to climb Mount Sinai and Jebel Abbash Basha in South Sinai due to below freezing temperatures on the mountains, a local official announced on Friday.
In statements to state-owned news agency MENA, the head of the local municipality unit in the town of St. Catherine, Sayed Abdel-Sadek, said climibing the moutains in temperatures that range between minus five degrees Celsius and five degrees above zero, could endanger lives.
One thousand and forty-two tourists visited the towns of St. Catherine and Dahab, approximately 80 km northeast of Sharm El-Sheikh, in the last 24 hours, despite the weather conditions, MENA reported.
St. Catherine lies at the foot of Mount Sinai, known locally as Jabal Musa and believed to be the site where Moses, Musa in Arabic, received the Ten Commandments.
Both destinations are popular with tourists to the area.
Much of Egypt was hit with cold and rainy weather this week, expected to continue through Friday.
The Red and Mediterranean seas are expected to see moderate to stormy weather, with waves ranging from two to 2.5 metres in height, with unstable conditions for maritime navigation on the Red Sea, according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority forecast on Thursday.