The city was founded in the early 20th century, and until recently it was a small fishing village. But since the 1980s, it has been continually enlarged by Egyptian and foreign investors to become the leading coastal resort on the Red Sea. Holiday resorts and hotels provide aquatic sport facilities for windsurfers, kitesurfers, yachtsmen, scuba divers and snorkelers. Hurghada is known for its watersports activities, nightlife and warm weather. Daily temperature hovers round 30 °C most of the year, during July and August temperatures reach over 40 °C. Many Europeans head to Hurghada for their regular holidays, especially during the winter season and spend their Christmas and New Year holidays in the city.
Hurghada stretches for about 36 kilometres along the seashore, and it does not reach far into the surrounding desert. The resort is a destination for Egyptian tourists from Cairo, the Delta and Upper Egypt, as well as package holiday tourists from Europe. Today Hurghada counts 248,000 inhabitants and is divided into:
Along the El Mamsha can be found many of Hurghada's new hotels, restaurants, and shops. Most of the newest and biggest hotel resorts located in the area between Mamsha to Sahl Hasheesh (Village road). After Sahl Hasheesh there is Makadi Bay with its hotels. Dahar is the oldest part of the town, where the town's traditional bazaar, the post office and the long-distance bus stations, Go Bus and Upper Egypt Bus are situated. The busiest area is its "city center" Sakala, which is spread along Sheraton Road. There are some hotels, shops and restaurants along Sheraton Road.
The city is served by the Hurghada International Airport with scheduled passenger traffic connecting to Cairo and directly with several cities in Europe. A new terminal was opened in 2015 to accommodate rising traffic.
The village, which later evolved into what is now the city of Hurghada, was settled in 1905. It acquired its name from a plant which has grown naturally since ancient times. By then it was only a fishing village. Oil was discovered in the area in 1913, but actual production and export only began in 1921 under British oil magnates. During the reign of King Farouk a recreational center was built in the city, but after President Nasser's nationalization of Egypt's industries it was turned over to the armed forces.
Although a town in its own right, Hurghada's current major industry is foreign and domestic tourism, owing to its dramatic landscape, year-round dry and temperate climate and long stretches of natural beaches. Its waters are clear and calm for most of the year and have become popular for various water-sports, particularly recreational scuba diving and snorkelling.
Dive sites around Abu Ramada Island, Fanadir, Giftun Kebir, and Giftun Soraya are popular. Tourists also visit shipwrecks such as the El Mina or the Rosalie Moller. The beach at Hurghada is not secluded; out to Sigala the beach is then followed by coastal holiday villages and then desert
Hurghada has a subtropical-desert climate, with mild-warm winters and hot to very hot summers. Temperatures in the period December–January–February are warm, but in the evenings temperature may drop from an average 20 Celsius degrees to 10. November, March and April are comfortably warm. May and October are hot and the period from June to September is very hot. The average annual temperature of the sea is 24 °C, ranging from 21 °C in February and March to 28 °C in August.