Five fantastic destinations to enjoy scuba diving in the United Arab Emirates this summer
The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven states that are popular destinations due to all-year-round sunny, hot weather and magnificent natural landscapes. Its crystal-clear waters are now attracting more scuba diving enthusiasts, and Time Out Dubai has highlighted some of the best diving destinations in the Middle Eastern region, from rocky structures to sunken shipwrecks.
When it comes to the world’s best scuba diving destinations, most people think of the Maldives, the Red Sea, and the Caribbean. However, the United Arab Emirates offers a variety of scuba diving sites and crystal-clear waters that are home to a whole new world.
Time Out Dubai has highlighted some of the Middle Eastern region’s best diving sites, recommended by Mohammed Helmy, the course director at Al Boom Diving, A PADI-certified diving hub in the UAE.
Located 45 minutes by boat from the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, this deep wreck site is perfect for experienced and advanced scuba divers. Divers will get the chance to swim alongside some barracudas, bannerfish, stonefish, scorpionfish, yellow snappers, batfish and small oysters in the waters of the azure Arabian Gulf.
Shaped like an upside down Martini glass, this rock formation in Fujairah offers depths between 10 and 23 metres. If divers go at night, they might catch sightings of sleeping sea turtles and feeding rays, and sometimes the odd leopard shark will put in an appearance.
Also in Fujairah is Sharm Rocks, just off Snoopy Island (named after the cartoon dog), where divers and snorkelers will get to see large parrotfish, and broomtailed wrasse. With depths up to 14 metres, the site is fantastic for open water diving and sightings of reef sharks, rays and turtles are often spotted.
Inchcape is located about ten minutes by boat from Al Aqah in Fujairah, and it’s a hotspot for advanced open water divers with depths of up to 30 feet. Underwater delights include stingrays, pufferfish, and honeycomb eels, and sometimes divers will catch a glimpse of rare mola mola fish darting about in the deep waters.
Described by Mr Helmy as the “perfect for snorkellers, as well as open water divers”, Dibba Rock is located 20 minutes by boat from Al Aqah in Fujairah and was named after Dibba village. With depths between four and 16 metres, divers are almost guaranteed to see turtles, and there are strong numbers of black tip reef sharks.
The temperature of the sea in the United Arab Emirates during the summer months is usually 10 degrees Celsius cooler than the air temperature, making it the perfect place to cool off while delving into the magnificent underwater world.
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