Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations today, and for good reason! With the entire city being no less than a man-made paradise, it is a place where concrete meets nature in the most symbiotic harmony. Dubai has a reputation of being a luxurious holiday destination. People from all over the world find themselves choosing this city as their destination for ceremonies, special occasions, vacations, and more. But go deep into the personality of the city, beyond the fancy resorts and the spotless beaches, and in the Gulf off the coast of Dubai lie a number of sites waiting to be explored by you.
Scuba diving in Dubai in an unusual experience. For all those who have already indulged in this sport before, this coast offers something unique, nothing like what you would have seen before. With development being a constant in Dubai, the waters near it are quite murky. Add to this the shallow depth and the currents, and the visibility in these waters is even worse then. But miraculously, it works in its favour! With most of the sites being wreckages, this tinge to the waters gives the diving experience a new vibe, something that every explorer must experience.
Before diving into the Gulf, check out these top sites and choose once that appeal to you the most!
Marine sites for scuba diving in Dubai
1. Jumeirah Beach
One of the best places for scuba diving, Jumeirah Beach offers small sites for beginners to view the vibrant aquatic life of the gulf, as well as some shipwrecks for advanced explorers to swim through. Since it is also one of the most popular beaches, there are a number of agencies that offer equipment, and even professional guidance.
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2. Sharm Rock
One of the two most spectacular natural aquariums off the Dubai shore, Sharm Rock is a vision of pink and purple. With a myriad of corals resident here, the fish species too are exciting to observe, especially for beginners.
3. Martini Rock
The other natural aquarium is the Martini Rock. Diving in Dubai must include this site as it is home to the most vibrant aquatic fauna in this area, which also makes it one of the most successful sites! So if you want to lose yourself in the azure waters, this is the place you should go to.
4. Dubai World Islands
One of the new spots for scuba diving on the west coast, Dubai World Islands are a group of artificial islands that are today budding with small colonies of marine flora and fauna. The surrounding areas have been maintained well so as to encourage their growth, and it is said that soon it will be one of the leading sites for scuba diving in UAE.
Wreckage sites for scuba diving in Dubai
Undoubtedly one of the most loved sites for scuba diving in Dubai, Zainab is famous for being one of the major oil spills in this region, which was paired with the rough waves that the ship couldn’t battle against. It met the bed in 2001, and over time has become a cosy home for all kinds of marine species like yellowtail barracuda. Since the site is quite huge, people often take a couple of dives to explore it fully. It is recommended that you visit this site with professionals.
6. Mariam Express
Engulfed by the raging waters in 2006, Mariam Express was a ferry that used to travel from UAE to Iraq and back. The strong currents were the major reason for this incident, but the ferry was also overloaded. Today, its cargos serve as a spectacular wreckage site for scuba in Dubai, UAE. It lies at a depth of 18 to 25 metres, and some of the marine species that you can spot here include a variety of nudibranch and flatworms, as well as spotted eagle, torpedo rays, and yellowtail barracuda.
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7. MV Ludwig
One of the most well-preserved wrecks off of the Dubai shore is MV Ludwig. As she lies on her portside, this close to perfect ship fell into the waters during practice sessions. Today it serves as a haven to fish species like damselfish, sea squirts, and pennant fish, amongst many more.
8. MV Dara
Set 5 to 17 metres deep into the waters, MV Dara is a passenger ship that sunk to the bed in the year 1961. 238 lives were lost then. Not only does it serve as a monument that tells this story, but is also one of the very few ships that have been a victim to horrifying peacetime accidents. Due to this it is often compared to the Titanic. The list of dive sites in Dubai would be incomplete without mentioning this.
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9. MV Victoria Star
Often termed as the best diving experience in Dubai, MV Victoria Star is also amongst the top sites for diving in UAE. It sank in the year 2013, which makes it one of the recent wrecks on this side of the coast. The currents here are average, and it is recommended that tourists, especially beginners, visit this site with a professional guide. It is at a depth of 14 to 23 metres and advanced divers can dive a couple of time to explore the entire wreck.
10. Cement Barge
One of the most famous diving sites in Dubai is the Cement Barge. The depth here is between 5 to 20 meters, making it perfect for beginner to try scuba diving. What’s more, the other options available here are snorkelling and night diving! If you love taking scuba diving vacations, don’t miss out on this site.
11. Sheikh Mohammad’s Barge
There were many sites that were created by sinking ships and barges on purpose, so as to encourage the growth of corals and other marine life off the coast of Dubai. DB1/Sheikh Mohammad’s Barge is one of them. It is 18 to 23 metres deep into the gulf, and it take at least two dives to explore it all. Coral growth has indeed made this site beautiful.
Hope you find your top favourite scuba sites of Dubai on this list! So, grab your equipment, take a deep breath, and dive into the blue waters. You can also get a customized Dubai tour package and add various activities to your package.
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