Diving Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Country: United Arab Emirates  Area: United Arab Emirates

Water Temp: 21 - 32°C (70 - 90°F)

Visibility: 3 - 10m (10 - 33 ft)

Depth Range: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)

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One of the fastest developing locations in the World, soon to boast the World’s largest shopping centre, indoor ski slope, Dubailand and luxury hotels. With many wrecks and a variety of dive trips available Dubai’s underwater world is worth a visit as well as the many other tourist attractions.

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Dubai is an extravagant destination in the UAE, situated in the Persian Gulf. Full of extreme buildings and giant themed man made islands, Dubai has something for everyone and it would be very hard to get bored on a holiday here. It’s a very accessible location with an international airport easily reached by most of the world, all of which has helped the city become a very popular holiday destination over the last few years.

 

Climate & Sea temperature

Hot year round temperatures with little rain means Dubai is a year round holiday and diving destination. The water temperature is never cold but does vary quite dramatically throughout the year from a cool 21°C in January to the very warm bath like temperature of 32°C by August. This 10°C change in temperature means the difference between diving in a dry suit or rash vest and board shorts so make sure you check out the temperature of your visit and use the appropriate exposure protection for the time of year.

Burj Al Arab Hotel, Credit

 
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Diving

Dubai’s diving is mostly on its variety of wreck and artificial reef sites with a site for all levels of experience. These can all be reached from shore or a short boat ride. Unfortunately in the last few years due to the construction of Dubai’s offshore islands the underwater visibility has been greatly reduced. However do not let this deter you, all of the dive schools in the area know which dive sites to dive and which not to and lots of the wrecks are still very interesting and the reduced visibility can add some mysterious atmosphere to the dives.

Scuba diving, Dubai, Credit

Despite the poor visibility a lot of excellent marine life can still be spotted including turtles, schools of barracuda and many other reef fish and macro life. Lots of life can be found around the wrecks of the area which have created an artificial haven for this diverse marine life. One “must dive” wreck in the waters near Dubai is the tragic MV Dara which was a passenger liner sunk in the 60’s by a terrorist bomb and suffered the highest loss of life after the Titanic with 238 deaths. The wreck lies at 18m in 3 sections, although the middle section is completely smashed to pieces and is now home to an abundance of fish, large rays, moray eels, dolphins and schools of barracuda.

Coral, Credit

Dubai is not lucky enough to have its own natural coral reefs off its coast, but there are many artificial reef projects in the area and in the east coast of Fujairah. These projects have the aim to build reefs where there are none, increase the amount of reefs around the world and therefore increase marine life in the oceans, and also to help restore and rebuild reef where they have been damaged or destroyed due to Man’s activities and natural disasters. This is achieved by planting artificial reef balls which have coral transplanted onto them allowing new reefs to form where they will be protected and hopefully with a stronger structure to withstand larger natural forces.

Clownfish, Credit

For the more dedicated divers, or those who would like a change of scenery, a trip to the east coast of Fujairah or the stunning reefs of Musandam in Oman is definitely recommended and can be easily arranged in Dubai. These can be day trips or an overnight trip. These two areas have brilliant coral reef diving, much higher viz than the surrounding waters of Dubai and also a high chance of spotting large pelagic species!

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Other Activities

Dubai isn’t famous for its diving and compared to other destinations close by such as the Red Sea it is not somewhere you should visit if you want a totally dive focussed holiday. Luckily Dubai offers a lot, lot, more for holiday makers. There is an extreme array of possible activities to occupy your time from Desert Safaris to Skiing in the indoor ice rink! Or if you are less active then you can spend hours in Dubai’s shopping centres or your time relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches in the glorious sunshine.

Dubai at night,  Credit

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Rating 10/10

Car Cemetery

Dubai25 Aug 2012 - 25 Aug 2012 with Divers Down UAE

Max Depth 16m

Dive Level Open Water

Dive Time 50 Min

Visibility: 3-20 meters

Take a load of old cars, trucks, buses and the odd dumper truck some 15 years ago and throw them in the sea!

That is Car Cemetery, and what a great dive even if it can prove a little tricky to navigate for the odd diver or two!

Expect big Rays and Turtles, shoals of Trevally and Barracuda circling the whole site. On the car wrecks themselves, you'll find nudibranchs, moray eels of various types and sizes as well as lionfish and scorpion fish.

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Catherine Owen

how do you get to this location??

Gordon Smith

This site was originally set up in the 1980s most likely for fishing. visibility really exceeds 5 meters and is usually around 2-3m.

Rating 10/10

Hole in the Wall

Dubai25 Aug 2012 - 25 Aug 2012 with Divers Down UAE

Max Depth 16m

Dive Level Discover Diver/Scuba Diver/ JNR Open Water

Dive Time 50 Min

Hole in the Wall is a dive site very few dive boats visit, and is fantastic for its marine life.

Called Hole in the Wall, as it has a long swim through that can be a squeeze when the resident turtle is in the hole!

Black Tips Sharks are on the site, Bat Fish, Rays, Barracuda, the list goes on.

Best dived at high tide but still offers alot on low water, this site is bigger than it looks, and takes the full 50 Min to go all the way around it.

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Rating 10/10

Martini Rock - Voted best dive site in the UAE

Dubai25 Aug 2012 - 25 Aug 2012

Max Depth 18M

Dive Level Discover Scuba/Scuba Diver/JNR Open Water

Dive Time 50 Min

Martini is a large submerged rock covered in Teddy Bear Coral, and teaming with marine life making this the most popular dive site in the UAE.

Turtles, Morays, shoals of Arabian Mackerel, Snapper, Redtooth triggerfish, Damsel Fish and Sergeant Majors make up the marine life here.

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Gordon Smith

A reasonable dive site but on what criteria is it the best in UAE? Most of the wildlife is composed of Sergeant Majors, moray eels and scorpionfish. around the base of the rock you can find an occasional ray, some large pipefish at the deeper end and plenty of goby / shrimp life in the sandy areas. Of the wildlife listed above I have only see a couple of Hawksbill turtles

Gordon Smith

Forgot to mention that this dive site is not in Dubai but on the east coast of UAE near Khorfakkan

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