Diving in United Arab Emirates, Middle East & Red Sea

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United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates commonly known as the UAE is a federation of seven emirates in the Arabian peninsula. It is one of the world's wealthiest countries. Because of the mammoth construction works in the UAE, diving has been affected by reduced water visibility. However, some diving areas are largely unaffected particularly in the eastern coastline facing the Arabian Sea.

The popular diving areas include Fujairah, Khorfakkan and Musandam in the Gulf of Oman and Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in the Persian or Arabian Gulf. These diving sites all offer unique diving activities suitable for the beginner to the advanced divers.

There are plenty of shipwrecks in the Persian Gulf in Dubai although the water visibility is typically murky due to the construction works in the mainland. One of the popular wrecks is the Energy Determination wreck at a staggering depth of 80m. This is the wreck of a huge super tanker that experienced catastrophic fire and burned through the purse of the famous insurer Lloyds of London for £28 million. Their loss is now a gain for technical divers as the marine life in the area are plentiful aside from the sheer fun of technical diving.

Another popular wreck is of MV Dara at the depth of 20m resting on starboard side. The wreck is now an artificial reef circled by large pelagic fishes such as Eagle Rays, Guitarfish, Barracuda, and Whale Sharks.

The East Coast in the Fujairah, Gulf of Oman offers the most pristine dive sites in the UAE. The reef marine life is great and the underwater scenery is largely untouched making for a rewarding dive.

Various species of hard corals abound in Dibba Island with a splendid company of rays, turtles, huge trevally, and sharks.

Another popular wreck is the Inchcape 1, intentionally sunk to become an artificial reef. This has come to fruition and she's now home to various fishes such as trevally, barracuda, snapper, rays, scorpionfish and a resident moray eel.

What's more interesting is the government's plan to sink tanks and planes. That would definitely offer lots of fun diving for technical divers.

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The government of UAE is an active participant in marine conservation efforts. The healthy corals off Dibba is a testament to this cause and there's about 22% of protected waters in UAE paving the way for it to become a leader in reef conservation.

The United Arab Emirates has an extraordinarily dry climate with only a few days of rain for the whole year.

The year round water temperature averages around 24°C/75F to 27°C/80F.

The diving season is year round.

Natural hazards include sandstorms.

The main point of entry is Dubai airport, the UAE's main hub for air transport. This is a large modern airport with numerous international flights from all over the world. Dubai-based Emirates serves most of the direct flights for both international and domestic flights.

There are also boats and ferries going to the UAE.

UAE’s extensive bus networks efficiently serve mainland transportation.

There are taxis and rental cars as well but UAE is known for reckless driving among the young Arabs so you might pass on  this one.

The general transportation system of the United Arab Emirates is exceptional.

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