Where to go scubadiving in Oman
What’s On knows where to go diving in Oman/UAE. Find out about PADI centres, diving trips to Oman for beginners, experts, and trips to Masandam, Dibba.
Watersports fans are spoilt for choice in the UAE, but scuba diving is one pursuit you should cross the border for. The Musandam Peninsula in northern Oman is a two-hour drive from Dubai and offers some of the best diving in the Middle East. Nomad Ocean Adventures is the most accessible dive centre for an East coast trip, located just across the border in the small port town of Dibba. A family-run PADI Resort Dive Centre and TDI (Technical Diving International) Dive Centre, Nomad caters for beginners right up to veteran divers with logbooks thicker than a dictionary.
The Nomad staff is familiar with border protocol and will leave your names at the UAE/Oman border so you can drive through without a hitch – just flash your passports and through you go. To make a weekend of it, we suggest you drive up Thursday evening and stay two nights, with dives on Friday and Saturday. The no-frills rooms are spread across single-storey lodges, with generous meals served in the shared dining room.
The high-speed boat trip from Dibba to the dive sites gives you a chance to admire the scenery. All along this striking coastline, rugged rock faces drop directly into the sea, earning the moniker the Fjords of Musandam. Plunge into the crystal waters and you’ll find a landscape totally at odds with the stark mountains. Known as the lungs of the Gulf, the peninsula has a rich ecosystem. Colourful corals and tunnels of rock are home to lionfish, starfish, manta rays, eagle rays, turtles and eels. If you’re lucky you’ll meet a whale shark, the largest fish in the world and one of the most elusive.
Beginners will have some training to do before diving in the sea. The PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Open Water certification is the basic licence for divers, letting you dive anywhere in the world. You can start the weekend with a vague idea of what a snorkel does, and end it as a qualified diver. Friendly instructors conduct courses with no more than four students per group. If you’ve done more dives than a dolphin, other courses include Advanced Open Water, Rescue, Divemaster, Enriched Air Diver and Scuba Refresher (if you haven’t dived for more than six months). Whether you’re taking a course or just getting back in the water, you’ll go to work Sunday with a tan and a story.
Nomad Ocean Adventures, Dibba, Oman, PADI Open Water Course Dhs1,500; two nights/four dives for Dhs1,100. Tel: (968) 26836069. discovernomad.com
OR HOW ABOUT THIS, ALSO IN OMAN….