Dubai has a whole lot going for it. Aside from the outrageous luxury of many of the hotels, it has a desert climate that makes the diving waters pleasant the whole year round. So while you might think twice about even donning your dry suit to dive at home over winter, you can enjoy scuba diving all year round in Dubai without any worries about the water temperatures.
Here are some of our favourite scuba diving sites in Dubai:
MV Dara Wreck Dive
Skilled wreck divers will enjoy a visit to MV Dara, which sank off the coast of Dubai in 1961. It was a sizeable passenger vessel and the explosion that resulted in its demise cost over 200 lives. It lies on the West Coast of Dubai.
A few things to note:
- Visibility is rarely above 6m. This is something that’s consistent across the West Coast as the result of dredging
- The wreck sits at a depth of just over 20m
- In terms of marine life, you can expect to see turtles, eagle rays and barracuda. You may even be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a whale shark here
Just a little distance from Dubai you will find Dibba Rock (or Dibba “Island.”). Visibility here is better than at the wreck mentioned above and this is an area teeming with wildlife.
A 16m dive, this is a good one for checking out wildlife, with turtle sightings incredibly common in the area. Do note that the whole area often sees strong currents here and you probably want to plan a few dives to get around the island rather than just one. That said, in high tide, it could well be feasible to complete it in a single dive if you’re happy to make haste!
Whale sharks can be seen in this area from time to time too.
You’ll often encounter clown fish in this area too. In fact, they can be a little territorial at times, often bashing into divers’ masks!
So Martini Rock will involve a trip to Dubai’s neighbour, Fujairah. But as this was voted the best dive site in the UAE, it seems well worthy of an inclusion in this list for those enjoying scuba diving holidays to Dubai.
Visibility here commonly reaches 15m and dives range from 10 to 22m in depth.
It’s about 25 minutes by boat from Fujairah, but the beautiful reef is probably the best diving spot in the whole of the United Arab Emirates.
Clown fish, turtles, starfish, urchins and seahorses are amongst the vastly varied marine life you can expect to see on a dive here.
Diving in Dubai and Neighbouring Areas
In the summer, the waters of the UAE coast can reach a really pleasant 33 degrees Celsius, dropping to around 22 in winter. That makes for perfectly pleasant diving conditions the whole year round. It’s worth noting that the high temperatures of July result in an increase in algae, which in turn reduces visibility. And the construction and dredging in Dubai itself mean the East coast in particular often suffers from poor visibility. But get out and about, enjoy the many wrecks of Dubai’s coast and enjoy the West Coast via a visit to Fujairah and you can make this a scuba diving trip to remember.