Middle East Diving
Discover WWII wrecks, unexplored dive sites and remote reefs teeming with fish life and critters at the Middle East’s diving hotspots. Healthy corals, colourful fish, pelagic action, rays, reef sharks, turtles and even whale sharks await your arrival.
Oman offers pristine reefs, huge shoals of fish and plenty of whale sharks. Discover easy colourful reef dives and exciting wrecks, or go in search of dolphins, mantas, humpbacks and even sperm whales at the wild, remote Hallaniyat Islands.
Diving in the Middle East
Scuba diving in the Middle East is a real treat for divers of all levels and experience. However, the name ‘Middle East’ can be a little vague, as there are many countries involved, some less well known than others. Undoubtedly in this part of the world, some unforgettable diving can be done in Oman, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Jordan - to name only a few within this great cluster of countries. With the most popular dive sites located in the Red Sea, the Arabian Ocean and the Indian Ocean, you can experience warm waters and fantastic visibility while diving on amazing wrecks, including some from WWII, in addition to exploring caves and relishing beautiful rainbow reefs, gorgeous fish, some of which are endemic, sharks, dolphins, rays, dugongs, and of course, turtles. With its year-long warm weather, thriving critters and healthy reefs, it’s no surprise that the Middle East is famous for diving, and divers just can’t get enough of it, with many returning year after year.
With a little something for everyone, the Middle East is perfect for beginners, those wanting to undertake dive courses, specialty courses, and even the most seasoned of divers hoping to learn more about the underwater world or those divers who simply wish to enjoy some mesmerising fun dives.
As a continent, it’s difficult to say when exactly is the best time to dive here, as some countries experience migrating critters at specific times of the year. Weather-wise though, as a standard, April to November has the warmest weather but is usually more humid. December to March is drier, and the water and air temperatures are normally cooler but more comfortable.
No matter what time of year you go, you’re guaranteed to be spoilt for choice, as there are countless liveaboards, dive centers and resorts that will cater to your needs.
Best places to dive
Firstly, Oman enjoys an untouched coastline and diverse marine life. Here, the Hallaniyat Islands are a favourite, with sublime coral reefs, coral reefs and wrecks. Divers flock to see the resident population of humpback whales, as well as reef sharks, mantas and epic schools of fish. Oman’s Musandam Peninsula displays dramatic topography, with breathtaking cliffs plunging vertically into the ocean, where most dives are conducted. Marine life is varied here, with everything from macro creatures to whalesharks. The Daymaniyat Islands are nine protected islands beaming with life, including vibrant reefs, leopard sharks, turtles, and seahorses. Oman’s capital Muscat is similarly a diving hotspot, where it’s rich in nutrients that support an array of marine life. Here divers savour beautiful reefs, numerous fish, and even whalesharks.
Moving onto Israel, which sits between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Here, it’s caves, coral gardens and critters galore. Divers often visit Eilat, home to an exceptional protected marine reserve with easy shore diving. Furthermore, on the Red Sea side, Coral Beach Nature Reserve hosts impressive coral gardens. On the Mediterranean side, cave fanatics should dive the Rosh Hanikra Caverns, which are incredible natural chalk caverns.
Next, Saudi Arabia has a substantial amount of unexplored dive spots. It also has the lengthiest coastline on the Red Sea, meaning a myriad of diving opportunities. With pristine waters, abundant healthy corals, colourful fish, wondersome wrecks and frequenting pelagics, it’s perfect for adventure-seeking divers. Popular dive sites include the Boiler Wreck, Ala’s Reef, the Ann Ann Wreck and Redmah Wall.
Lastly, with only 17 miles of Red Sea coastline, but over 20 uncrowded dive sites, including a wreck, Jordan offers a magnificent diving experience. Four miles of its coast is inside the Aqaba Marine, home to soft and hard corals, reef fish, turtles, sharks and rays. Dive sites that you shouldn’t miss out on in Jordan include the Cedar Pride Wreck, Yellowstone Reef, The Aquarium, The Power Station, Seven Sisters and the Tank, and the Japanese Gardens.