Top Places to Go Scuba Diving Dubai

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Dubai offers a plethora of scuba diving destinations for enthusiasts. The city boasts 11 of the best places to go scuba diving, each with its unique charm and appeal. From the artificial reef at Jumeirah Beach to the sunken shipwreck at Zainab, Dubai’s underwater world is a must-visit for any diving enthusiast.

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11 Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Dubai

1. Jumeirah Beach Scuba Diving

 Jumeirah Beach Scuba Diving dubai

One of the best places for scuba diving spots in Dubai, Jumeirah Beach offers small sites for beginners to view the vibrant aquatic life of the gulf, as well as some shipwrecks for advanced explorers to swim through. Since it is also one of the most popular beaches, there are a number of agencies that offer equipment, and even professional guidance.

2. Sham Rock Scuba Diving

Sham Rock Scuba Diving Dubai

Sharm Rock is situated offshore, approximately 15 minutes south of the Meridian Fujairah, with a depth ranging from 10 to 22 meters. This dive site is also referred to as “3 Rocks Pinnacles” or “3 Sisters” due to the three small outcrops of rocks that emerge above the surface. The pinnacles, which are in close proximity, feature a 150-meter-long and 100-meter-wide crack. Experienced divers occasionally venture to the fourth rock. The rocks are covered in soft corals, providing a sanctuary for a variety of reef fish, including snappers, large-mouth mackerel, fusiliers, and jacks, which are preyed upon by large tuna.

3. Martini Rock Scuba Diving

Martini Rock Scuba Diving Dubai

Martini rock is located 25 minutes south by boat and is the farthest dive site. The rock spans approximately 160m in length and 80m in width at its widest point, comprising two pinnacles. The site boasts abundant shoals of Arabian Mackerel, Trevally, Sergeant Major’s, Fusiliers, and Domino Damsel Fish. Upon closer inspection, one can observe Nudibranchs, Cowrie Shells, shrimp, and crabs among the whip coral and teddy bear coral. The site is also home to larger marine life such as the Porcupine Puffer, Moray Eels, Jaw Fish, Green and Hawks Bill Turtles, and Barracuda.

4. Dubai World Islands SCuba Diving

 Dubai World Islands SCuba Diving

Dubai World Islands offers a unique scuba diving experience. The islands are man-made and shaped like a world map, providing divers with an opportunity to explore various underwater terrains. The diving sites are well-maintained and offer a diverse range of marine life. Safety measures are strictly enforced to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.

The islands are home to a diverse range of marine species, including fish, turtles, and coral reefs. The preservation of this ecosystem is crucial to maintaining the natural balance of the area and ensuring the sustainability of the region’s tourism industry.

5. Zainab

. Zainab Dubai Scuba Diving

Undoubtedly one of the most loved sites for scuba diving in Dubai, Zainab is famous for being one of the major oil spills in this region, which was paired with the rough waves that the ship couldn’t battle against. It met the bed in 2001, and over time has become a cosy home for all kinds of marine species like yellowtail barracuda. Since the site is quite huge, people often take a couple of dives to explore it fully. It is recommended that you visit this site with professionals.

6. Mariam Express

 Mariam Express dubai

Engulfed by the raging waters in 2006, Mariam Express was a ferry that used to travel from UAE to Iraq and back. The strong currents were the major reason for this incident, but the ferry was also overloaded. Today, its cargos serve as a spectacular wreckage site for scuba in Dubai, UAE. It lies at a depth of 18 to 25 metres, and some of the marine species that you can spot here include a variety of nudibranch and flatworms, as well as spotted eagle, torpedo rays, and yellowtail barracuda.

7.MV Ludwig

MV Ludwig dubai scuba diving

One of the most well-preserved wrecks off of the Dubai shore is MV Ludwig. As she lies on her portside, this close to perfect ship fell into the waters during practice sessions. Today it serves as a haven to fish species like damselfish, sea squirts, and pennant fish, amongst many more.

8. MV Dara

MV Dara scuba diving

Set 5 to 17 metres deep into the waters, MV Dara is a passenger ship that sunk to the bed in the year 1961. 238 lives were lost then. Not only does it serve as a monument that tells this story, but is also one of the very few ships that have been a victim to horrifying peacetime accidents. Due to this it is often compared to the Titanic. The list of dive sites in Dubai would be incomplete without mentioning this.

9. MV Victoria Star

MV Victoria Star dubai scuba diving

Often termed as the best diving experience in Dubai, MV Victoria Star is also amongst the top sites for diving in UAE. It sank in the year 2013, which makes it one of the recent wrecks on this side of the coast. The currents here are average, and it is recommended that tourists, especially beginners, visit this site with a professional guide. It is at a depth of 14 to 23 metres and advanced divers can dive a couple of time to explore the entire wreck.

10. Cement Barge

10. Cement Barge scuba diving

One of the most famous diving sites in Dubai is the Cement Barge. The depth here is between 5 to 20 meters, making it perfect for beginner to try scuba diving. What’s more, the other options available here are snorkelling and night diving! If you love taking scuba diving vacations, don’t miss out on this site.

11. Sheikh Mohammad’s Barge

 Sheikh Mohammad’s Barge dubai

There were many sites that were created by sinking ships and barges on purpose, so as to encourage the growth of corals and other marine life off the coast of Dubai. DB1/Sheikh Mohammad’s Barge is one of them. It is 18 to 23 metres deep into the gulf, and it take at least two dives to explore it all. Coral growth has indeed made this site beautiful giving you the experience of best scuba diving in Dubai.

Best Time for Diving in Dubai

Dubai’s warm climate and crystal-clear waters make it a year-round scuba diving destination. However, the best time to explore the underwater wonders is during the winter months, from November to April. During this period, the average water temperatures range from 21°C to 28°C (70°F to 82°F), providing optimal conditions for divers. The visibility during these months is also excellent, often exceeding 30 meters (100 feet), allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty below the surface.

Expert Tips for Scuba Diving in Dubai

To ensure a safe and enjoyable scuba diving experience in Dubai, here are some expert tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose a reputable dive center: Selecting a reputable dive center with experienced instructors is crucial. Look for PADI or SSI certified dive centers that prioritize safety and adhere to international diving standards.
  2. Check weather conditions: Before heading out for a dive, check the weather forecast and sea conditions. Avoid diving during strong winds or rough seas to maintain optimal safety levels.
  3. Dive within your limits: Dubai offers dive sites suitable for divers of all levels, from beginners to advanced. It is essential to choose a dive site that matches your experience and training level. If you are a beginner, opt for sites with calm currents and shallow depths.
  4. Protect yourself from the sun: Although you are underwater, the sun’s rays can still penetrate the surface and cause sunburn. Apply a waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF and wear a rash guard or wetsuit to provide additional protection.
  5. Stay hydrated: Scuba diving can be physically demanding, and dehydration can occur quickly. Drink plenty of fluids before and after your dive to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue.
  6. Be mindful of marine life: Respect and protect the marine ecosystem by avoiding touching or disturbing marine life. Take only pictures and memories, leaving nothing behind except bubbles.

Packing List for Scuba Diving in Dubai

To ensure that you have all the necessary gear for your scuba diving adventure in Dubai, here’s a packing list:

  1. Diving certification and logbook: Bring your diving certification card and logbook to prove your qualifications and record your dives.
  2. Mask, snorkel, and fins: Your own mask, snorkel, and fins provide a comfortable and familiar fit. Rental equipment is available, but having your own ensures a better diving experience.
  3. Wetsuit or rash guard: Protect your skin from the sun and potential encounters with marine life by wearing a wetsuit or rash guard. The thickness of the suit will depend on the water temperature and personal preference.
  4. Dive computer or depth gauge: A dive computer or depth gauge allows you to monitor your depth, dive time, and decompression stops accurately.
  5. Underwater camera: Capture the mesmerizing underwater world of Dubai with an underwater camera. Whether it’s a compact camera or a professional DSLR in a housing, capturing those memories will be unforgettable.
  6. Extra essentials: Don’t forget to pack other essentials such as a towel, dry bag, dive light, and a reef hook for drift dives.

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Hi!I’m Kim!

A passionate adventurer, homesteader, home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favorite trips, skills , and recipes with the world.



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