Dubai might not be the best diving spot in the Arabian Gulf, since there are no coral reefs and visibility might be hindered by ongoing construction. However a pile of shipwrecks offers some excitement for experienced divers.
Beginners can take a two-day learning course at the Jumeirah Beach. Besides gaining basic diving skills and obtaining a certificate, you will be rewarded with the beautiful underwater world.
Zainab oil tanker lies under 30 m of water some 40 min from shore. The ship was built in 1969 by Smith’s Dock Co. and sank in April 2001 due to rough sea, spilling 500 metric tons of 1,300 tons of oil it was carrying. Sheikh Mohammad’s Barge lies at a depth of 20 meters. It was sunk on purpose in 1984 to make an artificial reef. The wreck consists of the main barge and a towing vessel. Cement reef balls were sunk to help coral growth. Mariam Express was a ferry going between the UAE and Iraq. It sank near Dubai in 2006 during rough sea conditions.
Some diving companies offer tours in other locations not far from Dubai, for example in Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE. Besides diving, travelers can go snorkeling.
Diving is possible in Dubai all year round, however, the visibility is at its best during spring and autumn.