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.
What is the best time of year to go diving in Dubai?
Tourists can experience the best diving conditions in Dubai from March to May and from September to November. During this time, the weather is mild, and visibility is much better, which provides a conducive environment for diving. However, tourists can still enjoy diving in Dubai all year-round, despite the weather conditions. Show more
Where are the best shipwrecks to dive at in Dubai?
Experience the thrill of diving into history by exploring some of the best shipwrecks in Dubai. Some of the must-visit locations for shipwreck diving are the Zainab oil tanker, Sheikh Mohammad's Barge, and Mariam Express. The Zainab oil tanker is approximately 40 minutes away from the shore, while Sheikh Mohammad's Barge sits at an artificial reef depth of 20 meters. Mariam Express is an old ferry that sank due to rough sea conditions in 2006. Show more
What kind of certification is required to go diving in Dubai?
PADI Open Water certification is the basic requirement for diving in Dubai, and most diving companies require it. The certification allows you to dive up to 18 meters in depth. However, if you wish to dive deeper, you must obtain an advanced certification. If you are a beginner, learn the fundamental diving skills through a two-day course offered by diving companies at Jumeirah Beach and earn your certification. Show more
When is the best time to see marine life in the waters around Dubai?
Dubai's waters offer tourists an opportunity to see marine life all year-round. However, the best time to witness them is during the cooler months of March to May and September to November, when visibility is much clearer. During these months, visitors can catch glimpses of several marine species, including barracuda, snappers, and reef sharks. Show more
Are there any other activities besides diving available nearby to Dubai, such as snorkeling?
Tourists in Dubai have the chance to experience other activities besides diving, such as snorkeling. Fujairah, situated on the east coast of the UAE, is a popular location for snorkeling tours, where tourists can experience the underwater beauty of the Arabian Gulf. In addition, Fujairah boasts breathtaking natural beauty, with its long coastline and beautiful Hajar Mountains. Show more