Diving Abu Dhabi: Take A Dive In The Emirates
Heading to Abu Dhabi during the month of Ramadan emphasised just how different our cultures are. Whilst we enjoy partying during the holiday season, the muslims endure a month of fasting during daylight hours. No music is played and drinking is restricted to hotels, where the westerners and less religious Emiraties go to socialise. Due to these circumstances, and the fact it was tipping over 40 degrees, we were finding it a little difficult to meet people and make friends. Thankfully diving Abu Dhabi offered us an opportunity, as always, to meet like-minded people.
The group was very diverse, and included people from Italy, Iran, Israel, England and Lebanon. We chose to dive with Emirates Divers – the shop is located on a spit of land next to the fish market. There are lots of beautiful old style fishing boats moored up, giving a perspective of what the city once was, as they sit in the shadows of the towering skyscrapers.
We set off at 8.15am for our two tank dive, happy to be on the boat and get some wind in our faces to cool us down from the baking sun. During the first dive we checked out a half-moon shaped bed of coral, which wasn’t that spectacular but as it was the first time we had navigated a dive site alone, it definitely made it a more exciting experience. We managed to navigate this dive site without any problems and headed off to our second location.
Again we were left to our own devices and quickly realised that everything looked the same. There was loads of Staghorn Coral and it all seemed to blend into one. I thought I’d lead us in a square and that we’d still be able to find our way back to the boat. After a couple of full turns around my ‘square’ I realised I had absolutely no idea where the boat was. There was a small current (which I hadn’t accounted for), and it turned out my compass wasn’t working properly (whoops). I looked over to a very confused Beth, whose sense of direction on land means she can get lost on the way to the bathroom, so after a few more loops we decided to surface. It was lucky we did, as we’d drifted about 600 meters away from the boat! The kind boat captain came to pick us up and we managed to make good friends with a group of Lebanese lads on the ride back. They invited us out for drinks and we had a pretty amazing time, so everything turned out hunky-doory.
Cost: $40 per dive
Water Temp: 30 C
Sites: Approx 6
Overall Rating: 2/5
Recommended Dive Shop: Emirates Divers Center
Summary: “Great for meeting people, for the best diving in the UAE head to Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman”
Do you have any experience diving Abu Dhabi? Let us know below!