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United Arab Emirates overview



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United Arab Emirates dive site map

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Scuba Diving in the United Arab Emirates

Water temperature:

The water temperature averages 25°C (77°F). During July the water temperature is 34°C (93°F)


3mm wetsuit, skin or swimming costume


Dubai - Poor, 3 metres (10 feet) - 10 metres (30 feet) due to dredging works.
Al Fujayrah - 5 metres (15 feet) - 20 metres (65 feet)

Type of diving:

Wreck dives in Dubai, reefs in Al Fujayrah

Marine life:

Turtles, eels, octopus, batfish, snapper, jacks, parrotfish, soft corals occasional rays, hammerhead and reef sharks. In Al Fujayrah you may also find barracuda, tuna, squid, seahorses, lionfish and clownfish as well as seeing hard coral and, if you are very lucky, whale and reef sharks

When to go:

Flights go direct to Dubai all year round, however it is generally recommended to avoid July and August due to the heat (35 - 45°C). This is considered the off-season so the hotels are fairly empty and flights can be obtained cheaply. During the rest of the year air temperatures range from 25 - 35°C (77 - 95°F). In Al Fujayrah there is a plankton bloom during late June / July

How to get there:

From the UK - Regular direct flights from London and major airports through Emirates or Gulf Air. We flew in from Abu Dhabi, which is approximately an hour transfer to the Jumeirah Beach area. Al Fujayrah has an airport for internal flights, or it is approximately 2 hours by car from Dubai

Dubai - Courtesy of Jenny Pickles


Dubai is probably one of the fastest developing places in the world with huge amounts of construction work happening the length and breadth of the city. Nearly everywhere you stay you'll be a stones throw from a large construction site with prominent landmarks such as the Three Palm Developments, Burj Dubai and the World Islands development progressing at a vast rate of knots. Dubai is soon to boast the world's largest shopping centres, tallest building, Dubailand and countless opulent hotels and landmarks. The many new developments should not affect your stay, as the hotels are fairly well protected from the noise and disruption; however the coastal developments have effected the diving from the west coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), mainly due to a reduced visibility at most of the dive sites.

Currently Dubai is an exciting, vibrant city with fabulous beaches, hotels, numerous shopping hotspots and traditional souks. Although the UAE is a traditional Muslim country, Dubai is by comparison fairly relaxed and multi-ethnic, however tourists are expected to respect the cities attitudes towards clothing and behaviour. In comparison to surrounding middle-eastern countries, alcohol is permitted in bars and restaurants attached to hotels.

As a qualified diver I would recommend a days diving as a good way to see the coast and look back at Dubai, and to experience one or two reasonable wrecks. I would not really recommend Dubai purely for a diving trip or for qualifying when compared to the Red Sea and Oman which have lots more to offer. I was diving in Dubai with Pavillion Divers, based at the Jumeirah Beach hotel, who I can thoroughly recommend.

Please note: dive site directory cannot endorse any recommendations that have been made by divers leaving contributions on the directory.

Al Fujayrah

Dubai - Courtesy of Jenny Pickles

Located on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, Fujayrah is wedged between the two coasts of Oman. It is a relatively undeveloped town, although more hotels are being built and I'm sure it will become more built-up in due course.

We did a two-dive day trip from Dubai. The start was a fairly early 5.30am, returning to Dubai at approximately 17.30. This trip included the two separate boat dives and transport to the east coast. The reefs located on this coast seem to be fairly shallow dives, although the amount of marine life is excellent. I would really recommend a day trip to the east coast, either to Oman (Musandam) or Fujayrah. A day trip makes for a long day, so if you have time to do a two-day trip it is well worth it. It is best to check before your holiday which day you wish to do this trip as various dive centres only do the trips once a week or so.

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