Oman has a varied coastline over 1600 kilometres long. There is a wealth of underwater flora, marine life and diving thrills awaiting the underwater explorer. Several companies specialising in diving services offer a complete range of diving courses, equipment and activities (night dives, wreck dives, etc.).
Oman is a beautiful country, with deserts and mountains, fjords and wadis but under all that, beneath the warm Indian Ocean currents of Oman lies a different world. The mostly unspoiled bed under Oman’s waters is a haven for divers and snorkelers. There are different kinds of soft and hard coral, hundreds of species of fish, manta and eagle rays, turtles, dolphins and sharks. It is no wonder that tourists flock to Oman’s shores for scuba diving.
There are many tour operators within Oman that take tourists out to the best diving sites in the Sultanate. The tours have all the necessary equipment for a safe and enjoyable dive. The waters accommodate novice and experienced divers with depths ranging from 5m to 40m. There are also corals that are quite close to the surface making it a spectacular site for snorkelers.
The Daymaniyat Islands are a string on nine uninhabited islands. This is a well-known destination for turtle watching. It is one of the best spots in Oman to see turtles lay their eggs and to watch their interactions. Coral Reefs cover much of the seabed of the islands and are fascinating to see on your diving adventure. The nine islands are also a sanctuary for migrating birds for the keen bird watchers out there. These tiny islands are Oman’s only Marine National Reserve. There are twelve gorgeous dive sites with different species of fish including a visiting whale shark.
If diving is not your thing there is an abundance of marine life close to the surface of the water. Snorkeling is popular for the less experienced, they get to see some of the extraordinary underwater life.
Salalah is 1000km from Muscat on the other side of the Sultanate of Oman. The diving sites here are relatively untouched and dive tours operate within the region. New dive sites are being discovered all the time so it is really an explorer’s dream. The diving in Salalah is seasonal, from October to May.
Musandam is beautiful with fjord like scenery, quite unlike anything you would expect to see in a desert region. The diving here is spectacular and dive sites offer over 900 species of fish. There are also coral gardens and the plankton is abundant. It is due to the plankton, however, that the visibility is not that great under water. Here one can see Manta and Eagle Rays gliding close to the bottom of the ocean floor. One can also see different species of turtle swimming freely. For a bit on adrenalin rush there are plenty of sharks here and one can see a whale shark if they are lucky. There is also a high chance of spotting dolphins swimming in their schools. Musandam offers more advanced dive sites for the more experienced divers.
It is located 4km off the coast of Muscat and can be reached by boat. Fahal Island is also known as Shark Island because sharks can often be seen lazing on the sandbanks. This limestone formation is a great place for divers and snorkelers. It has different levels of difficulty and different depths.
There is a mix of hard and soft corals here with schools of barracuda and eagle rays dominating the sea life. There is a wreck at 30meters and deep reefs at 40meters. More experienced divers can swim through the cave. Lucky divers can also see the friendly whale shark that visits every once in a while and travelling orca pass close by the cave at times as well.
All in all diving in Oman is a not to be missed activity so if you are planning a holiday here or if you live here don’t take the beautiful seas for granted and go take a look at the spectacular show beneath the waters of Oman.