Oman has a varied coastline over 1600 kilometres long with a wealth of marine life. Here are the top places to scuba dive!
18 July 2013| Last updated on 14 June 2017
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.
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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.
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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 as you still 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.
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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.
Fahal Island diving
Fahal Island is located 4km off the coast of Muscat and can be reached by boat. It's 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 30 meters and deep reefs at 40 meters. 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.
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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.