sports and activities water sports Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving
Updated on 26 September 2016

The UAE is surrounded by two bodies of water, both offering different diving experiences. Dubai is good for shipwrecks, which are home to Barracuda, Snappers and Jacks, with common Rays and the odd Eagle Ray making an appearance, while the East coast has over 50 dive sites, from shallow reefs off Khorfakkan to the deep wall dives in the Musandam. Live-aboard charters are also available in the Musandam which is becoming a popular destination for divers looking to explore new territories. 

For certified divers looking to get out in the open water, here are two of the main dive operators:

1.    The Pavilion Dive Centre at Jumeirah Beach Hotel offers a range of courses up to the PADI Divemaster programme, and dive trips for qualified divers (weather permitting). Open Friday to Monday 8am to 6pm and Tuesday to Thursday 8am to 10pm. Call +971 4 4068828, Email divecentre@jumeirah.com or visit www.facebook.com/PavilionDiveCentre.

2.    Divers Down on Palm Jumeirah offers PADI Open Water courses and Discover Scuba experiences. Dive trips are also available (weather permitting) and boats depart from their East coast dive centre at 9.30am, 12.30pm and 3.30pm. Call +971 4 451 6191 or visit www.diversdownuae.com.


If you are looking for something for the kids to enjoy, then Dive Atlantis has the answer.

Home to over 65,000 marine animals, including sharks, fish and many species of rays, The Ambassador Lagoon at Atlantis, The Palm is the perfect place for diving. During each of the diving activities, experienced marine experts will guide you through the 11 million litre, 10 metre deep, marine habitat and underwater exhibit. The Ambassador Lagoon focuses on marine life found in the local waters of the Arabian Gulf, including Golden Trevallys, Cobias, Crescent Angelfish and a variety of sharks and rays.

For kids ages 8 to 12years, the PADI Bubblemaker course is a chance for kids to breathe underwater and swim around the shallows. The two hour programme costs Dhs 490 (Dhs 420 for resort guests) and is a fantastic way to build kids’ confidence, both socially and in the water.

Once they have caught the scuba bug, the PADI Seal Team and PADI Seal Team specialty programmes complete exciting, action-packed Aqua Missions surrounded by sharks and rays. Children ages 8 to 12years will learn what it is like to dive with flashlights, take digital pictures underwater and float effortlessly like an astronaut. Beyond learning basic scuba skills, there are specialty Aqua Missions, such as wreck diving, navigation, buoyancy, environmental awareness and more. Part one, Aqua Missions 1 - 5, covers basic scuba diving skills, with each session taking about an hour at a cost of Dhs 1,450 (Dhs 1,250 for resort guests). Part two, (requires PADI Seal Team as a prerequisite), offers 10 specialty Aqua Missions, including creature identification, search and recovery and skin diving, for Dhs 250 per speciality (Dhs 210 for resort guests). Complete all of these and you will become a PADI Master Seal Team Member – joining an elite group of young scuba divers.

Those aged 10years and above can also enrol on the PADI Scuba Diving programme, a world recognized certification, enabling young drivers to drop down to 12metres anywhere in the world, accompanied by a dive master or instructor. Lasting 12 hours over two days,  the experience includes three confined water sessions, three knowledge reviews and two open water dives in The Ambassador Lagoon for Dhs 1,550 for outside guest and Dhs 1,350 for resort guests.

Don’t worry; adults can also enjoy The Ambassador Lagoon:

Ultimate Snorkel from Dhs 225
Perfect for young and old alike, Ultimate Snorkel lets you explore the lost city of Atlantis and all its marine inhabitants from the perfect vantage point.

Dolphin Scuba Dive from Dhs 1,450
Certified scuba divers are invited to experience the rare opportunity to swim and interact with dolphins underwater.

Atlantis Dive Discovery from Dhs 950
Always wanted to experience Scuba diving? Atlantis Dive Discovery is designed specifically for non-certified divers. Learn basic diving skills and then meet the sharks, napoleon wrasse, colourful angel fish and butterflies amidst the ruins of Atlantis.

Atlantis Dive Explorer from Dhs 800
For certified divers, delight in the rare experience of diving alongside incredible sea creatures and marvel at the artefacts the ancient Atlanteans left behind in this single tank dive.

The Ultimate Dive Experience from Dhs 1,950
The Ultimate Dive Experience is exactly that. This premier two tank dive allows you the rare opportunity to hand-feed the giant rays, and concludes with a relaxing Arabic mezze on our rooftop terrace.

Call +971 4 426 3000 or visit www.atlantisthepalm.com/marine-water-park/diving-courses.


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