Shipwrecks, seahorses: What residents, tourists can look forward to under UAE waters

Dubai has been a hotspot for diving in the region for many tourists, offering them offshore and shallow diving


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Wed 19 Jul 2023, 3:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Jul 2023, 1:27 PM

About 70 per cent of the surface of the Earth is covered by water, and there are countless natural wonders and marine life to be discovered in our oceans. And considering the crystal clear waters of the UAE, it is no exception.

The UAE's ocean is rich in marine biodiversity and is home to a variety of fascinating marine creatures, including sea horses. “Among the marine creatures lie many shipwrecks, which will leave you spellbound,” said Roger Viver, a Spanish expat working as an engineer in Dubai.

Spanish expat Roger Viver
Spanish expat Roger Viver
Roger with the shipwreck of The Princess
Roger with the shipwreck of The Princess

Viver has undertaken over 40 dives throughout his life and “observing species underwater can be fascinating to observe in their natural habitats,” said Viver, who is a regular diver and is fascinated by exploring shipwrecks. “Diving is relaxing, a good way to unwind. We are disconnected from the outside world for a few hours without any phones. It’s like floating in zero gravity, and you are on your own,” added Viver.

Dubai has been a hotspot for diving in the region for many tourists. “Diving into the UAE waters gives you knowledge about marine life and trade,” said Mike Petrov, a tourist in Dubai, who undertook a dive in UAE waters recently.

“It was soothing to see marine creatures in their habitat. I could find hermit crabs, flutemouths, sunfish, and much more. Interestingly, I could also explore the shipwrecks,” said Petrov.

Many diving institutes and centres in Dubai take residents and tourists to offshore and shallow diving, and experts say that this adventure in the UAE is in great demand.

Bermuda Diving Centre, based in Dubai, has various diving options for tourists and residents. “Our dives are in Dubai. We have an offshore dive about 5 kilometres away from the shore and a shallow dive of 20 feet depth which is undertaken at Lamer Beach,” said Mithun Kumar, a sales and marketing representative from Bermuda diving centre.

However, there are no age restrictions, and anyone above 10 can try this adventure activity. For people with illnesses such as asthma and other breathing problems and who have undergone surgery in the last years, it is advisable not to undertake the escapade.

The process starts with a 30-minute briefing and introduction, easing into the sea with 30 minutes of practice in shallow waters. “Once our clients are comfortable, we take them to a maximum depth of 26 feet,” said Kumar, adding that swimming is not mandatory.

The offshore package provides a captivating experience with marine life and its dynamic environment. “We begin a 45-minute underwater dive after a 5-kilometre boat journey from the coast, giving you a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes of blissful underwater time with the training,” said Kumar.

The dive is done at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm.

Shebin Thomas from Bermuda Diving Centre who has been diving for the last seven years in many parts of the world, shares the rules for the adventure.

Stay in the moment

When diving, living in the present and paying close attention to your surroundings is necessary. If you're not going to allow yourself to appreciate the beauty of the underwater world around you, what's the point of diving? The only way to fully experience life is to live in the present.

Just keep breathing

The number one rule is not to hold your breath when diving. Nothing is more beautiful than feeling your breath and experiencing the calmness. It eases tension, improves concentration, and strengthens your connection to your body.

Remain calm

Panic is among the worst things you can do while underwater. Send your friend a signal if you run out of air. Stay away from anything potentially harmful if you notice it.

Believe in fellow divers and equipment

The equipment, dive partner, instructor, and dive plan must all be trusted once you're underwater.

Appreciate Nature

We see the underwater world on our screens, but experiencing it first hand is spellbinding. Once underwater, you will be unmoved by nature’s beauty and will surely learn to respect it.

Learn to Enjoy Yourself

While there are many other lessons in life that we can learn from scuba diving, the most significant is learning to enjoy what you are doing. If scuba diving were frightening, dangerous, or instructional, we wouldn't be doing it at all.


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