5 spectacular spots for diving in the Middle East
Bordered by the crystalline waters of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, the Middle East overflows with submarine treasures. On the program : a variety of corals, wrecks full of history and considerable fauna accessible for experienced divers and beginners alike. From Jordan to Sudan through Egypt, here’s a focus on the greatest diving spots.
The city of Aqaba in Jordan
Aqaba is the perfect place to take up diving. The sites are usually not so deep and visibility is typically good. Moreover, among these spots, several belong to the Marine Park of Aqaba, which was created in 1997. Along the 7 km coast, it protects marine biodiversity and raise awareness of respect for the environment among its visitors. In its clear waters, a myriad of flying scorpion fishes, groupers and nudibranchs can be seen.
The Seven Brothers Islands in Djibouti
Located in the north of Djibouti, the small islands of the Seven Brothers archipelago are among the most beautiful diving areas of the Red Sea. The archipelago, which is not so crowded, is crossed by many currents, thus it attracts eagle rays, as well as schools of colorful fish, such as batfish, snappers or jacks. A special attention must be dedicated to the East Island and the Big Island, where coral gardens provide an exceptional setting for underwater life.
The village of Hamata in Egypt
Apart from the tourist turmoil of Charm el-Cheikh, the Bedouin village of Hamata tends to be more wild and quiet. Located in the south of the country, the place is renowned for its aligned reefs, called Fury Shoals. The plateau is very accessible and offers divers all its natural treasures, including caves, tunnels and canyons. Turtles, dolphins and napoleon fishes live in these underground caverns, as well as the wreck of the Tien Hsing, a 35-meter-long Chinese vessel, which sunk in 1943. Such a spectacle !
Daymaniyat islands in the Sultanate of Oman
These nine small islands located in the north of Muscat are worth the detour. Protected by the Ministry of the Environment, they provide a peaceful habitat for more than 110 species of coral and five species of turtles. However, in the Daymaniyat Nature Reserve encounters are very often unexpected… Divers would be able to see rays in summer and leopard sharks in winter !
The site of Sha’ab Rumi in Sudan
It is the most popular diving site in Sudan. And for good reason, Commander Cousteau led the mission Conshelf II in 1963. That’s why today, diving in Sha’ab Rumi seems like a pilgrimage. Many people come to pay tribute to the explorer, while admiring parrot fish and hammerhead sharks.