Best Diving in Oman

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The true treasures of Oman lie hidden beneath the surface, where the vast panorama explodes into a complex symphony of colors and corals. The warm water draws large schools of manta rays, whale sharks, seahorses, turtles and shoals of tropical fish darting amongst huge coral reef gardens. This wealth of aquatic life and combination of fish & coral reefs will delight all underwater photographers and marine naturalists.

Best Dive Sites in Oman

With over 100 dive sites to choose from around Muscat alone, there is something to offer everyone, from the beginner to the more experienced diver. Even the non-diver can experience close encounters with reef fish, turtles, dolphins and whale sharks, so no one goes home disappointed.

Bander Khairan

Located twenty minutes to the south east of Muscat by boat. The area is a small system of coves and creeks There are a variety of different dive sites, from 30m drop-offs to shallow coral reefs or swim-throughs beneath huge boulders. There is an excellent wreck dive here, on the Al Munnassir, a 84m landing craft, starting at 8m, lying on the bottom at 30m. It is a fantastic dive and is always brimming with fish, whilst giant honeycomb moray eels roam the gangways. Sandy beaches and calm waters inside the main area make this an ideal site for picnics or a break between dives. When diving here, you can expect to see spectacular soft and hard corals, turtles resting amongst the reef, giant honeycombed moray eels entangled through the reef, large sting rays lying covered in sand, lobsters lurking from beneath rocks and at the right time of the year, a curious whale shark may just come and say hello.

Fahal Island

Fahal is a large island, (often referred to as Shark Island ). 4 km offshore from Muscat’s popular tourist beach. It is a 20 minute boat ride from the dive center. Smaller in area than Bander Khairan it boasts equally excellent diving, with bays containing many varieties of hard and soft corals. For the more adventurous there is a cave swim-through, a wreck at 30m and deep reefs down to 40m, where schools of barracuda can be found. Sharks can be often be seen basking on the sand banks, giant eagle rays gliding effortlessly into the distance, schools of fish in their thousands and if you’re lucky you may get to see a friendly whale shark or a travelling orca. At Fahal, you expect the unexpected.

Cat Island

Conveniently located just 300m from the beach at the Capital Area Yacht Club. This dive site is great for both snorkelers and divers and is one of Oman’s most popular sites for night dives. Depths range from 2m ; 16m. Here you can see a variety of fish, often large schools towards the end of the day, rays, lobsters, cuttlefish, eels of all varieties and the occasional turtle.

Daymaniat Islands

Often referred to as the jewels of the crown, the Daymaniat Islands are a string of nine uninhabited islands, located 18km off the Batinah Coast . They are Oman s only Marine Nature Reserve and special permits have to be acquired. Reefs start from 5m to 30m with plenty of life below and above the water. The islands are renowned for its extensive coral varieties. Here you can expect to see plenty of colorful reef fish, turtles and rays.

Ras Abu Dawood

Great for novice and advanced divers alike. Consists of a small group of Islands located approximately 1 hr from Muscat, with steep walls on the east and shallow reefs on the western side. Dives start from 3m ; 40m. Here you can expect to see reef sharks, turtles and sting rays. A wreck dive of a freighter in 16m of water can also be included.

ECO Diving in Oman

PROTECTING OMAN’S CORAL REEFS

Coral reefs play a vital role in maintaining the planet’s biological diversity and as divers, it is important that we not only gain an understanding of their role but also become active in their protection, ensuring against their loss and enabling future generations of divers to enjoy them as we do today.

In Oman, divers are fortunate enough to find some spectacular coral reefs, with new species of coral continually being discovered. Flanked by strikingly scenic coasts and down in the shallow waters, the coral reefs of Oman are largely uncharted territory. Their charm and diversity are yet to be fully explored and enjoyed by residents and tourists alike.

Coral sites throughout the Sultanate are diverse

Some of the most beautiful coral reefs sites of Oman are located in the Muscat area, Damaniyat Islands, Bandar Jissah, Bandar Khayran, Fahal Islands, Sharqiya, Barr al Hikman, Masirah Islands, Dhofar, Musandam and Marbadh.

Corals are not just lifeless rocks. ‘They are animals with a stony skeleton’, explains Eng Mussallam Mubarak al Jabri, head of Marine Pollution Management Department at the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment. Reefs are one of the richest habitats for animal life on earth.

Fahal Island in the Muscat Area is a centre of coral diversity

Muscat area is rich in corals but the centre of diversity is at Fahal Island’s Ra’s al Hamra, which is known for a unique coral community.

Exposed rocky shores facing north and east are the hub of soft coral growth, while south and west facing shores contain hard coral growth.

The Damaniyat Islands, about 17-km offshore, support extensive reef development. Damaniyat reefs are typically dominated by a few genera, but at some sites where the assemblage is mixed, coral diversity is known to be high. Damaniyat reefs provide a diverse habitat and feeding grounds for commercially important fish and a high potential value to Oman’s tourist industry, says Mussallam, who is an active diver has watched coral reefs from close quarters.

Sharqiya coast

Sharqiya coast, to the east of Muscat, used to be an area of luxuriant coral growth but has only a few reef formations now. Much of the previously luxuriant coral growth was destroyed in a large storm a few years ago.

However, the fishing industry of Sharqiyah depends on coastal fish stocks, many of which are reliant on shallow water coral environment. Reefs of this area are also important for turtles, whales, dolphins and seabirds.

At the southern shores of Barr al Hikman coral watchers have found extensive reefs covering kilometres of shallow coastal areas. The reefs of Barr al Hikman are also known for supporting high densities of migrating birds and are important for coastal protection and production of coral sand.

Efforts are under way to preserve the natural richness of the coral reefs

Some of the reef areas, although containing rare coral communities, are faced with several environmental hazards. Things are, however, about to change as the implementation of the country’s National Coral Reef Management Plan-1996 gained new momentum in 2001, which was designated as the Year of the Environment. The plan, aimed at restoring and preserving the health and richness of coral reefs, will give a major boost to the popularity of Oman’s coral reefs.

Thanks to Oman’s National Coral Reef Management Plan, extensive efforts are under way to preserve the natural richness, variety, and quality of the country’s extensive coral reef areas. Protecting the coral reefs of Oman is important because reefs are one of the richest habitats for animal life on earth. The health of the oceans and planet depends on the survival of these coral reefs.

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has aptly remarked that “the conservation of the environment is the responsibility of all of us” a responsibility that knows no political boundaries’.

Coral reefs are a source of many benefits to Oman, as they:

  1. Provide nursery and feeding areas for fish and other commercially important species.
  2. Provide resources for recreation and tourism.
  3. Offer coastal protection and
  4. Help conservation of biological diversity and maintenance of marine ecosystem.

Taking care of coral reefs is important because they are of value to fisheries, tourism, recreation, coastal protection, marine bio-diversity and marine biology. Coral reefs are used by certain fish, which come to the reefs seasonally to breed and lay their eggs.

Impacts on reefs are caused by both human and natural causes. Some of the key management issues include littering by traders and fishermen in Musandam, which causes pollution to these sea beds.

This affects the potential for eco-tourism. Reef damage is also traceable to the impact of fishing activities. New methods are being worked out by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment to reduce the incidence of lost/abandoned fishing gear, ropes, nets, fish traps, and anchors.

Oman, undoubtedly, is emerging as a major destination for eco-tourism on the world map, thanks to the charm and diversity of its coral reefs, scenic coasts and Sultanate’s deep concern for environmental quality and cleanliness.

What can we do about it?

Encouraging Responsible Diving

All divers are encouraged to not touch and to not take anything away from the reef. One of the ways in which divers can ensure that do not impact on the coral reef is to maintain good buoyancy. Divers are encouraged to participate in the Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality course which will enable them to glide effortlessly over coral reefs.

Underwater Clean-ups

The local dive centers can’t be responsible for the wider community’s attitude to the environment, but they can help to clean up litter and debris that is often found underwater and can have a damaging effect on local marine life. By organising underwater clean ups, they are also generating publicity and getting the message across to the general public that litter can kill. The hope is that in time, people’s attitude to throwing rubbish in the sea will change.

WHALE SHARKS Awareness

UNDERSTANDING OMAN’S WHALE SHARKS

The Whale Shark is the world’s largest species of fish. It can grow up to 20 m in length, weigh up to 34 tonnes and can live to reach a grand old age of 100 years old. Although a member of the shark family, it is a passive creature, eating mainly zoo plankton and nekton.

The best time to see Whale Sharks here in Oman is in June and October when they are attracted to the plankton rich waters found along current boundaries. However, it is not uncommon to see the Whale Shark throughout the year and regular sightings have been recorded.

The Whale Shark has been listed by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) as vulnerable and may face extinction in the medium term future. The main threats facing the survival of the Whale Shark is habitat loss e.g. overfishing of reef fish leading to explosions of coral grazers, causing a reduction in food, maritime development, pollution, disturbance, and the trade in Whale Shark meat and fins.

Due to the nature of the Whale Shark’s environment, carrying out research on this species has been difficult, as a result very little is known about their ecology, behaviour and what characterises their habitat. To ensure the survival of the Whale Shark and to prevent further habitat loss, local dive centers have linked up with an international whale shark photo id project.

The aim of the Whale Shark Project is to investigate Whale Sharks habitat use and migration through photo-id. Photo-id programs involve members of the public, dive operators and scientists to take photographs of individual characteristics such as scars and pigmentation patterns which are unique to that animal. These photographs, along with the relevant information regarding where they were taken and information about the animal, are then included in a database.

This can then be searched to find matches- animals that have been photographed previously- which provides valuable data on the Whale Sharks’ biology, ecology and movement over time. The project will provide valuable data which can then be used in conservation planning and management measures to ensure the future protection of this species.

GETTING UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH WHALE SHARKS

Diving or snorkeling with Whale Sharks in their natural environment is a breathtaking and rewarding experience. The world’s largest fish gliding slowly but gracefully past, resplendent in its dappled skin, within touching distance and impassive to the presence of the onlooker. Whale Sharks are passive creatures and can be agitated by aggressive behavior such as being touched or chased.

It is as much a diver’s responsibility as anyone has to ensure the survival of Whale Sharks for future generations. This means causing minimal disturbance to the sharks when approaching by boat or when diving. Although Whale Sharks are harmless, their sheer size makes it necessary to exercise caution around them, especially at the tail end.

WHALE SHARK CODE OF CONDUCT FOR DIVERS & SNORKELERS

As a diver or snorkeler you can follow these simple tips when diving with whale sharks:

  • Maintain a minimum distance to avoid injury to yourself and the whale shark
  • Resist the temptation to touch, ride or chase a whale shark
  • Allow normal movement, behaviour and direction in which the shark is travelling
  • Take photographs without the use of a flash as this could cause harm or stress to the animal
  • Swim slowly and deliberately without using motorised diver propulsion vehicles
  • Follow and abide by local regulations
  • Support legislation for increased whale shark protection
  • Further your knowledge by completing a PADI Whale Shark Awareness Diver Distinctive Specialty
  • Pick up a Project AWARE Whale Shark brochure.

OMAN – A TURTLE HEAVEN

Turtles are amongst the oldest and important marine species living in the Omani waters. Archaeological evidence shows that turtles have been hunted here for more than 7000 years and they are regularly seen today on most dive sites in Oman.

Marine turtles are cold-blooded reptiles and their distribution is restricted to the warmer areas of the world. Oman is one of the very rare places in the world where turtles can be watched freely and calmly. Turtle nesting attracts hundreds of visitors to Ras al Hadd each year to watch the site at close quarters.

Five different species of turtles swim the Omani waters. Four of them nest here. These include the endangered Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and the Olive Ridley Turtle and the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The Leatherback Turtle is a visitor in offshore waters.

It is believed that turtles live longer than any other backboned animal. Turtles that live in water have a flatter, more streamlined shell than turtles that live on land. Sea Turtles cannot withdraw into their shell and so they depend on their size and swimming speed for defense. They have large flattened limbs or flippers, which they beat while swimming. They move clumsily on land but are excellent swimmers. The fastest reptile in water is the Pacific Leatherback Turtle, which can swim at over 30 km/hr.

Hard scales cover the head of most species of turtles. They have no teeth. Instead, they have a beak with a sharp cutting edge with which they cut food. All turtles lay their eggs on land. Female sea turtles do not normally leave the water except to lay their eggs. Most of the males never return to land after entering the sea as hatchlings.

The Green Turtles

The Green Turtle’s local Arabic names are ‘Sul Hafah Al Khuthera’, ‘Hamas’ or ‘Shiree’. This is a very common species in the Indian Ocean. It is a popular food in many parts of the world. The use of its meat and eggs by humans has seriously endangered its survival. Green Turtles feed on luxuriant seaweeds and other green plants. They are found everywhere in Omani waters and travel further than other sea turtles. They can be seen in the hundreds, even thousands over the larger feeding areas. Green Turtles lay about 110 eggs in a clutch. The beaches of the peninsula of Ras al Hadd, which stretches between Ras Ar Ruwais and Khuwr Jaramah, attract the largest number of Green Turtles nesting in Oman. This is one of the only three very large nesting aggregations of Green Turtles known in the Indian Ocean.

The Hawksbill Turtles

The Hawksbill turtle is one of the smallest of all the sea turtles. They resemble small green turtles and occur wherever there are coral reefs. In local Arabic, it is called ‘Al Sherfaf’. It eats just about anything it can find in the water. The Hawksbill turtle is the only sea turtle that is classified as a critically endangered species. They lay about 100 to 160 eggs in a clutch. This is a difficult species to protect because they nest in low numbers spread over a wide area.

The Loggerhead Turtles

The Loggerhead Turtles, locally called ‘Rimani’ or ‘Murah’, have a relatively flat carapace (upper shell), which is often light brown in colour. They are carnivorous. Their heavy powerful jaws enable them to easily crush even the thickest of shells. In Oman, the majority of Loggerheads nest on beaches of the Masirah Island, which is the world’s largest nesting population. Their egg clutches average 100 eggs.

The Olive Ridley Turtles

These are best known for their huge synchronised nesting. It is a small turtle, which feeds on crabs, shrimps, jellyfish and sea squirts. The local name for this Turtle is ‘Al Zaytooni’. They lay about 100 eggs per clutch. The migration of this species is not known.

The Leatherback Turtle

Called ‘Al Niml’ locally, this is an unusual turtle. It does not have plates like other turtles but a leathery skin over its shell. It reaches a weight of more than 600 kgs and is a giant among turtles. The largest on record is reputed to have weighed nearly 1000 kgs and measured 3 metres in length; about the weight of 10 large men! The Leatherback Turtle is carnivorous. In Oman, the Leatherback Turtle feeds regularly in offshore waters. Roughly 85 eggs are laid per clutch.

THE YEAR OF THE TURTLE

Blessed with a rich biodiversity, Oman offers a home for a variety of living creatures. In order to protect its wildlife, especially rare and endangered species, the Sultanate proclaimed 15 nature reserves. In celebration of the Year of the turtle in 2006, the Sultanate, the Ministry, in coordination with the concerned authorities, will be issued a set of commemorative postal stamps depicting sea turtles nesting in beaches and living in territorial waters. Furthermore, the ministry, in coordination with Sultan Qaboos University and Omani Environment Society, is conducting a detailed study on the migration of sea turtles, which includes tracing this migration by satellites. From the perspective of awareness raising, the ministry has initiated cooperative programs with corporations and companies to prepare information packages and cultural materials for purposes of persuading the public to take interest in the conservation of these species.

The ‘Ras Al Hadd Turtle Reserve’ was declared in 1996 in an attempt by the Government to preserve rare marine life in Oman, particularly sea turtles. It covers 120 square kilometers of beaches, coastal lands, seabed and khawrs Jaramah and Al Hajr. It is a natural and safe refuge for thousands of rare turtles which come to this area for living and reproduction. These beaches attract a large number of endangered Green turtles nesting in the Sultanate. They host between 6,000-13,000 turtles annually which migrate to the Sultanate from remote areas like the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Somali Coast.

PROTECTING OMAN’S TURTLES – What can be done?

Sea turtles have lived in the world’s oceans for over 150 million years. Sadly these ancient reptiles are now globally threatened with extinction. Many populations are declining as a result of persistent hunting, increasing coastal development, incidental capture in fisheries, the degradation and destruction of nesting beaches and marine pollution. You can help to protect them by following these simple guidelines:

Turtle Facts

  • All species of sea turtle are endangered and need protection.
  • Turtles can drown if prevented from reaching the surface of the sea to breath.
  • Litter is dangerous, especially plastic bags, which can be mistaken for jellyfish; a favourite turtle food.
  • Turtles remain in the same region for years and, as adults return to the same nesting area year after year.

If a nesting colony is destroyed, the turtles may never return.

What can you do?

  • Support local sea turtle conservation and initiatives; consider volunteering!
  • Participate in local sighting networks.
  • Do not buy or sell turtle products. Turtles are strictly protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and most national laws.

In the Water

  • Watch for turtles when boating; boat strikes can kill.
  • When in the water, keep your distance and avoid startling turtles. Do not disturb resting, sleeping or feeding turtles.
  • Approach turtles slowly, calmly and move away if they show any signs of distress.
  • Never try to spear, harass, catch or ride turtles.
  • Do not touch or feed turtles.
  • Take all litter home with you, trash can kill, especially when it is mistaken for food.

Dive Courses in Oman

The dive Centers in Oman offer a variety of scuba diving courses from novice to PRO level.

Dive Courses for Beginners

Bubble Maker

Bubble Maker: This is a way to let your kids discover underwater breathing. It’s a short program under the supervision of an instructor in the pool & gets them learning whilst having fun.

Discover Scuba Diving

This is a once-only holiday experience dive allowing you to discover the underwater world and all its treasures.
The PADI Discover Scuba Diving course consists of basic lectures in the classroom followed by practical lessons in confined water (the pool) and finishing with one dive on the reef.

Half or full day program. The instructors will teach you basic theory and familiarize you with the equipment before accompanying you on a beautiful, controlled dive to a limited depth. You have the option of diving either at a local coral reef off shore, or taking a boat trip to one of the famous dive sites.

Scuba Diver

Thinking of getting certified for an upcoming vacation, but don’t have the time to put into a regular diver course?

Now there’s a quick and easy program designed especially for you! The PADI Scuba Diver program is a pre-entry level certification that is perfect for vacationers or people who only plan to dive a couple of times a year. As a sub-program of the PADI Open Water Diver program, the PADI Scuba Diver rating allows you to get certified quickly and easily by minimizing time constraints. With the PADI Scuba Diver certification you can dive under the direct supervision of a PADI professional on your next vacation or dive trip.

Scuba Diver is a 2 day course comprising of 3 academic lessons, 3 pool sessions & 2 Open water dives.

Open Water Diver

The PADI Open Water Diver Course is for the beginner or uncertified diver and will give you all the required knowledge and skills necessary to make your future diving safe and fun. The first 2 days are devoted to diving theory and practice, with three academic modules, short quizzes, five pool sessions and a 200 meter swim test.

The last 2 days conclude with open water training dives every morning, followed by two academic modules in the afternoon. On the last day will be the final practical exam under the supervision of your instructor, which allows you to enjoy the tropical reefs of the Arabian Sea . This course is held at any time of the year.

After completion of the course, you will become certified as an internationally recognized PADI Open Water Diver.

Courses for Certified Divers

Adventure Diver

Here you have the chance to expand and continue your diving knowledge and experience in the care of a PADI instructor. To be a PADI Adventure Diver takes only one day and includes 3 Specialty Dives. See Specialty Dives section to look at the wide range of exciting courses we have available.

To begin this course, you must have completed the PADI Open Water Diver course. Minimum age requirement is 15 years old (10 yrs for PADI Junior Adventure Diver)

Advanced Open Water Diver

The PADI Advanced Open Water Course will open up a whole new world to you as a diver. It provides you with both diving experience and adventure in a number of different dive environments. This will not only improve your skills, but also your confidence as a diver. You will complete two ‘core’ dives – underwater navigation and deep diving – after receiving academic training in these areas. You will also select and complete three ‘elective’ dives in areas such as multilevel diving, wreck diving, night diving, drift diving, underwater photography, underwater naturalist, peak performance buoyancy, boat diving or search and recovery.

The Advanced Course can be completed over 2 days. You choose what option interests you the most! If you have difficulty deciding, your instructor will help you choose the specialty training that is right for you.

Minimum age requirement is 15 yrs old (12 yrs for PADI Junior Advanced Open Water Diver)

Scuba Review

If it’s been a while since your last dive, or you feel that your skills and knowledge are a little ‘rusty’, then take the PADI Scuba Review to refresh your dive knowledge. Our instructor will review your diving theory and skills, making sure that you haven’t forgotten anything! This half day course includes a session in the classroom and shallow, confined water training.

Minimum age requirement is 10 yrs old.

Emergency First Response

The PADI Emergency First Response (EFR) ; is one day course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency care. It teaches you simple, logical steps that you can take to assist somebody who needs help. With practical application and hands on experience this course becomes beneficial for both diver and non-diver. The PADI Emergency First Response course meets the certification requirements for several PADI courses.

No minimum age limit, divers & non divers.

Rescue Diver

The PADI Rescue Diver course is designed to develop the necessary knowledge and skills for you to effectively perform rescues and assist, manage diving-accident situations and render proper medic first aid. You’ll find the course enjoyable and highly interesting, although the nature and context in which such training may be used is quite serious. The primary objective of this course is to prevent the need for use of rescue skills. A good diver does not only solve problems, he prevents them in the first place!

You will do five Academic Sessions and twelve Open Water Training Exercises over a minimum of three days. The PADI Rescue Diver rating is a prerequisite for all PADI leadership programs.

Participants must have completed Advanced Open water and PADI EFR or equivalent CPR program. Minimum age requirement is 15 years old (12 yrs for PADI Junior Rescue Diver).

Master Scuba Diver Challenge

With the PADI Master Scuba Diver program, you’ll reach the highest non professional level in the PADI System of diver education. This course will provide you significant training and experience in a variety of dive environments. To gain this certification, you will need to have logged a minimum of 50 dives, completed the PADI Rescue and EFR course and completed five of the PADI specialty courses.

Minimum age requirement is 12 yrs.

PADI Dive Master

The PADI Dive Master program is the first step to becoming a dive professional. Working closely with a PADI Instructor, you’ll expand your dive knowledge and hone your skills. PADI Dive Master training develops your leadership abilities by training you to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers.

Through this program, you will learn dive leadership through classroom and independent study sessions, complete skills and stamina exercises in confined and open water, participate in training exercises to test organizational and problem solving abilities and complete an internship or series of practical training exercises, all of which will give you a real insight into the dive industry.

Although the PADI Dive Master is an intensive training program, you will get the opportunity not only to learn and gain experience but also to enjoy your new role as guide, confidant, friend and role model for students and fellow divers.

To begin the course you must be 18 years old or over, have completed the PADI Advanced, EFR & Rescue courses. You must have a minimum of 20 logged dives and have medical clearance from your physician.

The course can take 2 weeks, depending on the time you have available. Please contact the dive centre for a list of course materials required.

Specialty Courses

Whether you are looking to for more adventure, to continue your education or simply want to improve your skills and confidence as a diver, the PADI Specialty courses can help you get more out of your diving.

Develop your skills in your area of interest and expand your knowledge. Our instructors now offer you the complete range of PADI specialties, which can be combined with our regular dive trips.

Favorites include Enriched Air diver (Nitrox), Deep diver, Wreck diver, Night diver, Underwater Photographer and Underwater Navigator.

Also available are; Underwater Naturalist, Project Aware, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, Diver Propulsion Vehicle and Peak Performance Buoyancy.

Enriched Air Nitrox Diver

Many of you have heard or read about Nitrox already. Nitrox usually refers to a mixture of Nitrogen and Oxygen with a higher percentage of Oxygen than normal air (EANx – Enriched Air Nitrox). Normal breathing air consists of 21% Oxygen and 79% Nitrogen. The two most commonly used Nitrox mixtures are EANx 32 (32% Oxygen) and EANx 36 (36% Oxygen). Nitrox allows divers to safely extend their no decompression limits, reduces the risk of nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness and as your body does not have to work so hard to deplete the Nitrogen in your body; you will also feel less tired after diving.

The one day PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course includes academics, cylinder analyses and two Nitrox dives.

Minimum age requirement is 15 yrs old.

Deep Diver

Deep diving opens up new diving opportunities, enabling you to access deeper dive sites and see species you may not get to see in shallower waters. However, deep diving requires specialized training and planning. On the PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course you will receive all the training you will need to enable you to carry out your deep dives safely and enjoyably. You’ll learn deep dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques and hazards. You’ll also put this knowledge to the test as you go on 4 open water dives that will range from 18 – 40m (60 ; 130ft).

Minimum age requirement is 15 years old.

Night Diver

Night diving opens up a whole new world for you as a diver. Dive sites takes on a new personality at night, as many underwater creatures such as lobsters and octopus become active at night, you may see eels and sharks seeking their prey, parrot fish supported in a cocoon of their own bubbles, while coral polyps open at night to feed, transforming the entire reef.

On the PADI Night Diver Specialty course you’ll learn night dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques and potential problems. You’ll also learn how to control your buoyancy, navigate and communicate at night. Since many of the plants and animals you’ll see are different, you’ll also get an introduction to nocturnal aquatic life.

The course will consist of 3 dives and the minimum age requirement is 12 yrs old.

Wreck Diver

Wrecks provide some of the most exciting and fascinating dive environments. Here you will find an abundance of marine life as nature slowly but surely takes over and transforms the wreck into an artificial reef, encrusted with corals & sponges, attracting an abundance of marine life. Whether you are an underwater naturalist, a historian or adventure seeker, wrecks offer you the whole package.

The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course will introduce you to wreck diving and help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary for safe and fun wreck diving. The course will consist of theory and four dives on our famous Al Munnassir Wreck, an 84m Navy Landing Craft.

Divers participating in the course must be 15 yrs or over.

Underwater Navigator

Diving in the underwater environment can be sometimes disorientating, particularly if visibility is poor or when diving at night and navigation skills are invaluable to the diver. On your PADI Open Water course, you would have learnt basic compass skills, the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty will provide you with all the knowledge and skills that will enable you to find your way underwater.

During your PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course, you’ll learn underwater navigation dive procedures, techniques, planning, organization and potential problems. You’ll also be introduced to natural navigation, underwater patterns, distance estimation and further your compass navigation skills. You’ll then put these into practice during your three open water dives.

Minimum age requirement is 10 yrs old

Underwater Naturalist

The main reason that most of divers dive, is to experience the aquatic environment and all the marine species within. Whether your interest in coral reefs, big fish such as sharks or general fish life, the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty will help to expand your knowledge and increase your understanding of this underwater realm.

During your PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course, you’ll learn underwater naturalist dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques and potential problems. You’ll also get an overview of the major aquatic life groupings, interactions and factual information that dispels negative myths. You’ll put this information into practice during your two open water dives.

Minimum age requirement is 10 yrs old.

Underwater Photographer

The advancement of digital technology and development of underwater housing for cameras, has meant that underwater photography has become more accessible for divers. Not only does this mean that you can show all your friends and family pictures of your experience underwater but it also means that identifying the fish that you saw is a whole lot easier.

On the PADI Underwater Photographer Specialty course, you’ll learn the basics of underwater photography such as composition and camera handling, with special emphasis on practical techniques. You’ll learn underwater photography dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques and potential problems. You’ll also learn how to care for and maintain your camera equipment and get the opportunity to practice your underwater photography skills on 2 open water dives.

Minimum age requirement is 10 yrs old.

Project Aware Specialty Diver

As divers, we have a responsibility to take positive steps to protect the aquatic environment that we so much enjoy. Project A.W.A.R.E (Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility & Education) was introduced by PADI to encourage such behaviour.

On the PADI Project Aware Specialty Course you’ll learn about aquatic ecosystem degradation and the conservation measures protecting aquatic resources. This includes The Project AWARE philosophy, the importance and interdependence of worldwide aquatic ecosystems, current issues regarding fisheries, coastal zone management and marine pollution, the status of several critically degraded marine environments and most importantly, what you can do to help!

No minimum age limit

Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver

A Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) can be of great benefit to the diver. Firstly it can help the diver cover more ground, great if youre involved in a search or have a large wreck to circumnavigate. Secondly, because you are exerting less energy, you are more likely to use less air, therefore making your dive last longer and finally, they are great fun.

During the Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver Specialty, you’ll learn the techniques you need to know for safe diver propulsion vehicle operation and apply them during 2 open water dives with your DPV. This includes; diver propulsion vehicle dive planning organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards, equipment and procedure considerations, and how to avoid harming fragile aquatic life

Minimum age requirement is 12 yrs old.

Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Diver

Coral reefs play a vital role in maintaining the planets biological diversity and as divers, it is important that we not only gain an understanding of their role but also become active in their protection, ensuring against their loss and enabling future generations of divers to enjoy them as we do today.

The PADI A.W.A.R.E – Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course teaches divers, snorkelers and non-divers about the vital role of coral reefs in the marine environment. The course also familiarizes participants with the current state of the world’s coral reefs and how they can help.

This non-diving course includes: an introduction to Project AWARE, the importance of coral reefs to marine ecosystems and coastal areas, coral reef biology, association and competition, the status of the world’s coral reefs, how participants can help, including responsible diving and snorkeling practices

No minimum age limit

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Buoyancy is probably the most important skill you can have as a diver. You will have been taught the basics during your Open Water course, but by participating in the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course, will ensure that you will be able to control your buoyancy, glide effortlessly over coral reefs, avoiding spiky sea urchins, whilst extending your bottom time and using less air.

During your Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course, you’ll use PADI’s Basic Weighting Guidelines to determine the correct amount of weight. Then you’ll practice the fundamentals of peak performance buoyancy during two open water dives, including the buoyancy check, fine-tuning buoyancy underwater, weight positioning for trim, streamlining and visualization. This course is a must for all divers, particularly newly qualified divers and divers who may not have dived for a while.

Minimum age requirement is 10 yrs old.

Divemaster Internship

Whether you eventually plan to become a full-fledged Open Water Scuba Instructor or simply want to work part-time on a dive boat or resort, the Divemaster Internship is for you. Well make it easy for you to take the first step in your dive career by providing you Personalized Training, all new equipment, accommodations, books and study aids, all for one low price.

During your Divemaster Internship, youll work closely with a PADI Instructor to expand your dive knowledge and hone your skills as you become a professional. PADI Divemaster Training develops your leadership abilities by teaching you to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers.

What can PADI Divemasters do?

  • Work at local dive centers, on live-aboard dive boats, yachts and at exotic resort locations
  • Assist PADI Instructors with students
  • Lead PADI Scuba Divers on guided dive tours
  • Teach and certify PADI Skin Divers
  • Teach PADI Discover Snorkeling programs
  • Conduct PADI Scuba Review programs for certified divers
  • Lead certified divers on Discover Scuba Diver trips (after successful completion of DSD training.)
  • Teach Emergency First Response programs after successful completion of an Emergency First Respond instructor course

Whats is Included in the Divemaster Internship?

All-inclusive internship packages that will take you from novice to Divemaster in three months or less. Your one-time enrollment fee includes everything you need to go from a land-loin’ non-diver to accomplished PADI professional: Courses, books & study aids, equipment, accommodations and more. Heres the specifics:

PADI Courses

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • Adventures in Diving (Advanced Open Water Diver)
  • Emergency First Response
  • EFR Care for Children
  • Rescue Diver
  • Divemaster ; Application and certification included.

Divemaster Skills Enhancement Course

Go beyond the basics of diving to become a truly experienced instructor with Divemaster Skills Enhancement Course. The special package — worth more than $2,200 — is icnluded free if you pay a 100% deposit at least 30 days in advance (or upon enrollment if you plan to arrive in Oman within 30 days.

This will take you to the Master Scuba Diver level with 5 PADI Specialty courses, train you in oxygen first aid and get you certified for the Emergency First Response course. Specifically, you get:

  • PADI Night Diver
  • PADI Underwater Navigator
  • PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy
  • PADI Deep Diver
  • PADI Wreck Diver
  • Master Scuba Diver certification
  • Emergency First Response

Travel tips

Feeling inspired and raring to go? Check out our Oman travel guide and start planning your next diving trip!

Dive Sites Reviews in Oman

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Liveaboard Reviews in Oman

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