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Discover the Thrills of Scuba Diving in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea

LifestyleDiscover the Thrills of Scuba Diving in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea

Unspoiled, the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia is an underwater treasure trove, and it isn’t a secret that diving (scuba diving) in Saudi Arabia is considered the ultimate adventure.

The Saudi sea coast teems with pristine marine life, virgin reefs, and shipwrecks.

The growth of dive shops in cities like Jeddah, Yanbu, and Al Lith gives both beginners and advanced divers an equal opportunity to experience diving in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s diving professionals and trainers are trained to handle emergencies, so novices and pros alike are safe while diving there.

If needed, Divers can seek treatment for decompression sickness, or, as commonly known, ‘the bends,’ at two hospitals in Jeddah and the Armed Forces Hospital at King Abdul Aziz Naval Base in Jubail.

Best time to go diving 

Saudi Arabia’s climate is beautiful for diving all year round. The water temperatures of the Red Sea fluctuate constantly between 77 and 95°F (25 to 35°C).

During the July through October summer, diving in the Red Sea feels like swimming in a giant, warm bath.

Visibility is just as convenient as the temperature.

Diving experts with years of experience in the region recommend going out late in the afternoon when the sun illuminates the splendid red corals and distinct ecosystems of the Red Sea.

Discoveries of ancient shipwrecks along the Saudi coast are good reasons to take the Red Sea plunge.

Saudi and German archaeologists made the latest discovery in 2015, finding an old Roman vessel and another ship dating from the early Islamic period.

The most conservative estimates suggest that many other shipwrecks are lying under the sea awaiting discovery.

The ‘special’ about diving is shark sightings. Imagine encountering the elusive whale shark—this is almost guaranteed if you are diving off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

Scuba lessons, Dive sites, and marine life 

Jeddah is the most accessible place to find a diving adventure in Saudi Arabia.

The seaside city contains a variety of dive shops, all suited for beginner and seasoned divers.

Divers who want to see an authentic view of Saudi Arabia should consider a trip to Yanbu, located 200 miles north of Jeddah, or the Farasan Island, on the southern coast.

Airline flights from Jeddah to Yanbu are inexpensive and only require one hour of flying time.

Similarly, Jizan Regional Airport near Farasan Island is an hour and a half from Jeddah by plane.

Best dive sites & shipwrecks – Jeddah

Some of the best diving sites in Saudi Arabia are right there on the shores of Jeddah.

It is also where the biggest seaport in Saudi Arabia is, and Jeddah town loves its proximity to the Red Sea and a wealth of tourist attractions.

Jeddah is a favorite destination for both seasoned and novice divers.

Dive shops are easy to find within the city limits, and Red Sea expeditions can be booked any day of the week.

Read: Best 15 Restaurants in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The Boiler Wreck at Abu Madafi Reef

 The location is shallow enough for novice divers and packed with sights even the most advanced diver would not want to miss.

Lying at a depth of four and eighteen meters below the surface of the Red Sea, the Boiler Wreck is the right starting point for diving in Saudi Arabia.

The shipwreck is believed to be over a century old, and dive enthusiasts can explore many coral-covered caves and caverns around the vessel.

The coral near the Boiler Wreck covers older shipwrecks that are hard to spot – but fun to seek.

Advanced divers can ask for the drop-off near the west end of the wreck, where they follow a wall to the underwater treasures nearly 45 meters deep.

Divers will find black, pink, and red corals, sharks, and manta rays at this depth.

Larger fish like bonito, bluefin jacks, and kingfish also have been known to hang out near the deeper side of The Boiler Wreck.

Ann Ann Wreck – Abu Faramish Reef

Located at the 26-mile Reef, the Ann Ann Wreck is the largest Shipwreck site near Jeddah.

It is also rated as the most difficult dive in the region, but it still offers some breathtaking moments for amateurs.

The 1977 wreck stands almost entirely upright, making the bow visible from only 5 meters down.

The Stern of the wreck is visible at a depth of 32 meters.

Because of the damage, especially in the deeper waters, even the best divers are warned to be extra cautious.

Swimming through the galley or the captain’s room, divers see tuna, bluestripe snappers, and blue-spotted stingrays.

Occasionally, white sharks also visit the Ann Ann Wreck.

Miss Marie Wreck – Jeddah port area

Divers can view three wrecks in a single dive when visiting Miss Marie.

While this location is a bit difficult to approach, the reward is a host of marine life and a close-up view of three sunken ship bows poking out from the surface of the water.

The ships are largely intact, and divers of all levels can explore the winding gullies and brightly colored coral.

The reef is home to manta rays, sea turtles, and scores of unique fish.

Divers might also see sharks of different species, including the hammerhead, reef, lemon, tiger, and silky shark.

Staphonos The Cable Wreck – Abu Tair Reef

The wreckage of the ship Staphonos is called the Cable wreck because of the construction materials scattered all around its crash site, including the Cables that the vessel was carrying when it sank.

This Abu Tair Reef wreck is an excellent diving trip and an underwater scavenger hunt.

Divers of all levels of expertise can explore underwater cables, steel beams, chain-link fences, and sheets of asbestos at a depth of 24 meters.

The wreckage is considered an easy dive with big rewards, and divers who swim around the bow will certainly meet the resident guitarfish.

The guitarfish is unusual and is also known as a guitar shark because of its elongated body, which resembles a manta ray and shark rolled into one.

Cable Wreck also ensures encounters with large schools of goatfish, snappers, and the occasional whitetip reef shark.

Al Lith Island – Southern Jeddah

This tiny island, located just off the coast of Al Lith, south of Jeddah, is a favorite for divers and tourists alike.

Al Lith Island has a white sandy beach bordered by shallow, clear blue waters, perfect for both snorkeling and swimming.

Seasoned divers love the area because it is a known site for whale shark sightings and large fish of various varieties.

Visitors to the island set up camp and spend the next few days diving and exploring this dry island, which features mountain ravines and a network of caves.

Where to stay while diving in Jeddah

Jeddah is home to many diving resorts and hotels in the city’s marinas.

For an all-inclusive experience, tourists can choose a hotel that offers diving courses onsite or, at the very least, can recommend certified instructors and equipment.

Farasan Island and Marine Sanctuary

Farasan Island and Farasan Island Marine Sanctuary are located off the coast of Jazan in the far south of