Everything You Need to know About Scuba Diving In Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates of the UAE, it lies on the East Coast bordering Oman where the shoreline runs for about 200km, in a north/south direction. Certainly scuba diving in Fujairah is the best diving in the UAE. It’s close to the peninsula of the Arabian Gulf and at the top of the peninsula, lies Musandam which is part of Oman. A distinctive feature of the region is the Hajaar Mountain range, it is the highest mountain range and is above all in the region, it starts at the top of the peninsula in Musandam and continues south towards Oman.
Al Aqah, Fujairah is a small fishing village between Fujairah city and Dibba. The area is home to five large hotels and resorts; it has its own micro climate as a result of the mountain peaks which run along the shoreline. All of our dive sites are along the Fujairah coastline, being based in Al Aqah allows us easy access to most of the coral reef along the coast.
Coral Reef Scuba Diving in Fujairah
All the shallow reefs lie directly against the shoreline or on small outcrop islands no more than 700m from the shore. Some of the reefs are along steep sloping walls, dropping off to 16m, others are on more gradual slopes with the surrounding sandy sea floor at around 6m.
We will give a short breakdown of the dives sites along the coastline. For a more detailed description of each site, visit our dive sites page. All the shallow reefs in the area are home to abundant marine life including Sea turtles and Blacktip Reef sharks.
Shallow Coral Reef
Just outside Khor Fakkan port lies Martini Rock and the various coral areas surrounding it. Martini Rock is a maximum depth of 19m with a panicle in the centre raising to about 4m. There is a lot of soft coral all along the rock.
Directly against the mountain is sloping reef, which extends from the surface to about 12m, in quite a steep slope. This coral wraps around the headland all the way to Hole in The Wall. The area certainly has some of the healthiest hard corals in the region.
A Small island just north of Martini Rock is called Shark Island. On the east end (sea ward side) lies a small reef at about 20m known as Coral Gardens, there is a lot of soft coral growing at this site. Towards the west end of the island (shore side), adjacent to the port wall, are large fields of branching corals growing in about 3m of water. It is absolutely colorful and even more wonderful to see such healthy branching corals.
Diving Snoopy Island
Directly in front of our centre lies Snoopy Island, a shallow reef with a maximum depth of 7m, just to the south lies Three Rocks (Sharm Rock), with three panicles protruding out of the water at low tide. This site is varied in depth and composition. The shallow side harbors beautiful hard coral while in contrast the deep end has soft coral growth and large schools of snapper.
The last shallow reef is Dibba rock which is located north of our centre. It is a small outcrop island almost 700m from the shore. The east side of the island (deep side) slopes off to 16m with loads of pelagics and reef fishes. The west side (shallow side) maybe 3m with loads of soft and hard coral growth. Dibba rock is
most noteworthy for having many Blacktip Reef sharks hanging out in the shallow water.
Artificially Made Reef
The dive site Artificial Reef has been created using various methods, artificial reef balls have been manufactured and scattered along the site also with a small boat. Due to a large pyramid structure created from stacking cement shapes, abundant fish life has been attracted to the site.
Car cemetery is a dive site which was created by placing a bunch of cars and trucks, approximately sixty, in roughly 15m on the sandy bottom. For that reason the cars have attracted a lot of soft coral growth including gorgonians and large sea whips. Likewise, most of the cars have sunk into the sand leaving only a partial amount of the chassis protruding from the sand. It is home to many Moray Eels, Nudibranch, and if you are lucky you can find a Seahorse.
Snoopy Deep Reef
Snoopy Deep reef is a combination of artificial and natural reef due to natural flat bedrock attracting large tree corals. For that reason massive Black Coral (Antipathes dendrochristos) grow high as 1.5m off the sea floor. Likewise the site is comprised of small fishing boats and other debris placed to attract fish and corals.
Inchcape is a shipping company which decommissioned three medium sized service vessels and scuttled them along the shoreline. We frequently visit two of them, Inchcape 1 lies at 30m located five minute boat ride north of our centre, and Inchcape 2 at 20m, located close to Martini Rock. The third is Inchcape 10 which is 80km further south, we do not visit this site, it is situated in front of Fujairah city, lying in about 22m on the sandy bottom.
All the Inchcape wrecks attract a lot of marine life including large honeycomb moray eels, abundant soft coral growth and large lion fish. We have been lucky enough to spot Frogfish and Seahorse on Inchcape 1.
Diving In the Season
The region is home to many resident Green and Hawksbill turtle; resident Blacktip reef sharks frequent the shallow water around the reefs. Large sting rays are found in the sand, ranging from Whip ray, Bull ray, Butterfly ray, Cowtail Stingray and many more. Devils rays (Mobula ray) have been spotted in schools swimming in the blue along with the odd Eagle ray.
The season for diving ranges depending on what you’re interested in. We offer diving all year round as each season is unique offering is own particular benefits. The seasons are mainly split into two, summer and winter. Summer is from May – October, winter falls from November – March. The temperature varies drastically between the seasons, this leads to dramatically varying fish life.
Summer vs Winter
During the summer months, because of the warmer water, the pelagic fish head to deeper water. This leaves more small critters on the reef, the summer definitely offers the most comfortable diving. The conditions are consistently good with 30 degree water which means a person can dive in a rashguard and shorts. The visibility hangs around 10 – 15m range.
During the winter the water temp can drop to 21 Degrees at depth, which means you will need to make sure that you bring warm clothes and thick wetsuits. Because of the cooler water a lot of the larger pelagic fish hang closer to the reef, including schools Barracuda and Trevally. The conditions are more temperamental during the winter months, chance of strong winds and rough seas create turbid waters with the average visibility ranging from 5- 10m.
Let’s Go Diving
So, depending on what interests you the most during your dive trips, do you like warm tropical clear diving? Or are you more on the rugged side, after the large pelagic fish? This will determine which season is best for you. Personally we enjoy both as they both offer a unique experience in diving along the coast!
Scuba Diving With Whalesharks
Whalesharks frequent the waters off the shore. There visits can be completely random showing up in the middle of the summer or winter. Their behaviors’ along the coast have not been studied. We have seen higher concentrations in the months closer to November.
We run daily boat diving trips along the shoreline, visiting all the dive sites mentioned. All our boat diving trips are double tank dive trips, two departure times allows you to plan your schedule according to what suits you best, 9am or 1:30pm. Each trip consists of two dives, visiting two different dive sites; depending on certification levels on the boat, we will go to either deeper or shallower dive sites. Be sure to request any sites you like and we will make an effort to accommodate you.