Atlantis offers the chance for novices to earn a PADI dive certificate in a single day and dive with dolphins the next. Learn the essential skills in the pool first, then move on to a classroom session in the afternoon, before heading out to the beach for two 20-minute dives. In this session, students head out to a dive site called The Pipeline, just off the beach at Atlantis, for a short dive, changing depths and then going to the surface to re-group, before heading back down again to perform the skills practised throughout the day. The next day sees PADI-qualified students head to Atlantis’s Dolphin Bay. Once in the water, following instructions for the encounter, groups of divers get to experience the playfulness of the dolphins and even hold on to a dolphin’s dorsal fin to be towed a few metres.
The Pavillion Dive Centre also offers three- to five-day Discover Scuba programmes, PADI courses and instructor development, as well as dive trips into the Arabian Gulf and off the coast of Musandam, while Arabian Diver in Ras Al Khaimah offers a variety of PADI programmes, including a two-day scuba diver course and a four-day open water course.
Al Boom Diving Centre: ‘learn to dive with dolphins’ package Dhs1,999; Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, email@example.com (04 426 3000). Pavilion Dive Centre: Dhs1,850 for PADI open water course; Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8828). Arabian Diver: from Dhs2,160 for PADI open water course; Hilton Beach Resort, Ras Al Khaimah (07 243 3800).
Abu Dhabi Sub Aqua Club (ADSAC)
Part of The Club and affiliated to the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), ADSAC offers opportunities to dive in the waters all over the Emirates.
The Club, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, Meena Zayed, www.the-club.com (02 673 1111).
Al Boom Diving
PADI eLearning course for Open Water Diver costs Dhs550, Reef Dive costs Dhs400. Meeting time is 10am from Sunday to Thursday and 9am on Fridays and Saturdays at 9am in Fujairah. (Open to certified divers only).
Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, www.alboomdiving.com (04 342 2993).
Al Mahara Diving Center LLC
Dhs2,350 per person for PADI Open Water qualification. Includes PADI student crew pack, certification processing, knowledge development sessions, confined water dives, four open-water training dives, equipment for training, certificate upon completion and professional instruction.
Training centre and equipment outfitting in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, www.divemahara.com (02 643 7377). Al Sawadi Beach Resort OMR33 plus OMR4 for a diving permit (without equipment) for two dives. Muscat, Oman (+968 26 795 545 /97 259 099).
Al Masaood Diving & Marine Sports
Retailers for most marine sports, this is the place to head if you’re after diving, snorkelling, wakeboarding, Jet Ski and kayaking equipment.
Open Sun-Tue 9am-2pm, 4pm-7.30pm; Wed-Thu 9am-1pm, 4pm-9pm; Sat 10am-1pm, 3pm-5.30pm. Salem Street (02 642 4222).
This company offers a Dhs1,800 PADI course (two days), Dhs2,160 Open Water course (four days).
Seef Marina,Dubai. www.arabiandiver.com (04 374 5674).
Arabian Divers & Sportfishing Charters
Call Greg Heinricks for prices.
Al Bateen Marina Resort, behind UAE Central Bank, Abu Dhabi, www.fishabudhabi.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (050 614 6931 / 02 665 8742).
Atlantis Dive Centre
Dhs2,350 PADI Open Water course. Experience a try-dive programme – one pool and one sea dive – perfect for introducing kids and adults to the beauty of the underwater world.
Open daily 9am-6pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, next to Dolphin Bay, www.atlantisdivecentre.com (04 426 3000).
Desert Sports Diving Club
A non-profit sports club for those living in the UAE who are interested in diving, DSDC has been going strong for 30 years, and is open to all. Annual membership from Dhs200.
Al Quoz, www.desertsportsdivingclub.net (no number).
Family-friendly outfit. Dhs400 with equipment (two dives).
Fujairah, www.diversdown-uae.com (09 237 0299).
Come face to face with marine life in The Dubai Mall’s huge aquarium. Open to beginners, the experience starts with a session in Al Boom’s classroom and pool for first-timers, then
there’s 30 minutes of diving.Dhs875 for first-timers; Dhs675 for PADI-certified divers.
The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.alboomdiving.com (04 448 5200).
Emirates Divers Centre
PADI courses, fun diving and snorkelling trips throughout the UAE and equipment sales available daily.
Near Fish Market at Al Meena, www.edc-ad.ae www.emiratesdivers.com (02 643 2444).
Fancy learning to dive without the restrictions of equipment? Explore the underwater world through these introductory to advanced AIDA Freediving courses. The courses involve theory, pool and open water sessions and run every month. There are also training trips every four to six weeks. Courses start at Dhs800.
www.freedivinguae.com, email@example.com (050 613 0486).
Dhs250 Discover Scuba (pool only) and Dhs500 with one sea dive; Dhs1,750 PADI Scuba Diver, Dhs2,300 PADI Open Water course.
Al Wasl Road, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.freestyledivers.com (056 945 2627).
Nomad Ocean Adventures
Dhs680 for a weekend diving package with one night’s accommodation, dinner, breakfast and two dives with gear (weights and light lunch provided). Dhs1,100 for two-day package, with a night’s accommodation, dinner, breakfast and two dives with gear (weights and light lunch provided).
Dibba, Oman, www.discovernomad.com (050 885 3238).
Oman Dive Centre
OMR53 diving with equipment provided (for certified divers).
Next to Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Qantab, Muscat, Oman (+968 24 824 240).
Pavilion Dive Centre
Dhs1,850 PADI Open Water course.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8828).
Sandy Beach Dive Centre
Dhs315 for two dives with equipment (only qualified divers).
Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort, Al Aqqa Beach, Fujairah, www.sandybm.com (09 244 5050).
Dhs550 for two dives with equipment (only qualified divers).
Open Sat-Thu 9.30-7pm. Karama (04 334 8988).
Online portal offering scuba gear for sale, plus information on local dive centres and sites and the chance to book trips with local dive operators Al Boom Diving and Atlantis Dive Centres.
www.scubauae.com (050 205 3922).