5 Popular Diving Spots in Saudi Arabia
If you think Saudi Arabia is a land of mystery and wonder, then you’ll be even more astounded by its waters. In the depths of its sea is a whole world waiting to be discovered, home to diverse marine life and pristine stretches of seafloor, making the Kingdom very popular for having some of the best diving spots in the region, as well for its many Red Sea tourist destinations. Here is a list of five of Saudi Arabia’s most popular diving locations:
1. Farasan Islands
The Farasan Islands are a group of islands situated off the coast of Jizan. The islands' historical heritage, wildlife, and the iconic Al-Qandal Forest lure in visitors from all over the kingdom. Of course, surrounded by the Red Sea means that scuba divers will also be able to explore its coral reefs and diverse marine wildlife, many of which make the island banks important for preservation. Scuba divers are surely going to love exploring the coral reefs as the depth can reach up to 500 meters, with over 40 species of fish, turtles, and sharks to gaze upon.
2. Ann Ann Wreck
The Saudi city of Jeddah is no stranger to shipwreck diving sites, making for intriguing, and picturesque diving destinations that are often reclaimed by corals and marine wildlife. To reach the site of Jeddah’s best known 1977 shipwreck, often described as the city’s biggest and most challenging diving site, you need to drive two hours, then dive to the bottom of the sea at a depth of over 30 meters, and then 5 meters by its bow now plowed into the reef. Many of its rooms and gallery are explorable, but, due to bad condition, caution is advised. Currently, soft corals have reclaimed the ship's propeller, and shellfish can be seen hanging on its rudder. The area is also home to a diverse marine wildlife such as tuna fish, stingrays, snappers, filefish, goatfish, and sharks.
Image via Youtube
3. Chicken Wreck
If you're looking for a shipwreck that is much safer within Jeddah, then you might want to check out Chicken Wreck. Named for its frozen cargo, this diving destination is ideal for novice divers, with sea current remaining calm all year long. The deepest depth measures 22 meters at the stern, with the bow pointing towards the reef. The ship rails are covered in corals, with pixie hawkfish and pipefish swimming around.
Image via Gurfati
4. Cable Wreck
Cable Wreck is named for the construction materials that were stored in the Staphonos when it sank in 1978. This diving destination is ideal for all levels of divers during the calm periods, but can occasionally get challenging. This shipwreck diving site is famous for its ambient light, and also home to schools of goatfish, snappers, and white tip sharks. The deepest depth measures 24 meters, and 17 meters from the top.
Image via Youtube
5. Boiler Wreck
Situated in Abu Madafi reef, Boiler Wreck is considered one of the best diving spots in Jeddah, and a resting place to some of the oldest shipwrecks in the kingdom. Believed to have sunk over 100 years ago, this shipwreck is now completely covered in corals, beautifully reclaiming it as part of the scenery. A section of the ship's stern, and its two boilers, which the diving spot is named after, are the only recognizable parts that remain. This shipwreck site measures 18 meters in depth, and is home to diverse school of fishes, manta rays, and sharks. Boiler Wreck is accessible to any level of divers, but it's also a favorite of advanced divers. Not far from the ship's bow is a complex network of caverns that cut through the reef, taking divers into a tunnel that lead through the corals, and into an open pool that is 5 meters deep. The current can be very strong, which makes the caverns only suitable for advanced divers. That, and the lights that refract from small openings at the top, does make Boiler Wreck a favorite, picturesque diving spot to many.