Oman’s Musandam – Remarkable Diving Experience

Richard Moor - Oct 29, 2012
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Musandam is acknowledged for its invigorating drift diving. Drop offs encrusted with coral are immersed to great depth and many pelagic visitors are attracted by the swift currents. For experienced divers who are in search of a special dive destination, diving in Musandam is perfect.

The United Arab Emirates separates the Musandam peninsula from the rest of Oman. Geographically, the area is distinguished by great mountains that fall scenically into the sea. The coastline itself is carved into countless bays, fjords and islands. An amazing variety of healthy corals and striking drop offs under the water reflect the extremely impressive scenery above the surface.

Musandam is an arid, wild destination that is accessible by a three hour road transfer from Dubai. The only sizable population that is formed there is by the small town of Dibba and Khasab. The coast is defined by enormous cliffs formed in fjords that fall scenically into the sea.

Very fine coral reef diving is provided by the waters that surround the Straights of Hormuz and Musandam. More than 900 species of fish are attracted by the plankton rich waters, which range from cleaner wrasse to whale sharks. There are more than twenty-five established dive sites. Musandam is remote region where commercial fishing is not allowed. Once divers enter the water, they immediately notice the volume of marine life and a lasting impression is left on them.

Even the disposition of the dive sites varies, ranging from extensive coral gardens to walls. A large range of marine species are attracted by the combination of strong local currents and plankton, including eagle and manta rays, as well as whale sharks. Dolphins are quite fond of the calm waters of the fjords in Musandam and they often accompany the dive boats. Divers also encounter most species of turtles and a number of shark species. Underwater visibility is the trade off for the extensive diversity of pelagic life that usually lies in a range between 12 and 20 meters.

Ruqq Swayak

Sunken reef or Ruqq Swayak is located 46.6 nm at 012° from Oman's Dibba port up north of Musandam. The reef consists of a combination of nice soft corals and a wall of slopes. This diving site is 10 to 40 meters deep. In the shallow water of this lovely sunken reef, barracuda, fusiliers turtle, giant tribally, king fish and snappers are among the most commonly seen marine life. The shallow water has a temperature of 24 to 27°C and visibility of 5 to 15 meters. For advanced divers with drift diving experience, the current at this diving site is ideal.

Tawakul

Tawakul is located 46.9 nm at 013° from Oman's Dibba port up north of Musandam. This dive site also consists of a combination of wall slopes, lovely corals and vegetation. At Tawakul, the most commonly seen marine life includes eagle rays, fusiliers, king fish, turtle, and occasionally, white sharks as well. This diving site is about 10 to 40 meters deep with temperature of 25 to 28°C and visibility of 10 to 20 meters. During the high and low tidal movements, the current is appropriate for advanced divers to enjoy drift diving.

Kachalu

Kachalu is located 46.8 nm at 016° from Oman's Dibba port up north of Musandam. Like the other two dive sites, Kachalu also has beautiful corals and a combination of wall slopes. Eagle ray, giant tribally, jack fish, pinjalo, snappers, sweet lips, and even hammer head and white tip sharks are among the marine life commonly seen at this diving site. Kachalu is 10 to 40 meters deep, with a temperature of 24 to 26°C and visibility of 10 to 20 meters.

Some of the other popular diving sites in Musandam are located at: Hard Rock Café- Mushroom - Octopus Rock- Ras Alull- Ras Arous- Ras Bashin- Ras Dillah- Ras Kaisha- Ras Lima- Ras Marovi- Ras Samid- Ras Samut- Ras Sharkan- Sannat Cave- Sharkan- Umm Al Fayyarin.

Although Musandam is quite a peculiar peninsula, what makes it such a remarkable destination is its authentic wilderness and incredible diving sites.

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