Located near by the Strait of Hormuz, the Musandam Peninsula offers some of the most spectacular diving in the Region, with fine coral reef, accommodating many species and numbers of tropical fish, and whale sharks spotted fairly frequently in spring months. The Musandam’s mountainous fjords give it a truly unique natural character: from the sea you can easily see the geological conformation of the peninsula, with horizontal and vertical stratifications chasing each other seamless. Fjords, created by fragmented and weathered rock formations stretch out into the sea and massive overshadowing cliffs tower above the beaches.
As the only access to the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz touches the shores of Musandam, carrying rich nutrient laden waters from the Indian Ocean into the gulf and contributing to a rich biodiversity and an unique ecosystem: loads of beautiful wall dives, coral gardens, turtles, rays, dolphins, whales and many other species. Plankton rich waters attract over 900 species of fish, ranging from tiny cleaner wrasse through to whale sharks. The dive boats are often accompanied by dolphins, which like the calm waters of Musandam’s fjords.
Visibility ranges up to 30 m and water temperature is between 21-30ºC offering excellent year round diving conditions. During the months of November to April it is almost cold (for the Region) and sometimes plenty of jelly fishes so it is highly recommended to wear full wetsuit and hood 3mm or 5 mm, gloves, booties.
A dhow-cruise or a private charter departing from Dibba portcruise and navigating alongside the coastline of the Musandam Peninsula, are the best solutions to reach diving sites. There are over 30 established popular dive sites. As the region is remote, and commercial fishing is not permitted, the biodiversity of marine life is immediately noticeable upon entering the water, and leaves a lasting impression on divers. The dive sites themselves range in character from walls to extensive coral gardens. They deliver world class adventurous diving to experienced divers and inexperienced divers alike. Due to the low diving impact in the area, the reefs are healthy and marine life flourishes. Even in the shared cruise, you are able to enjoy and explore diving sites according to your qualification and experience.
Here you are some of them.
Lima Rock – Consisting of two sites – one on the north side of the rock and one on the south – this Island is outside from the mainland which is 20.5 nm @ 029 degrees from Dibba port of Oman. It is a wall combination of slopes with lots of nice corals. As the rock is composed of limestone, shallow caves and deep fissures have been carved out by the tides and currents of the surrounding ocean. Table, staghorn, brain and boulder coral can be seen covering the boulders between 12 and 20 metres depth, while below 20 metres, black coral and purple scatter the sandy floor, providing shelter for vividly marked yellow mouthed morays.
In the cooler months at the beginning of the year, whale sharks can be seen frequenting Lima Rock.
Lima rock is also good for bird-watching as ospreys, swifts and sooty falcons reside on the areas of rock above the water, making the site a nice area to rest for a surface interval.
Sannat Cave – Not visible from the surface, Sannat Cave is 14.5 nm @ 026 degrees from Dibba port. The Cave is accessible through tunnels eroded through the limestone rock by the sea. It’s a beautiful cave combination of slopes, where you might see sting rays, turtles, or school of fusiliers (which is always in the area). The main chamber has a maximum depth of 16 metres; this dive site is best for your 3rd dive in a day, but remember cave diving requires an advance diver or equivalent and skill to establish a neutral buoyancy.
Ras Lima – Consisting of two sites, Ras Lima is 1. 13 kilometers away from Lima village which is 20.2 nm @ 027 degrees from Dibba port Oman; there are a number of large rocks across them, some of which form shallow caves. The north site is a wall dive along the interesting and intricate rock face of the headland. Slopes with the soft corals on the reef, with depth between 6 – 8 meters and 15 meters, surrounded by fallen boulders. On the east side of the headland, a bay sits under the cliffs.
Octopus Rock – Another Musandam must see. This little rock is a rock formation which looks like octopus legs underwater, outside from the mainland which is ￼22.9 nm @ 022 degrees from Dibba port of Oman. The circular island on the surface stretches out in ‘tentacle’ shapes underwater; most divers start the dive at the tentacle edges where it is deepest and end the dive close to the island, some others use the same entry/exit point. One of the best dive sites around. There is a lot of marine life you can explore in this area, such as shoal of jack fishes, fusiliers, snappers, bat fish, giant tribally, scorpion fish, slipper lobster, cattle fish; big change of whalesharks (in summer season) and seahorses at 150 degrees at around 30m or on the sand wall which is covered in coral. Sometimes there is a mild current present but nothing to be worried about.
Umm al Fayyarin – For the sure the diving site with the funniest name (the mother of the rat). This island (whose shape reminds a big rat) is between Habellyn and Shaboos bays. This dive site/island is separated from the mainland and it is in the middle of the sea which is 35.0 nm @ 024 degrees from Dibba port of Oman.
The most common seen around this area are fusiliers, giant tribally, barracuda, angel fish, bat fishes, turtle, sting ray and school of mini manta ray. Wall combination of slopes nice corals on the wall and table corals at 5 – 10 meters. One of the best dives in the Musandam. However due to its location, it must be dived with an accompanying guide with local knowledge.
For more information about diving sites in Musandam:
Tel: +968 2 683 6551
Mobile: +971 50 333 6046