Coral Diving in Oman

The Sultanate of Oman takes up the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, with its capital city, the mystical Muscat, overlooking the Gulf of Oman. While you could easily spend a thousand and one nights exploring the eclectic city and its nearby dive sites, venturing further afield will give you an even better ap-preciation of the superb marine life and coral diving in Oman. The mountainous Musandam Peninsula, north-west of the capital, the ‘Empty Quarter’ to the south and the Daymaniyat Islands close to Muscat all offer opportunities to drop below the waves and escape the desert sun as you check out the best coral div-ing in Oman.

Musandam Peninsula

The Musandam Peninsula marks the divide between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and is governed in part by Oman and in part by the United Arab Emirates. The mountainous terrain drops dramatically into the ocean below, forming 'fjords' that appear somewhat Norwegian, but with the thermostat turned up a notch or two, and the peninsula boasts the best coral diving in Oman, with seasonal whale shark sightings being the cherry on top for many divers.

Dramatic scenery above the waves is mirrored below, as the coral-encrusted walls continue vertically down to around 20 metres. The nooks and crannies on the fjord walls hide spiny lobsters and cleaner shrimp, while leopard and white-tipped reef sharks rest on the coral-garden bottom. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles too, and you may even get to spot an Oman bullhead shark, Heterodontus omanensis, which was first described as recently as 2005.


Oman's historical capital city sits on the shores of the Gulf of Oman, a dozen miles or so north of the Tropic of Cancer, and its souqs, elaborate mosques and the 400-year-old Mutrah Fort provide plenty of interesting nooks and crannies to explore. From Muscat, you can head out to the Daymaniyat Islands, also occasionally written as the Dimaniyat Islands, where you can find rays, reef sharks and turtles. The nature-reserve islands offer some of the best coral diving in Oman and a protected area for turtle nesting.

The small Fahal Island is also a great option for those looking to explore the best coral diving in Oman. The island offers many different dive spots, from shallow coral gardens to rocky walls, and is a short trip out from the city. If you like to enjoy the contrast of colourful corals set against the dull metal of a super-fishy shipwreck, then a trip out to nearby Bandar Khayran to dive the Al Munassir wreck will sate your needs.


The Rub' al Khali, meaning the 'Empty Quarter' in English, is the vast desert that blankets most of the Arabian Peninsula's southern regions. The region is known for its banana plantations, white-sand beaches, impressive corals and waters teeming with fish. The Khareef (the annual monsoon) transforms the brown desert scenery into a lush, verdant landscape, but unfortunately also puts the diving temporarily on hold from around June until September.

But when the rain stops, the diving starts! And from Salalah, the capital of southern Oman's Dhofar province, you can take a short drive east along the coastal road sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the Dhofar mountains. The scenic drive will bring you to the beach diving area of Mirbat. The limited depth of the shore dive sites allows plenty of light to reach the reefs, and the area's coral gardens flourish, making it a great spot for those seeking out the best coral diving in Oman.

Our team of dive travel specialists have loved discovering the delights of Oman and are available to help you pinpoint the best reefs and hotels in your quest to sample the best coral diving in Oman...

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Coral Diving in Oman' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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