One of the best things to do in Muscat is undoubtedly a diving trip.
Head into the depths and you’ll be greeted with more than 530 sq m of coral reefs and nearly 600 different species of fish, and that’s before we even think about the beautiful sharks and turtles.
If you’re not sure where to start with planning your diving trip in Muscat, we’ve got you covered.
When to go
You can generally dive in Oman all year round (weather-permitting), but there are lots of factors to consider.
October to May is the best time to visit the Sultanate as a whole weather-wise, but the water temperature dips and visibility isn’t the best either.
If you’re specifically looking to see whale sharks and their pups, September to November is the best time to go diving as this is their migration season.
Most diving schools recommend April to May or September to October as the best time for both visibility and water temperature.
Where to dive
The Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve lies just 17 km off the coast of Muscat and takes around 30 minutes by boat to reach.
Both the Hawksbill sea turtle, which is critically endangered, and the Green Turtle nest on the shores of the nine islands that make up the reserve, so it’s a great place to visit if you want to see them.
Not only that, but there are also several coral reefs just waiting to be explored. And, if you’re not an experienced scuba diver, you can also try snorkelling in the area.
If you’re keen to visit, please bear in mind that you won’t be able to land on the islands from the start of May until the end of October. This is to protect birds nesting there.
Fahal Island/Shark Island
If you love sea life in all its forms, Fahal Island is a must visit.
Located just 4 km off Qurum beach, you’ll be able to find examples of all 39 types of coral in Oman here, and the deep reefs are just incredible. The area is also a hotspot for sharks, rays and barracuda.
For experienced divers, there’s a cave to swim through and a tugboat wreck to the north of the island for you to explore, too.
While Bander Khayran is slightly further afield than the Daymaniyat or Fahal Islands, lying 25km away from Muscat, it’s definitely still worth a visit.
There are several dive sites to explore in the area, but the main attraction is the Al Munassir wreck.
The 84 m long ship was sunk by Oman’s Royal Navy in 2003 as an artificial reef and is now home to all sorts of sea creatures including turtles, rays and giant moral eels.
This one isn’t for unexperienced divers unfortunately, as you’ll need Advanced Open Water certification to dive here.
There are plenty of other diving sites in the area, including Mermaid Cove, which is great for looking at different types of coral, and Seahorse Bay where you’ll find all kinds of sea life, from clownfish to moray eels.