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It takes one good look at nature – be it the summits, the sea, or the stars – to realize that it's a great big universe and we're all really puny. Takes your breath away, doesn't it? Grasping how vast and majestic the world is puts things into perspective, but imagine what that perspective would look like if you saw the worlds that existed down in the deep blue sea – and did so wearing nothing more than your bathing suit, goggles, and a pair of flippers. Just like that, you dive into 'the unknown' and find yourself surrounded by beauty unlike anything you've ever witnessed. If you've yet to go freediving in the Middle East, you're missing out on a ton of underwater adventure that people flock to from around the globe.


EGYPT

DAHABvia Tomasz Kochanowski

Divers' paradise, Dahab is known for one of the world's most sought out diving spots, The Blue Hole, which is over 100 m deep and boasts some seriously stunning coral reefs. Heads up, though; The Blue Hole is notoriously dangerous, so inexperienced divers would be best off sticking to snorkeling. Other diving spots in Dahab include the Eel Garden, The Canyon (over 55 m deep), and Lagoona Beach.


SHARM EL SHEIKHvia Seaunseen

Another beauty in Sinai, Sharm El Sheikh is known for its luxurious resorts and lavish hotels; however, if you're looking for more adventure than luxury, you could always forego the materialism and [free]dive into some of the Red Sea's big blue gems. Ras Mohammad National Park is just 12 KM away from Sharm El Sheikh and boasts over 200 species of reefs – and even a view of the wreckage of SS Thistlegorm, which sunk off the coast of the park.

MARSA ALAMvia Scubadiver Life

Another Red Sea resort town, Marsa Alam is far less crowded than Sharm El Sheikh, but no less of a beaut. What's so special about Marsa Alam? Dolphins, dugongs, and sharks! While Marsa Alam is suitable for diving year-round, your best bet is to head there in the summer for a comfortable water temperature of about 30 C, plus the chance to swim with the hammerhead sharks and manta rays in Elphinstone Reef. If you head to the reef in the winter, you're more likely to see the ocean white tip shark.

JORDAN
 
AQABA
via Kuvaustuotanto Jussi Valkeajoki

Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan, perfectly situated at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea between Asia and Africa. Aqaba has been a major freediving attraction not only known for its beautiful shores and colorful reef-filled waters, but specifically because of the Cedar Pride Shipwreck that's one of the rare wrecks that novice divers can easily access due to its proximity to the shore.

UAE

DUBAIvia Alldubai

Who would’ve thought the metropolitan jewel of the Middle East would be a good place to dive? There are plenty of diving enthusiasts in Dubai, and excursions are regularly organized to the Arabian Gulf off the coast of Dubai to unusual dive sites like MV Dara and Cement Barge wreckage sites.

OMAN

DAYMANIYAT ISLANDSvia Turistipercaso

A protected area in Oman, the Daymaniyat Islands form a natural reserve in Muscat and are a famous dive site over 30 m deep. This particular site is known for fish galore, and particularly the chance to spot the zebra shark.

FAHAL ISLANDvia Kevin Mansel

This small limestone island offers excellent diving reefs down to 40 meters. It's also known as Shark Island due to frequent sightings of sharks on the adjacent sand banks. Beyond the sharks, Fahal Island is also a great place to explore wrecks.

TURKEY

KASvia Patrick Swart

Kaş is one of the top 100 dive sites of the world due to the abundance of marine life and ancient relics. There are over 50 dive sites in the small town. Diving in Kaş offers an array of fish and other sea creatures like octopus and sea turtles. Besides the biological diversity, Kaş has several ship wreckage sites worth exploring.