Dive Sites In Yemen
In this section of Scuba Diving Point we have gathered information about dive sites in Yemen. Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula and borders to the Red Sea to the west and to the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the south. The Arabian Sea is a part of the Indian Ocean, and it is the branch named Gulf of Aden that connects with the Red Sea through the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. Yemen's territory includes several islands, including Perim, Kamaran and Hanish in the Red Sea, as well as the remote island of Socotra that is situated 350 kilometres (217 miles) off the coast of East Africa.
The dive sites of Yemen are found in the Red Sea as well as in the Arabian Sea, and scuba diving operators arrange scuba diving excursions in both seas. Live aboard boats are very popular, but you can also choose to reside in one of the seaside towns. Yemen is a comparatively new dive destination, since the country has been rampaged by war and political instability. A vast majority of the Yemen coastline is therefore still undived, unlike for instance the Red Sea dive sites in Egypt where several reefs are beginning to suffer from the wear and tear of irresponsible scuba divers that collect corals, scrub against reef tops, leave garbage behind etcetera.
The fact the tourism industry is still undeveloped in Yemen is naturally a double-edged sword. You might not be able to select among a wide range of different hotels and the people you encounter will often be less than fluent in English. You will on the other hand be able to scuba dive in pristine environments that few divers have experienced before you.
At the dive sites near land you can expect to encounter really big moray eels, lobsters and shoals of colourful reef fish. If you participate in open ocean dives of the coast of Yemen, you can be lucky enough to find yourself among large groups of playful dolphins. One example of a great dive site in Yemen is Rocky Banks. In March, whale sharks as well as manta rays gather in this area.
Three examples of major dive destinations along the coast of Yemen are the Zubair group of islands, the Kamaran region and the Hanish area. The Zubair islands are situated in the Southern part of the Red Sea, approximately 40 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen. The small archipelago is made up by 10 isolated islands formed by volcanic activity. There are no residents on these islands and a live aboard dive boat is therefore necessary if you want to stay over night. Examples of dive sites in this archipelago are East rocks, Evans Rocks, Low Island, Maha's Rock, Middle Reef, North Zubair Coast, Quoin Rock, Saba Island, Shark Shoal and the Zubair Wreck.