Interesting facts about diving and last news from us.
Aqaba is located on the most northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, an extension and nearly enclosed part of the Red Sea. Surrounded from desert countries as Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia the Gulf of Aqaba hides it's treasures beneath the calm, dark blue surface. Many tourists visiting the countries for their religious importance and the ancient cultures which settled here since thousands of years, the Egyptians, Nabataeans, Greeks and Romans used the natural resources like frankincense, myrrh, bitumen, natron and copper.
Today visitors of Jordan enjoy the warm Bedouin hospitality, amazing hiking tours in Wadi Rum, Wadi Mujib and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – Petra. Still over shaded from well known diving destinations like Sharm el Sheik, Dahab and Eilat developed Aqaba in the last 20 years a solid structure of dive centers to serve divers and snorkelers all over the world. Artificial wrecks added more attractions to the pristine coral reefs and many underwater photographers spending their annual holidays here to catch the prize winning shots of rare critters and fish species.
Unfortunately the most tourists are not aware about the wonders in the sea and planning a half day or 1 day stay in Aqaba between the other breathtaking attractions of Jordan. What is really a shame, more than 9 kilometers of fringing coral reefs waiting for snorkelers and divers alike for exploration. 20 different hot spots like Cedar Pride, Japanese Garden and the Tank offering world class snorkel and dive sites few meters from the shoreline.
Corals have been well known and harvested since antiquity for uses like jewelry, medicine and construction. Additional providing corals important data in climate research, geochemistry and they are used for fish tanks and aquaculture. Often swimmers referring to corals as rocks and the lack of knowledge for the complex relationships leads to the unintentional destruction of sensitive life forms when climbing or holding on it. In ancient time corals were described as stone or mineral, a Persian scholar classified them in the 11th century as animal with the argument that they respond to touch. Still people believed until the 18th century that corals are plants and in several languages the corals are known as "flower animals".
Snorkeling in Aqaba is an easy accessible way to get a glimpse on the coral reefs without long preparation or transportation. From the beach you enter with your mask and snorkel, when you have done your fins float in the salty waters. The high salinity provides for basic swimmers positive buoyancy and the coral reefs are close to shore, there is no need to swim long distances in deep water. Together with calm conditions, no waves and nearly no currents Aqaba's South Beach is a paradise for beginners to start snorkeling. A huge ship wreck and a submerged airplane wreck inviting the advanced snorkeler and free diver to dive down in the blue and spend some minutes in this quiet world.
Arab Divers location on the South Beach is convenient for dedicated Scuba divers to enjoy up to three dives a day without having long distances to cover. With nearly all dive sites on our door step a day full of adventures is guaranteed. Beginners can start in the shallow and follow the gentle slope to moderate depths. The wrecks are available for divers from Open Water Diver on and a safe challenging experience without hazards. Professionals are keen on the opportunity to find rare species on every dive, like Anglerfish, Sea horse, Stonefish and other creatures. Without getting bored you can spend a week discovering different places away from the crowd on other destinations.
The research established that at least 150 species of hard corals live along the Gulf of Aqaba’s coastline, 23 of which are hard coral species that are currently considered endemic to the Red Sea. Out of the 23 hard coral species endemic to the Red Sea, 11 are found in Jordan, thus, 7.5 per cent of the species endemic to the Red Sea are found in Aqaba Jordan. The figure is very important and astonishing, because it shows that the endemicity percentage of hard corals in the Gulf of Aqaba is extremely high and a substantial revelation, according to JREDS Executive Director Ehab Eid.
Of course, there is always the option for a Try dive, a Scuba experience in the Red Sea under permanent supervision of an instructor. You need approximately 2 hours with the preparation and briefing to get underwater and discover the habitats of colorful fish, corals in all kind of shapes and maybe turtles grazing in the sea grass.
Warning: One day is not enough to see everything and maybe you regret the lack of time. Plan at least 2 days for Diving and Snorkeling in Aqaba.