JEDDAH: Scuba diving as a business is booming in Jeddah thanks to the numbers of tourists visiting the region.
The city’s location on the shores of the Red Sea makes it the perfect place for those wanting to explore its waters.
“Diving is available throughout the whole year and there is breathtaking marine life and pristine water here. I dare you to find another sea that is as beautiful and colorful,” Captain Barraa Bawazir, a scuba diving instructor, told Arab News.
“What makes the Red Sea special is its variety of coral and fish that add a lot of color underwater. The temperature of the Red Sea and the fact that the area is so confined contribute to the diversity of the marine life and provide a good breeding environment,” he said.
Bawazir fell in love with the Red Sea when he first went diving 11 years ago and decided to become a professional diver. “The beauty of marine life and the feeling of freedom inside the sea is what drove me into this profession. Everyone can try it, even if they don’t have any experience, which makes it a good activity for tourists.” Bawazir believes that Vision 2030 will enhance the diving market, increase competition and make it more professional. “This business is booming right now with a lot of tourists entering the country and can be a full-time job.”
Mohammed Basha, a diving instructor who works in United Dive Center, which has 15 instructors, said that a lot of hotels contact the center to book diving trips for tourists.
He said their scuba diving instructors carry Padi, SSI, or NAUI certifications, which are internationally accredited scuba diving qualifications. “The clients don’t have to carry any license because we take them on a discovery dive not deeper than 5-8 meters,” he said.
Basha said that people contact the center through Instagram to set up trips and that they provide all the equipment needed. One of his plans is to create a special marketing program for hotels and a mobile app that makes it easier for people to book trips.
Dania Dawood, an amateur diver, said that she loves diving because it is such a different experience for her. “I have been diving since 2015, and I love the feeling of the quiet, where you can only hear bubbles, it’s very therapeutic for me. I strongly suggest everyone tries it at least once.”
Dania said that Vision 2030 is already bringing change. “The sky’s the limit and I have seen so many tourists on my diving trips. People from Europe and America love our sea and there is a future here.”