GNcareers, from Gulf News

Scuba diving in UAE, anyone?

Scuba diving in UAE, anyone?Image Credit: Supplied

There are a myriad reasons why one would want to take up scuba diving lessons. For some, it answers the need to overcome the fear of water. For others, the thrill of uncovering the mysteries of the deep is too hard an opportunity to pass up.

Scuba diving is different from free diving in that the former uses a breathing apparatus to allow the diver to stay underwater for hours, while the latter depends on the individual's ability to hold his breath underwater. Anyone can scuba dive – children (8 years and older) and adults, healthy or physically challenged. Generally, there are four types of scuba diving: recreational, technical, marine and commercial, but most people dive for recreational purposes. Whether your goal is to photograph a school of Nemos or make a living out of it, the UAE has a handful of diving schools that will pave your way to the underwater world. These dive shops/resorts teach the basics of scuba diving and provide training programs leading to certifications.

Dubai's Al Boom Diving, which has dive centers in different parts of the emirate and Fujairah, offers a variety of beginner to instructor-level courses, some available online. Boasting PADI course directors, it also holds diving trips in the UAE (including the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo) and Oman. Course fees range from Dh150 to Dh7,000 excluding PADI fees and study materials. Similarly, the capital's Al Mahara Diving Center has all sorts of beginner and instructor classes starting at Dh350 to Dh7,000. Fees for PADI Professional Development courses do not include study materials and PADI fees. Al Mahara is also equipped with swimming facilities for babies and adults.

Handy Hints:

• Scuba diving involves the use of a breathing apparatus.

• Types are recreational, technical, marine, commercial.

• Some dive shops and resorts offer formal training.

Source: Special to Classifieds