Oman // Al Batinah and Al Dhahirah //

Diving the Daymaniyats

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Diving and snorkelling trips to the Daymaniyat Islands can be most conveniently arranged through Extra Divers Al Sawadi (t2679 5545, whttp://www.extradivers.info), based at the Al Sawadi Beach Resort; count on around 30 OR for a trip including two dives. Most dive operators in Muscat also arrange trips here, though obviously it’s a much longer (and somewhat more expensive) trip. It’s a 30min–1hr boat trip from Al Sawadi Beach Resort to the Daymaniyats, depending on exactly which of the twenty-odd dive sites scattered around the islands you’re going to. Contrary to what is sometimes said, diving at the Daymaniyats is technically easy and suitable even for non-PADI-qualified divers. The waters around the islands boast excellent visibility, abundant soft and hard corals, descending in places to depths of 20m, and swarms of colourful little tropical fish and nudibranchs. The main attraction, though, is the islands’ oversized marine life, including leopard sharks, barracuda, shoals of moray eels, rays, turtles and huge sea horses, while you’re almost guaranteed the chance to spot a whale shark between July and September.

Extra Divers also run night dives around the Sawadi Islands, and snorkelling trips to both the Sawadi and Daymaniyat islands; it’s also possible to just go along for the boat trip, without getting in the water. Extra Divers can also arrange various watersports, including kayaking, water-skiing, jet-skiing and wakeboarding.

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