Third and final of a three-part blog from regular Dive Travel Adventures contributor Sean Chinn about finding time for both family and scuba diving on a trip to Fujairah and Dubai in the UAE…
Dive 3 and 4 saw me visit the most popular sites of the area. Dibba Rock and Sharm Rocks are nice shallow dive sites perfect for all levels of scuba diver. Not so much soft coral along the rocks of these sites compared to the artificial reefs but again a lot of life to be found while exploring the sites.
If you love cuttlefish then Fujairah is definitely a place to dive. In particular these two sites provided a lot of encounters as they either camouflaged into the surroundings or were saw free-swimming through the reef and above the sand. Sharm Rocks was my last dive and really delivered towards the end of the dive as three different turtles were spotted. The first being probably the biggest Hawksbill Turtle I’ve ever seen! It was was resting under an overhang and wasn’t deterred by my presence. The second being one of the smallest Hawksbills I’ve seen. Again, undeterred by my presence as it gorged on the coral. Then as we worked our way to the safety stop this time a Green Sea Turtle left it’s resting place right in front of me to go and get a breath of air at the surface.
Four dives in some interesting visibility but with a lot of life to be found. Four very enjoyable dives that were well worth the short time away from my family exploring a new part of the underwater world for me. A very nice week spent in Fujairah and it was now time for us to explore the more built up city of Dubai for some land based adventures.
After a short drive from east to west we were in Dubai at the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of The Emirates. A stones throw from the Mall of Emirates meant that we were only in the scorching July heat for 5 minutes before entering the cool air-con of the Mall. Plenty of shops for those interested in a bit of shopping to enjoy and lots of restaurants to choose from as well as a huge indoor ski slope. Skiing in the desert isn’t something I expected to say!
We didn’t go to Ski Dubai ourselves but chose instead to take a short taxi ride to The Dubai Mall and visit the Dubai Aquarium. I do have a bit of a love/hate relationship with aquariums as I’d much prefer seeing the animals roaming free in the oceans. However for my 2 year old it isn’t possible yet to take her underwater and see what I see while diving. She does love seeing the underwater life and seeing my photos, so for her it’s an amazing adventure and hopefully it can inspire her to become an ocean advocate when she’s older.
We finished up the trip on our last night with an evening trip to the desert. Taking my 2 year old in a 4×4 onto the sand dunes was an adventure I’m glad we could share together. Even though some how she managed to fall asleep as we were bumping and drifting in the sand. We enjoyed a quick camel ride together before food and entertainment as the night drew in. It was a great few hours enjoying new adventures as a family.
We had an amazing 10 day holiday as a family, which far exceeded our expectations. A lot was said to us about the concern for the heat in U.A.E in the summer. With a pool, the sea and every indoor space having air conditioning, it was a concern that didn’t last long. A new destination to combine a family holiday and diving has just made it’s way onto my list and I wouldn’t hesitate in returning. Fun in the desert sun!
Find out more about Sean, his photography and his hosted trips at: www.greatwhitesean.com