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Diving the Daymaniat Islands | Oman
Mating cuttlefish

The Daymaniyat Islands are a cluster of small rocky uninhabited islands that lie about 10 miles off the coast and a little west of Oman's capital, Muscat. They are the countries main attraction for scuba diving as they are also the lone marine nature reserve.

Lying in a chain paralleling the mainland, these small islands have rocky and barren landscapes, often with tortuous coasts broken by delightful white sand beaches in tiny coves. There is a beauty in their stark geography, which is reflected underwater. The terrain below the waves often follows the patterns above, especially on the northern sides with pinnacles that create swim-throughs, tiny caves and sharp rocky walls. Sites on the south of the islands are flatter and are covered in rich hard coral gardens.

The defining feature of these dives has to be the prolific fish life. There are large pelagic fish, dense schools of small colourful ones and a good array of localised species. There are frequent encounters with cuttlefish, plus turtles, leopard sharks and (so they say) whale sharks if you happen to be there at the right time.

Daymaniat Islands image gallery Scuba diving features

Marine Life Cuttlefish
Arabian butterflyfish
Arabian Hawkfish
Moray eels
Top dive site Police Run
Seasons Spring and Autumn. Mid winter can be very cold and mid summer very hot.
Visibility 3 – 20 metres
Water temperature 20 – 32º C
Deco chambers Wudum
Flights to Muscat
Dive operators & accommodation Extra Divers Al Sawadi Resort

Getting to Oman from Europe or Asia is easy. Oman Air's network is extensive, flights are sensibly priced and package trips can be good value. For anyone coming from other parts of the world that may not apply. However, it should be noted that costs for extras are higher than you might expect – drinks, tours and incidentals are much higher than Egypt, the country that Oman is most compared to.

OMAN DIVE VIDEO | The Daymaniat Islands
RESORT REPORT | Extra Divers and
the Al Sawadi Beach HotelDaymaniat Islands, Oman

Sitting on the edge of the Indian Ocean and in the Arabian Sea, this stretch of coastline is affected by conditions in both. Seasonal changes are distinct. At times visibility is far lower than you would expect and is never crystal clear. Water temperatures vary massively but currents are minimal. Marine life is varied and there are several endemic fish species. We saw a phenomenal number of beautiful moray eels and cuttlefish, yet small cryptic reef creatures like shrimp and crabs are in short supply.

For absolutely no specific reason, we have always wanted to dive Oman. Now we have been yet we still can't drop it into a category. It's neither the Red Sea nor the Indian Ocean and shouldn't be compared to either just because it's half way between. It's not difficult diving but the weather is unpredictable. We went in March and the water was cold and pea green, but it did improve over the week. We enjoyed exploring the terrain around these islands. Our opinion is that if you want to go somewhere new but not too far then this is a great option, just get your timing right.
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