Tag Archives: snorkeling oman

Kharabah Island, the Damaniyat Islands Marine Park

Kharabah from a distance  In between dives this past Saturday, we dropped 3 Europeans off for snorkelling on this island before picking them up about an hour later.  The main instructor of Global Scuba, Abdullah, told me that the island/beach is called “Kharabah“.  It is one of the most gorgeous white-sand beaches I’ve seen in Oman!Kharabah Island photo 2  6 of us dove at 2 dive-sites (posts coming soon) and we saw all kinds of interesting fish and marine animals, but failed to spot any sharks.  The 3 snorkellers saw several black tip reef sharks just meters from shore!gorgeous area damaniyats  In addition to sharks, they saw a lot of colorful fish (which – like me – they seemed unable to identity!) and a lot of squid. (I got totally confused because the Italian snorkelers kept calling them “calamari”! 🙂 )what a beach  If you are interested in snorkeling or scuba-diving at the Damaniyat Islands, I recommend either Global Scuba or Omanta as those are the dive centres I go with and they’re both great.  Other dive shops that travel out there are Extra-Divers and Oman Dive Centre (and others).fabulous beaches at damaniyat islands  magical waters of the Damaniyatsinteresting features gorgeous waters   Have you ever seen such water before?! It’s unreal!  Here’s a video from 4 different clips of the beach and immediate area to give you a much better idea of just how gorgeous this spot is:  The Damaniyat Islands are a definite must-see in Oman, whether you scuba-dive or not!

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Dolphin Watching & Snorkeling – Al Raheeb Marine Tourism

poster for dolphin watching                                      While we were enjoying our time at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha one evening, an Indian gentleman from Al Raheeb Marine Tourism approached us and asked if we’d like to do some snorkeling and dolphin watching the next day. (At a cost of 20 rials/person.)  I was a little hesitant at first as I’ve been on many boats in my 5 years here in Oman and I’ve never seen a dolphin yet.  Most dolphin watching tours even have it clearly stated somewhere (in small print) that “there is no guarantee that you will spot dolphins on your tour“.  It hadn’t happened yet so I wasn’t about to hold my breath!leaving the marinaThe next day we arrived at 10am, paid our 20 rials each and headed out for a day of adventure.  The poster stated that it would take 2 hours but we were gone at least 4 hours.  It was at least a 30-minute boatride to reach the spot we were hoping to see dolphins.  As always, it was nice to sit back and enjoy the gorgeous shoreline between Muscat and Bandar al Khairan.cliffs and cavesship in foggy like conditionsdolphins ahoyWe certainly saw a fair share of dolphins on this trip! The dolphins would swim alongside our boat and jump out of the water every now and then.other boatersMore tourists (in a boat almost identical to ours) doing their best to capture some good pics of the dolphins.more dolphinsI took thousands of pics, but what I really wanted was a pic of a dolphin as it jumps out of the water!  The problem is that you can’t really anticipate where they will jump so all you can do is be ready and hope to get one on film.  I only managed to get one picture as a dolphin leapt above the water.  Here it is but you might have to strain your eyes to see it.jumping dolphin in distanceHere it is zoomed in and cropped.  Sorry for the blurriness, but the pic obviously becomes blurrier the more you zoom in!dolphin jumping up closedolphins everywhereThis pic captures what it can be like to be out dolphin watching.  The tourists are all looking off to the center and leftside of the boat while a dolphin swims along the rightside!dolphins close to boatlooks like sinking boatyellow boat and dolphincoastal mountainsAfter our exciting dolphin watching episode, we boated back in the direction of Bandar al Khiran, enjoying the mountain and coastal views along the way.sifah constructionThere’s a still a lot of construction going on at Jebel Sifah, in the vacinity of Sifawy Boutique Hotel.as sammak restaurant from seaAnd there’s As Sammak Seafood Restaurant!sifah village from theseaThe village of Sifahimpressive cliffsin the waterFinally…let the snorkelling begin! 🙂snorkeling timeWe ended up snorkeling in the same spot I went to before with Omanta Scuba.  At that time, someone told me it was called “Nursery Cove” but the men on this boat gave this spot a different name. ?!janice snorkellingMy sister-in-law, Janice, who flew all the way from Singapore to see us, LOVED snorkeling here in Oman.  If we have other family members or friends visit us again here in the Sultanate, we’ll be sure to do this again!UW1I’ve still got a lot to learn about how to use my underwater camera as you can see from these pics! The problem is that I was mostly trying to take short video clips.  I’ll try and put a video up at some point.UW2UW3Al Husn private beachAnd another 30 minute boatride (at least!) back to the marina. So many great views! Here you can see the private beach of Al Husn Hotel at the Shangri-La.shangrila and sea archAnd there’s the sea-arch at Bandar al Jissah/Gissah.qantab fishing villageThat’s Qantab, the beautiful seacoast village just outside of Muscat.  Here is a pic of the entrance to Bandar Beach  (also known as Qantab Beach or Bandar Jissah Beach) just 2 minutes up the road from Qantab village:construction near bandar beachI can’t believe that they’ve shut down one of the best public beaches in Oman to make way for some fancy 5-star hotel! (Here’s a report about it in the Oman Observer but I think there must be some mistake as they mention “2-star hotels” being built. ?!)al bustan from seaAl Bustan Palace (A Ritz Carlton Hotel)back to the marinaAnd back to the marina!  What a great experience!

What tour company do you use for dolphin watching and/or snorkeling in Muscat, Oman, folks?!