The Arab Union for Tourist Media, which includes 14 Arab countries as members, named Khorfakkan as the Best Arab Tourist City for 2023. This was revealed at a ceremony held as part of the world’s largest travel trade show, ITB Berlin in Germany. Alina Dyachenko, the CEO of Chic Icon magazine wanted to see this hidden gem of UAE and fulfill a childhood dream to become a scuba diver.
Here is her story:
Before jumping to the interview, let me quickly brief you on where I’ve been and what I’ve done. I’ve stayed over in Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort & Spa, a beautiful hotel with its own turtle house reef. The main reason why I chose this hotel was to spend my time learning how to scuba dive.
My friends own the MEDUZA Diving Center in Oceanic Hotel. It’s a full-service PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Resort located in Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort & Spa that offers PADI courses from entry level up to the instructor.
Since Fujairah and Khorfakkan are ideal for beginners seeking to become certified, as well as certified divers interested in guided dives, I’ve planned my weekends and went to see the above and underwater in the literal and figurative sense of the word.
Chic Icon: Could you please briefly tell our readers who might be interested in diving etc, what kind of services you provide?
MEDUZA Diving Center: We conduct dive trips seven days a week, as well as snorkeling tours and various dive camping trips throughout the year. You learn more about our services and competitive prices on our website: www.meduza.ae
We also stock an extensive range of scuba equipment for rental or purchase and offer both air and Nitrox. For all dives, we can provide photo and video shooting services for divers interested in capturing their diving experience.
Fun. Safety. Community. These are the aims that guide our work as we operate according to the highest standards of service. Our guests are fully insured under a DAN Dive Insurance policy, and we’ll take you to the best diving spots in the United Arab Emirates.
With decades of combined experience in the diving industry, our full-time instructors have worked across diverse regions, including the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Central America. We also offer private classes for those who would like to learn at their own pace with a private male or female instructor.
We believe that diving has the power to transform lives. Join us today to start or continue your journey as part of our scuba family.
Chic Icon: Why is Fujairah a good place for diving?
MEDUZA Diving Center: Fujairah boasts some of the UAE’s best scuba diving, with its pristine coastline, clear visibility, comfortable water temperatures year-round, and abundant marine life. Divers from all over the UAE come to Fujairah and Khorfakkan, as we offer diving near healthy coral reefs and shipwrecks for adventure enthusiasts. We are the only dive center in Khorfakkan Resorts, and all of our dive sites are only a 5-minute boat ride away. With the UAE’s most beautiful dive sites at our doorstep, we accommodate all levels of divers, from beginners to professionals. Snorkelers are also always welcome to join.
Chic Icon: What is the best time for scuba diving in Fujairah?
MEDUZA Diving Center: Every season is a diving season here, as diving is available throughout the year. In the winter, water temperatures stand at 23 C and reach around 30 C in the summer. We provide divers and snorkelers with wetsuits to ensure they have a comfortable experience at all times.
No matter which month divers or snorkelers come to visit, they are guaranteed to see rich marine life—such as stingrays, turtles, colorful coral, diverse species of fish, and much more—that awes and inspires.
Chic Icon: Any tips for someone who has never done diving before?
MEDUZA Diving Center: Our best tip is to simply relax! Just keep breathing, don’t forget to enjoy the new sights and sounds around you, and we’ll ensure that your first dive is one you’ll never forget. When you dive with us, you’re diving with a team with decades of experience. If you feel anxious about diving, it doesn’t mean you should avoid diving – in fact, it’s the opposite. We can help guide you through and overcome any hesitation you have so that you, too, can soon join the world’s largest community of divers.
Chic Icon: What options do you offer for beginners?
MEDUZA Diving Center: For those looking to take their first breath underwater, we offer Discover Scuba Diving experiences under the guidance of our expert team of PADI Instructors. You will be in safe hands at all times and learn the basics of how to use scuba equipment and key skills to remain comfortable underwater on your first-ever guided tour. A half-day experience is a great option for travelers or those short on time.
For those seeking to get certified as divers, our Open Water Diver Course will qualify you to dive anywhere in the world with a buddy up to 18 meters. The course typically takes 3-4 days and combines training sessions in confined water (such as our on-site pool) and open water dives, where you learn and practice important skills to make you a safe, competent, and confident diver.
Chic Icon: How safe is it?
MEDUZA Diving Center: Scuba diving is an incredibly safe recreational activity when divers follow safety procedures, keep their skills fresh, and never dive beyond their limits. In our training, we emphasize the importance of safe scuba fundamentals, such as diving with a trained buddy, using serviced, high-quality gear, planning safe dives and sticking to your plan, always monitoring your air and dive time, and maintaining good physical fitness. From the very first level of certification, we teach divers how to prevent and respond to emergencies underwater and at the surface when necessary. Ultimately, when proper procedures are followed, incidents are very rare.
Chic Icon: What options do you have for professionals and semi-professionals?
MEDUZA Diving Center: For those seeking to take the first step towards becoming a PADI professional, we offer the Divemaster course, where trainees study under the mentorship of a PADI Instructor to learn how to conduct special Divemaster-led activities, guide recreational dives for certified divers, assist with dive planning and logistics, and more. Divemaster workshops include learning how to map a dive site, create an Emergency Action Plan, conduct search and recovery exercises, and plan and execute deep dives. Once certified, PADI Divemasters are useful assets to any dive center that needs assistance with fun dives or an extra set of hands-on courses under PADI Instructor supervision.
Professionals seeking to further their dive career can then choose to become a PADI Instructor through the Instructor Develop Course, which teaches candidates how to conduct all core PADI courses. With an in-house Course Director, we train future PADI Instructors to become well-rounded professionals who are some of the most in-demand individuals in the dive industry.
For those who aren’t yet ready to take the professional route but are interested in becoming better divers, we recommend the Rescue Diver course, which teaches students how to confidently respond to emergencies and conduct in-water rescues. We guarantee you that after taking this course, your entire view of diving will change as you gain a greater understanding of safety standards and diver handling procedures.
Chic Icon: What’s your favorite thing about scuba diving?
MEDUZA Diving Center: Let’s ask the professionals themselves! According to Maddy, one of our PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors, the best thing about diving is the sense of adventure and purpose you get as a diver. “You can spend your entire life traveling to dive and never run out of options. From wrecks to reefs, mines, caverns, caves, quarries, lakes, and even under the ice, we have an entire world that’s only available to divers. Why be satisfied with what you can see from the surface? Go out and explore as a diver and you’ll never stop being amazed,” she said.
Mo, a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, stated that diving is the most relaxing activity one can pursue. “Diving is meditation—a way to escape from the stress of daily life—and nothing compares to that feeling when you first descend into the deep and the world goes quiet. Over thousands of dives, this feeling of peace still remains on every single dive.”
Rajee, a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, said that community is one of the best aspects of scuba diving. “Even if you come to dive alone, you’ll leave with a new group of dive buddies that will quickly become friends. Through diving, you meet people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Getting to share beautiful moments, such as incredible underwater sightings of your favorite marine life, gives me meaning as a diver and dive professional.”
If you ask 100 divers this question, you’ll get 100 different answers. Come join us to dive and discover your reason today.
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