In Qatar, scuba diving is a very impressive and a fantastic sport. The sport makes you feel very close to nature, especially marine life. Qatar is encircled by sea on all the three sides and this makes it very perfect for scuba diving. In the recent years, a lot of interest was evinced in scuba diving here in the country, and it has, therefore, become a very popular activity both amongst local and visitors.
Scuba diving is a sport which requires a lot of skill and confidence, for which you need to be thoroughly and properly trained. You should be trained both, mentally and physically, to be able to spend a considerable time under water. Taking adequate precaution and ensuring safety will make the sport a pleasurable and enjoyable experience.
Qatar has an absolutely well-developed infrastructure which makes scuba diving here totally and completely safe. Once you go deep down into the depths of the ocean, you will get to see various types of fishes like the hammer head, Sailfish, Queen fish, King fish, Dorado Jellyfish, and many other types of fish. You may also get to see sea-slugs, crabs, and turtles. Have a look at the thousands of beautiful colored corals, watch the sea anemones, observe the dance of the sea horses, and study the glass jellyfish. And if you happen to see any stingrays give them a wide berth. Their stings are not fatal, but very painful.
The warm and deep blue waters of the Gulf make Qatar a haven for divers, especially beginners. One of the most accepted and a well-liked place to dive is called Old Club Reef which is a man-made reef. Two artificial reefs made of sunken cars and oil drums have been constructed and an environment created for marine life and corals.
The necessary equipment required for scuba diving consists of a wet suit, a pair of fins, an oxygen tank, mask, snorkel, a knife, a pair of leather gloves, dive tables, dive watch, and flashlights for night diving. The water temperature varies with the season – from very warm in the summer to extremely cold in the winter. During summer, you need to wear a lycra/neoprene suit to protect yourself from man-of-war which are common in the hot months. It delivers a very powerful and painful sting. In winter, wear a wetsuit to protect yourself from the cold.
There are a few safety rules about scuba diving that you should know and follow before you start exploring the mysteries of the deep. The first step would be to study the area and see if it is safe for diving, and do not venture if the currents are too strong. Consult a physician, including an ENT specialist, and get yourself thoroughly examined and find out if you are fit for diving. You should plan your dive properly – plan the maximum depth you are going to dive to as well as the time you are going to spend down. Dive according to your plan.
Make it a point to ensure that you do not go diving alone – let a friend accompany you. Keep a check of your air supply when you are under water and if you find that your oxygen supply is running out, come out of the water as fast as possible. Remember the cardinal rule of ascending slowly which will reduce the risk of decompression. While you are diving, breathe slowly and do not hold your breath underwater as it may lead to severe lung damage. And the last and most important piece of advice for scuba diving – be totally confident and do not be afraid.