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Manasir Wreck

The Omani environment consists of a desert in the centre of the country. It is rugged by mountains in the northern and southern part, along with the coastal plains and a rich marine environment as it is one of the richest in the Arabian Gulf region. The Sultanate's coastline has a total length of 3,165 km. It includes many sites that are suitable for diving and can be explored too. The divers can enjoy beautiful coral reefs, colourful fish swarms, turtles and rare shark species in some locations, to the exploration of caves, tunnels, dark rifts or sunken shipwrecks. Moreover, the Omani sea provides good opportunities for night diving, because of the composition of phosphorus compounds. 

In April 2003, the Royal Navy forces sank the 86-meter-long Manasir military vessel in the southern part of Ras al-Khiran. They aimed to provide a suitable environment for the formation of coral reefs that now lie at a depth of 28 meters. These kinds of sea environment attract those who are interested in water sports and diving enthusiasts. Thus contributing to the economy by activating tourism movements. Muscat is one of the best places to practice scuba diving. It overlooks of the Gulf of Oman coast, between the Arabian Gulf in the west and the Arabian Sea in the east. This charming location reflects positively on diving opportunities on the coast.

Al-Fahal Island is one of the areas that offer an exceptional diving experience in bays and caves around its shores. The diver can see a variety of coral reefs as well as thousands of fishes, including whales, sharks and giant rai fish. It is noted that Al-Fahal Island is a natural reserve that will be subjected to government permission to visit or dive into its waters. Another area to be highlighted is Bandar Khairan. It is a diving area consisting of some hidden bays with mangroves. The dolphins can be seen floating near the boats, as well as the wreckage of one of Oman 's ancient marine ships that have gone out of service, turning into a suitable environment for the growth of corals, sponges and many kinds of crustaceans. There are always large swarms of tropical fish hovering around this wreck, as well as giant rai fish. Moreover, the Dominic Islands, the nine islands that make up this group are uninhabited. It is also considered as a natural reserve by sea, so the divers have to get permission to dive there. The coral reefs appear at a depth of 5 meters and extend to a depth of 30 meters, in incredible contrast, variety and colouration. There are also countless colourful tropical fish that swim through coral reefs, turtles, barracuda and squids. It is obvious that the diversity of the environment in Oman has created a dynamic diversity too. Accordingly, it attracts various sports lovers from mountain climbers, cave explorers and diving enthusiasts in the seas. Therefore, these sports are all factors that contribute to the enrichment of tourism in Oman. It should be properly exploited by providing appropriate services in these places and regulating the use of it through the legislation of laws in order to preserve and protect it from indiscriminate use.

Photo credits: Oman Voice

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