Kuwait has the highest concentration of reefs in the entire Gulf, the Kuwait coral reefs being renowned for their variety and abundance of colorful marine life. The area boasts 35 different coral species, out of which 29 are reef-building species, contributing actively to the expansion of the reefs. Reefs can be found all along the Kuwait coastline, up to the border with Saudi Arabia, and the shallow waters of maximum 15m in depth provide an excellent environment for all sorts of marine creatures.
Sites and Species of Kuwait Coral Reefs
Kuwait reefs take many different shapes in the area. There are reef patches, fringes and platforms, each of them offering something different and special to the diver.
- Qaruh – the waters around this island are extremely salty and the area is characterized by wide variations in temperature, which would make an environment that is not very favorable for corals, yet the place is a real paradise for Porites, Goniopora and Acropora corals. The area has two separate dive sites, one in the south and one in the north, most of it being covered in live corals and the fauna in the area is also amazing;
- Umm Al Maradim – a large reef with a lagoon area in the southernmost end of the Kuwait waters, at about half a kilometer off the shore and the nesting place for several turtle species. The main attraction of the site is bottleneck dolphin spotting and the area is populated predominantly by Stylophora, Acropora and Porites corals;
- 5-Mile Reef – corals and exotic fish are not the only attractions of the site, it is also a favorite with wreck diving enthusiasts. Sea pens and sand sharks can also be seen, mostly during night dives.
The Kuwait coral reefs are wonderful examples of how adaptable and resilient corals and other marine species really are and how they can create extraordinary spots of unmatched diversity of the area.