The Oman coral reefs are located along the southern coastline of the country, around small islands and in bays just off the shore of the mainland. The coral communities are diverse and scattered along the 1,700km shoreline. 107 different species have been discovered so far, out of which 15% are endemic species, with about 10% of which are completely new to scientists and currently being researched.
Major Sites and Characteristic Species on Oman Coral Reefs
Oman reefs are made up of hard and soft corals alike and they feature numerous other creatures of the sea, including dolphins, whales, sharks and rays.
- Musandam – the coral walls in the area are attached to a substrate of limestone. The crevices created by erosion give home and shelter to lots of fish, shrimps and large schools of tuna can also be spotted due to the spot’s proximity to the deeper, open waters;
- Daminiyat – the site is practically made up of tiny islands with coves and bays. The reefs consist mainly of Acropora, Pocillopora and Porites corals. They serve as important nestle spots for many different turtle species and make up a nature reserve of extraordinary richness;
- Ras Al Hadd – coral formations start at about 5m deep and the deeper one gets, the more spectacular the scenery becomes. Corals are to be found not only on the substrate, but also in two walls;
- Hallaniyat – the waters surrounding these five islands in Oman’s Dhofar region are exciting not only for diving enthusiasts, but for scientists as well; new fish and coral species are being discovered in these relatively unexplored, pristine places.
Coral walls, huge coral gardens, sharks, turtles, dolphins and lots of other spectacular animals make the Oman coral reefs unique – whether you are interested in reef diving or you want to combine the experience with wreck diving as well, Oman has its all.