The Qatar coral reefs are relatively extended, but they display a relatively low diversity in terms of species. Even so, with less than 20 coral species populating the area, these reefs offer home and shelter to numerous other extraordinary sea creatures.
The waters along the Qatar coast line are very shallow, usually in the 1-4m depth range, but the sceneries they offer are amazing. There are not only natural reefs in the area, but man-made reefs as well – formations made from vehicles and other large objects dropped into the water as an attempt to attract fish and to promote the formation of new coral reefs. Here are a few of the most interesting spots in the area:
- Halul Island – the waters around the isle are dominated by acropora corals;
Othman Reef – a natural reef that is currently recovering and repopulating. It has two dive sites, one just off the shore, accessible by swimming a few meters and another, much larger one, at about 150 meters from the shore;
- Khor Al Udaid – this a sheltered area that features a number of small reef patches. The hard corals give home to saddleback groupers, cuttlefish, barracudas, snappers, small rays and many others;
- Eel Garden – this sandy and at the same time rocky spot is accessible on boat and it offers visitors the opportunity to explore fantastic hard coral formations and crystal clear waters busy with moray eels, beautiful jelly fish, lion fish and angel fish.
The Qatar reefs have the second largest dugong population on Earth. Found mainly in the deeper waters, these wonderful, large, but very shy creatures can be frequently seen in the area around Umm Bab, Dukhan and Simaisma.
The Qatar coral reefs are expanding slowly, but surely, providing diving enthusiasts and natural scientists with extraordinary opportunities.