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How many of you EF members are certified scuba divers? :)
I have been diving for a long time and have visited many places around the world.

IMHO, UAE is an easy place to learn how to dive due to warm water / weather and relatively easy access to the dive sites.

You should learn in UAE, dive regularly to improve then visit nicer locations (i.e. Rea Sea for example is close and nice for recreational diving).
 

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I wish... no, I would love to dive but as I had a middle ear infection as a kid, no can do. Tried it once and it was the best fun and the most painful experience of my life. :(
 
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Certified Open Water in the US 1984
Advanced and Wreck diving certs in Palau 1988
Nitrox in the Phillippines 1998 ( I think '98?)

I love the sport and can recommend it as well as the Red Sea recommendation above. Other favorite spots include Palau, Phillippines, Thailand, the Maldives, North Carolina and Cozumel.

Never been diving in the Emirates though.
 

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I started diving in 1984 and have cerified with a number of training agencies: Sub Aqua Association, British Sub Aqua Club, Technical Diving International, PADI.

My current level is PADI IDC Staff Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor (first aid) and technical diver (open circuit not rebreathers).

I agree with CCR, the UAE is an easy place to learn to dive and there are plenty of places offering training.

My advice would be to speak to other people who have trained at the differing places, get feedback from them. There are also independant instructors that can teach you, usually for less money as the dive centres. Again though, word of mouth is a great way to find these (or forums :eyebrows:)

hubbly bubbly, my suggestion to you would be to get your ear checked by an ENT specialist. My wife had a perforated eardrum when she was younger, she couldn't even get water in her ear without suffering severe pain. She actually had a graft on the ear, and she certified as a diver over 2 years ago.

If anybody has questions about diving in the UAE, I would be more than happy to answer them.
 

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My advice would be to speak to other people who have trained at the differing places, get feedback from them. There are also independant instructors that can teach you, usually for less money as the dive centres. Again though, word of mouth is a great way to find these (or forums :eyebrows:)
On the same line, just a little more info...

IMHO...

For recreational diving, any divemonkey can teach the first basic skill level (get you certified) since most of the information will be way over the head of most new divers. The average person will retain just enough information to get certified...

If you don't know if you will stick with the sport, then get certified as stress-free as possible - so not to put you off the sport. A basic PADI dive center makes it easy for new people to get into diving. I would not fuss too much about which organization at this stage.

Once you are certified, had a few shallow dives under your belt and are starting to feel comfortable breathing underwater, start look around for a nice diving group to hang out. Remember that socializing with the right people above water as much fun/ important as diving underwater.

Most people will stay at this level (Open Water) and just do shallow recreational dives and enjoy the socializing. Some (majority men) will want to advance the skill level (bragging rights ;) ) and get additional training.

Again, PADI makes it easy for the general public with their modular training approach: Advance Open Water, Diving Specialties, etc. thus earning the organization the nick name of: "Put Another Dollar In" :)

For the adventurous individuals, you could look into training for Technical Diving. And this is where the right instructor / organization will make the difference. In general, technical diving includes: deeper depth, decompression diving, cave, breathing gas other than air, rebreather, etc...

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone :)

I'm in touch with Ogri so will see how it goes! I'd really like to do this so let's hope I stick with it!
 

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Hey Pamela

My hubby and I both qualified in the UAE; Open Water in June 2010, swiftly followed by the Advanced Open Water a couple of months later, and Enriched Air Diver last summer. All the theoretical stuff for the first two courses is done via PADI e-learning, just the practical sessions (pool stuff, then open water dives) are done with the dive centre - although they will check that you passed the final test before letting you go any further. I don't plan to do any more specialist courses, the above are more than enough for the amount of diving we do.

We did each course at different places, but all PADI centres will follow the same format and to the same (or similar anyway) standard. The only real difference we found was the equipment - Altantis' dive centre had just opened when we did our Open Water so everything was brand-spanking new, whereas Discover Nomad's kit was distinctly more "loved" - but it is all checked regularly to make sure it is in good working order and won't make much of a difference while learning. If you enjoy the sport and decide to stick with it you will probably buy your own kit over time anyway.

Another acronym for you CCR - Pay Another Dive Instructor!

In terms of dive sites - in our experience the UAE sites are better on the East coast, but Ogri will be able to tell you much more about local options. Since qualifying we've been to Malaysia (Sipadan - amazing, would highly recommend), Thailand and are off to the Maldives later this year.

Something for you other divers out there to try - if you want to speak to your buddy underwater, rest your reg on their forehead and talk through it. Still comes out a bit jumbled but the sound conducts through your skull/bones in your inner ear and you can pretty much hear what they're saying.
 

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Ogri, thanks. I have had it checked, as after the first (and last) dive I couldn't work out why my ear wouldn't equalise. Anyway, unbeknown to me, turns out I had had tube surgery as a kid because of the middle ear infection and that it most likely couldn't be fixed for underwater equalisation. Shame as I really loved my first adventure under water, being taught by a former 1st division football player and 2 huge ZZ Top look-alike dudes, just off the Queensland coast.
 

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Another acronym for you CCR - Pay Another Dive Instructor!
As said, I have been diving a long time so have heard many, many more... ;)

Please Assist Diver Immediately (since you are PADI-trained :D )
Pay And Dive Immediately
Pretty Aweful Diving Instruction
Probably Another Damn Incompetent
Potentially Aweful Diving Incident
Produce Another Dumb Instructor
Patch And Dollar Industry
Patches And Decals Included

...if you want to speak to your buddy underwater, rest your reg on their forehead and talk through it. Still comes out a bit jumbled but the sound conducts through your skull/bones in your inner ear and you can pretty much hear what they're saying.
Much better and easier option, dive a rebreather and there is no noise to worry about. So you can just talk normally ;)
 

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How about, on the more positive future side: Pammy's Awesome Diving Instruction school.

(BTW, "awful", not "aweful". Bit hard to call a diver dumb and incompetent when the same spelling mistake was made. Twice. :p )
 

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[quote\] Much better and easier option, dive a rebreather and there is no noise to worry about. So you can just talk normally ;) [/quote]

A rebreather is a serious investment - I don't even have my own reg yet! I'll be sticking to hand signals, a slate or the forehead method for now ;)
 

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(BTW, "awful", not "aweful". Bit hard to call a diver dumb and incompetent when the same spelling mistake was made. Twice. :p )
Can't take the credit, was originated from a PADI instructor... ;)

You and Pammy should be recognized as the anal-retentive-spelling-police couple... :D
 

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A rebreather is a serious investment - I don't even have my own reg yet! I'll be sticking to hand signals, a slate or the forehead method for now ;)
I know. Over the years, I have owned more than 10 different RBs, and still have 4 now eventhough too lazy to go diving lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can't take the credit, was originated from a PADI instructor... ;)

You and Pammy should be recognized as the anal-retentive-spelling-police couple... :D
:behindsofa:

I saw an email where a person wrote "vet" instead of "whet" and it's bugging the hell out of me because it would be highly inappropriate for me to correct this person. But really, "a vet" is an animal doctor...."to whet" is to stimulate someone's desire for something. How can it be so difficult for a person with English as a first language? :p

Thanks for calling us anal retentive by the way! :p
 

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Can't take the credit, was originated from a PADI instructor... ;)

You and Pammy should be recognized as the anal-retentive-spelling-police couple... :D
You mean you copied and pasted the work without "whetting" it first? Tsk, tsk. Pammy must be in a right state. :p
 

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If I have to explain the joke... :rolleyes: :)
:confused2:

Never mind.

Meanwhile... I am whetting my lips for a vetted post, but not to get the Vietnam veteran vet wet.

Try saying that underwater, lol. :)
 
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