Middle East snorkeling destinations are known far having very warm, balmy water, with an abundance of marine life species, and a close to shore coral reef system.
Oman lies on the Arab Sea and is is noted for its excellent snorkeling and scuba diving and distinguishes itself for its balmy, calm and warm waters that are nutrient rich with a plentiful and wide variety of marine life.
While water clarity is considered average, its less than perfect visibility is the result of a large presence of nutrient rich plankton and algae making it an attraction for marine life. Water visibility varies with the seasons of the year, with the best time for clear water visibility and snorkeling being from November to January.
The peak season is from September to June, with the warmest months from April to October when the water temperature averages 90 degrees.
Snorkelers and scuba divers can find the area abundant with a wide variety of marine life. With beautiful black coral, colorful whip corals, large table corals in abundance along with over 900 species of fish. One of the special attractions is the presence of Arabian Butterfish, a vivid, beautiful orange and black fish.
The best snorkeling closest to Muscat includes:
Bandar Jissah, a secluded bay with rocky cliffs, coral reefs, and rich marine life. Also, off-beach snorkeling scuba diving trips depart from the beach at Bandar Jissah to the notable Ras Abu Daud wreck.
Marjan Beach with coral reefs fight off the beach this is a great spot for snorkelers. Here you can spot many parrot fish, clown fish, sea cucumbers, rays, and turtles.
The Daymaniyat Islands Marine Park, a chain of Islands to the west of Muscat is noted for having the best colorful reefs in Oman. It features reefs from 15 to 90 feet, with many rising above the water.
For snorkeling in muscat, the best spot is the public beach immediately to the west of the Ras al Hamra recreation club
Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
Barr Al Jissah, Oman
Over looking the Gulf of Oman, against a backdrop of rugged mountains, Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa offers a full-service spa complex and spacious rooms with panoramic views. The Resort is comprised of 3 hotels with grand swimming pools and private beaches. Shangri-La's spa offers 12 treatment villas, saunas and steam rooms.