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Liveaboard diving vs. resort diving in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea – which is best?

The pros and cons of dive resort holidays in Saudi Arabia

Since Saudi Arabia (finally) gained recognition for its world-class dive sites, it skyrocketed to the top of the list of best scuba diving locations. And rightly so. 

Because, between spectacular wrecks, vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life, Saudi Arabia has many untouched dive sites that will satisfy even the most well-traveled divers. 

But with so much happening beneath the waves, the question on every diver’s lips is:

Is resort diving in Saudi Arabia the best option? Or is a liveaboard better? 

In this post, we’re going to help you decide which type of diving holiday is best for you.

Hint: you can explore amazing dive sites without missing out on land-based activities.

The perks of resort diving in Saudi Arabia

Perk #1: It’s cheaper

Liveaboards are a holiday treat for divers, but if you just want to dive once or twice during your visit to Saudi Arabia, diving from a resort works out to be much cheaper than a liveaboard.

Perk #2: It’s flexible

Unless you want to get into a “Dive. Eat. Sleep. Repeat” mode, staying on a liveaboard probably isn’t for you. With scuba diving day trips, you’re not tied to strict itineraries (or stuck on a boat!). You can pick ‘n’ chose the dive site and date that works best for you.

And when you’re not underwater, why not indulge in some land-based sightseeing activities? For example, tour around old Jeddah for a taste of Saudi Arabia’s unique culture, architecture and hospitality.

Perk #3: It’s for all divers 

Liveaboards usually require a minimum diving certification level and a minimum number of logged dives. 

But with dive resorts, there are no such restrictions. At Hope of Spring Dive Center – one of the best dive shops in Saudi Arabia – everyone is welcome. From entry-level to seasoned, pros and even tech divers.

Image by Harry Fozzard

Perk #4: It’s more comfortable

As much fun as scuba diving is, at the end of the day, it’s nice to go back to a hotel room. 

But on liveaboards, your room is usually a very basic cabin. 

As the only PADI diving resort in Saudi Arabia, Hope of Spring Dive Center has exceptional diving facilities and first-class service with the same buddy-like atmosphere you’d find on a liveaboard dive boat.

The downsides of resort diving in Saudi Arabia

Downside #1: It’s not as social

On scuba diving day trips, there’s usually not enough time to get to know people. 

But liveaboards are a golden opportunity for advanced divers to share stories and for newbies to enjoy the support from more experienced divers.

Downside #2: You don’t visit remote dive sites

The truth is that liveaboards allow divers to explore remote locations that are too far away for resort-based scuba diving day trips.

Yanbu, for example, is a popular dive site near Jeddah known as “the pearl of the Red Sea”. Living up to its nickname, Yanbu is an excellent diving spot ideal for a liveaboard holiday in Saudi Arabia.

Interested in diving in Yanbu? Hope of Spring Dive Center organises multi-day diving trips to Yanbu , combining diving trips with sightseeing tours around the city for a win-win situation.

Photo by Jessie Hodge

Whether you choose a liveaboard or a resort for your scuba diving holiday, both offer unique diving experiences. After all, Saudi Arabia is the final frontier for travellers and divers, so either way, you’re bound to have a unique holiday!

Need more information? We’re here to answer all your questions


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