Kuwait's Main Dive Sites

Donkey Reef
The closest reef to Khiran, Donkey Reef is a small circular reef sitting on a sand and coral rubble bottom at a mere 6 metres depth or so. Despite this rather inauspicious description it is home to an abundance of fish and crustaceans. Resident Turtles and Puffer Fish lurk amongst the coral and large shoals of small Barracuda hunt in the shallow waters around the reef. Rays and Flatheads are often seen on the sandy bottom which abounds with Shrimp Goby pairs and the occasional Jawfish.
The coral is mainly Porites Lutea with a large area of impressive Brain Coral growths on the more exposed Eastern side. Although very shallow, for the divers more interested in the underwater life than going deep this is a favourite site that usually has some surprises up its sleeve!

The resident turtle

Yellowfin Barracuda

 

Maradim Island
This is the closest island to Khiran - just 13 nautical miles. Once very popular with pleasure boaters now landing on the island is prohibited as a small harbour for the coastguards is being constructed. Some of the fringing reef has been dredged up for this. Maradim has some very good table corals but there is much evidence of past anchor damage. Now there are permanent mooring buoys which have reduced damage considerably. It is also a popular dive site for Kuwaiti dive operators out of Khiran but their habit of feeding fish on urchins and scallops has altered the behaviour of the fish. A diver will find himself being pestered by gangs of Blue Angels and Moon Wrasse.
Maradim is a much-visited destination. When the conditions are a bit rough it is close enough to reach in reasonable time and, once there, the island will provide some shelter from the waves. There is also a small reef around the island's North Marker which is worth diving if just to see the very large anchor that sits on the seabed just off the reef.

Aerial Photograph of Maradim.

The area outlined in red is now a harbour for the Coastguards.

Relaxing on the beach at Maradim.

This area is now the Coastguard harbour!

 
 
Qaruh Island
Qaruh boasts the best and most diverse coral colonies in Kuwait and is our favourite location for diving. Here you can see Trigger Fish and Surgeon Fish and there are also a few Moray Eels resident here. Being 22 nautical miles from Khiran conditions need to be good to get here
Aerial photograph of Qaruh Island clearly showing its fringing reef Gonipora looks like a soft coral but is actually a hard coral with its polyps permanently extended. It is common on both Qaruh and Maradim.
 
Qaruh North Marker and The Wreck
Like Maradim, Qaruh has a separate reef around its North Marker but this is much better. Jacks and Needlefish, Batfish and Barracuda are regular sightings and it can make a wonderful drift dive on a falling spring tide
About 2 nautical miles South of Qaruh lies a small wreck in 36 metres. This is the only serious wreck dive in Kuwait
Coral growth at Qaruh Sketch of the Qaruh Wreck