Red Sea - Saudi Arabia

The Red Sea, located on the western coast of Saudi Arabia, is a beautiful destination that is attracting more and more tourists. Stretching more than 2,000 kilometers along the coastline of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt, this sea is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Saudi Arabia has recently been developing the Red Sea's coastline and islands, with the goal of turning the Red Sea into one of the country's main attractions in the coming years.

What makes the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia so special?

There has been no diving on Saudi Arabia's reefs for more than 10 years, destructive fishing has not taken place and only a few liveaboards are currently operational along a coastline that is 1,760 kilometers long. The coastline of Saudi Arabia is still completely pristine and is known for its crystal clear waters, colorful coral reefs and deserted beaches.

It is the habitat of more than 1,200 species of fish and 250 species of coral, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. The Red Sea ecosystem is considered one of the most biodiverse in the world and is studied by scientists for its unique species.

The Red Sea is also an important migration route for whale sharks, humpback whales, dolphins and other marine mammals. You can see these majestic creatures up close and marvel at their beauty and elegance.

It is undoubtedly one of the last undiscovered diving paradises on earth.

From the border with Jordan to the border with Yemen, the reefs extend, covering about 80 percent of the eastern Red Sea. The waters of Saudi Arabia act as a vast underwater nature park with large schools of reef fish and pelagic fish species, including numerous shark species, manta rays and more. The landscape of the region ranges from impressive vertical walls to stunning rock formations and giant colorful coral gardens composed of both hard and soft corals. It is not unusual to encounter dolphins while diving or snorkeling, as well as morays, schools of barracuda, humphead parrotfish and many other fauna and flora. If you go diving in Saudi Arabia, there is a good chance you will have the reef to yourself.

The months of April, May and June are considered the best time for sighting silky sharks, hammerheads and gray reef sharks. The Farasan Banks is home to a school of humphead parrotfish and a large group of turtles. There have even been sightings of tiger sharks and pilot whales. The Hanging Gardens, discovered by Paul Munzinger, are extremely unique. Further research has shown that the gardens consist of pocket squirts that were previously undiscovered and belong to the group of manta rays.

The Farasan Banks cover an area about 560 kilometers from north to south and 48 kilometers from east to west, with an estimated 6 million hectares of submerged coral reefs and small islands. Jacques Cousteau described the area as the wildest of all the reefs in the Red Sea in his 1953 book, The Living Sea.

Blue holes off the coast of Saudi Arabia

Scientists in Saudi Arabia predict that Saudi Arabia's "blue holes" will soon attract curious divers from around the world. The Red Sea has more than 20 of these natural phenomena discovered in 2022 and located 150 km off the coast in southern Saudi Arabia. Most of the blue holes were originally sinkholes or caves created over time by erosion and rock collapse. Many blue holes were formed during the last ice age, after sea levels rose and existing sinkholes were filled with water. The term blue hole stems from the dark color by which the formations can be identified. That color often forms a striking contrast to the turquoise of the surrounding water. Scientists in the kingdom are now studying three of these holes.

The geology of the "blue holes" in the Red Sea is "unique," said Carlos Duarte, professor of marine sciences at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. "In terms of biology, geology and the overall diving experience, I predict they will be at the top of the 'bucket list' of every diver in the world once they become known worldwide."

In August, the kingdom's National Center for Wildlife released a video describing the research as a major breakthrough in oceanic and marine exploration. Each blue hole can contain very different biodiversity and can vary in shape, size and depth. Some of the holes are a kilometer wide and reach a depth of 400 meters, while the depth of others is not yet known. The blue holes are almost like a natural laboratory to study, containing things that have not really been seen for more than 100 years. They are becoming a popular tourist destination and provide opportunities for studies and research on marine biodiversity.

Tourism by the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has recently begun developing the Red Sea Global. This huge construction project covers an area of 28,000 km2 and is located in northwestern Saudi Arabia in Tabuk province, between the cities of Umluj and Al-Wajh.

This project involves the development of a series of luxury resorts, marinas and recreational areas along the Red Sea coastline. The goal is to make the Red Sea a leading tourist destination while protecting and enhancing the marine ecosystem.

The project also includes the establishment of a research and science center focused on the study and protection of the Red Sea. Scientists will work with local communities and tourism companies to develop sustainable projects that protect marine biodiversity and boost the local economy.

The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia is a unique destination with rich biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes. It is a major draw for tourists and an area that fascinates scientists because of the unique species found there. With the development of "Red Sea Global," the Red Sea can play an important role in Saudi Arabia's economy in the coming years while protecting the marine ecosystem.

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