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Deep Dive Dubai

Have you ever watched a video, seen an image, or maybe even witnessed an event in person and thought, “I’m going to do that”? Some get that feeling when they set their sights on a career or starting a life in a new country, or conquering the Himalayan mountains. I, however, experienced that inkling when I saw a video of divers playing with a car underwater. That's when I knew I had to add deep diving in Dubai to my bucket list, and here's why you'll want to do it too.

By Amber Lethem


DEEP DIVE DUBAI Image by Yevheniia Rehush | @freedivinguae & @apneapirates
Image by Yevheniia Rehush | @freedivinguae & @apneapirates

I didn’t know how or when, but the thought of exploring Deep Dive Dubai elated me like a child dreaming of visiting Disney World. As an avid diver, I craved new and unique experiences, and this was it. Playing billiards underwater, exploring tunnels, and fascinating scenery—I mean, this was truly an underwater playground built for divers and I craved to play in it. The problem was I lived halfway around the world in Hawaii.

I know what you’re thinking, why the HECK would you EVER LEAVE Hawaii to go to some man-made pool in the middle of the desert? Don’t get me wrong, Hawaii is great, but the sad truth is that the reefs are dying. Not just in Hawaii, but all around the world. It’s depressing to hop in the ocean and look at bleached reefs, discarded fishing lines and injured marine life –you get the gist.

Whilst I’ve helped start a non-profit to support coral restoration, I still feel defeated. I’ve also spent a large portion of my life on Oahu and craved to travel, especially after the pandemic. Sometimes we need a break from our normal day to day, and our souls should be allowed to dream.

That’s where Deep Dive Dubai comes in!

A year after I posted a photo of the aquatic facility on my vision board, I found myself at the entrance, my cheeks cramped from smiling so much. I inhaled the warm desert air, approached the check-in counter, suited up, and off I went. I met up with Yuiri, my AIDA free-diving instructor, who could clearly tell I was ecstatic.

“Calm down,” he joked. “You’re going to need to chill out and relax or you’ll use up all your oxygen before you hit your goal.”

“Yah, yah” I giggled back. Glancing at the 2 other divers, I could tell they weren’t amused by my child-like banter, but I didn’t care. I was thrilled to be there!

A few moments later, I slipped on my fins as quickly as I could and slid into the perfectly acclimatized pool. At the surface, it looked like an ordinary pool, but once I peered below the surface, I was in a whole new world.

Melodic whale songs remixed with classical music flooded my ears as I snorkeled over to Yuiri who was patiently floating next to the buoy. We planned the diving exercises and began the next training session of my AIDA 2 Level Certification. I warmed up with a few “breathe ups.”

You see, I have a goal to reach 33 metres which is approximately 100 feet below the surface. Just as making it to Deep Dive Dubai required focus, patience, discipline, and a bit of risk… so too does this depth goal. During my practice free-immersion dives, my eyes explored the sunken city.

The first thing you’ll notice is the seemingly endless tunnel that plummets 60m/~180ft beneath you. Staring into the deep abyss felt daunting until I began to relax my gaze. Game tables, medieval-looking tunnels, and a variety of architectural structures revealed themselves as my eyes adjusted. I saw lounging areas where divers and onlookers could exchange greetings through the plexiglass and I imagined restaurant guests laughing as divers waved or made faces back.

DEEP DIVE DUBAI Image by Yevheniia Rehush | @freedivinguae & @apneapirates
Image by Yevheniia Rehush | @freedivinguae & @apneapirates

Should you decide to visit Deep Dive Dubai, you will have a few different ways to enjoy the world-renowned facility. For folks who prefer staying dry, facility tours start at around 400 AED or approximately $100 USD, and you’ll receive a small dining credit and front row seats to pool at Equalize, their restaurant.

While I opted to free dive with Freedive UAE, others may dive with their in-house instructors and can choose other activities such as a general swim or scuba dive instead. With near-perfect temperatures, no sea-critters, and safety-checked equipment provided, Deep Dive Dubai makes an ideal learning environment for all levels.

Those with little to no experience in scuba will be briefed and escorted by a staff member, and others who want to take it to a whole new level can enroll into their more advanced training programs.

deep dive dubai Image by Yevheniia Rehush | @freedivinguae & @apneapirates
Image by Yevheniia Rehush | @freedivinguae & @apneapirates

After concluding free diving practice and reaching 20 metres in depth, I played. Yuiri and I made our way behind a banyan tree, passed a submerged BMW, and towards a pool table. Shortly after, we swam to the other side where there were other oddities like a motorcycle and through a marble-esque arch.

As I surfaced, I felt the gravity of this moment sink in my chest. I could not believe I had done it. I set an intention to visit Deep Dive Dubai, worked hard to create the ability to wander freely, booked a plane ticket, and ventured to an unfamiliar part of the world. After a year of hard work and healing from heartbreak, I did it, I really did it. In silence and on the verge of tears, I removed my face mask and took a breath of gratitude.

The special thing about Deep Dive Dubai is it provides a space to safely explore water—an element that currently makes up approximately 70% of our planet and 60% of our body. We, along with much of the world, depend on this life-sustaining resource. If we hope to have clean water and life for the next centuries, we must deepen our relationship with it.

A coral restoration practitioner once told me, “it’s difficult to care for things we don’t know about. By interacting with it [coral], we’re more likely to care about it and if we care about it enough, then we’ll inevitably do something about it.” This principle rings true for more than just coral, it applies to most noble causes.

So, I leave you with this: No matter where you are in your life, how dim or dark it may feel… do the next right thing right whether that’s for you or the world you live in. Find something, anything that inspires you or lights you up. Place that intention before you and look at it every single day. Above all, allow yourself to want it, then go out there and work for it.

Work so that you may inch a little closer, creep more forward to having whatever it is that you want. You may very well fail, but I promise you this. You deserve to meet yourself on the other side of fear. Who you become in the process of your personal pursuit is more powerful than any obstacle this world could put in your way. You’ve got this.


About Amber

Currently digital nomad-ing in country number 27, Amber is an International Speaker, Professional Sales Trainer, and Executive Coach.

She’s knocked on over 30,000 COLD doors, consistently ranking in the top 1% of her peers, Amber earned her spot as both the #1 US Female Saleswoman out of 3,500 people and the #1 Global Business Builder. Amber has also filmed and published 2 courses on LinkedIn Learning, presented from virtual and in-person stages around.

Amber is also an AIDA Level II free diver, PADI advanced open water diver, and avid athlete. She enjoys hiking, camping, adventuring, and has her sights set on her next bucket list item - free-diving with Orcas in Norway.

*All images taken by Yevheniia Rehush | Find her on IG @freedivinguae & @apneapirates


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