Egypt: Red Sea - Dive Sites - Umm Qamar

Umm Qamar



By Boat

By swimming

By Live-aboard

All Divers







9km (5.5 miles) north of Giftun island, between Hurghada and Shadwan


By day or live-aboard boat from Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada

Average Depth:

20m (65ft)

Maximum Depth:

35m+ (115ft+)

Average Visibility:

20m (65ft)

This site lies off the island of Umm Qamar, or 'Mother of the Moon' in Arabic, at the south end of a very large, isolated reef. The favored area for diving is on the southeast side, where the prevailing north wind and waves are broken by the bulk of the island and the reef. The site has a steeply sloping wall profile, dropping to depths beyond 35m (115ft). The wall is quite sculpted, boasting a number of caves and cavelets. One of these, about halfway along the east coast of the island, is absolutely packed with glassfish.

Coral cover is patchy, but there is a decent range of soft corals in the shallows, and the reef has some good examples of most species, hard and soft, one notable species being the antipatharian black bush coral, a relatively rarity on most reefs.

Fish life is more interesting than the relatively limited coral, with the reefs isolated position drawing a large number of pelagics in addition to a vibrant community of reef species. Sharks are often spotted, as are barracuda, jacks and trumpetfish.

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Last Updated: May 30th, 2011