The rise of scuba diving in Jordan


From there we headed to the site of the Seven Sisters, so named for the multiple bommies (outcrops of coral) that rise from the ocean floor, where yellow and white butterflyfish elegantly snagged past our goggles. , and the electric blue of a young lady darted between the benches. of rifled riflemen as they fanned around the towering underwater pillars.

As we moved through the water, I thought of the few female scuba instructors I’ve met in the world. According to PADI, the activity is still largely dominated by men: overall, of the 128,000 instructors in the world, only 20% of instructors (all levels combined) are currently women. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the number drops – to around 16% – and in predominantly Muslim countries the figure drops even more, with less than 10% in the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey. Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman. , Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

When I asked PADI if the numbers seemed to be increasing they said that due to the Covid pandemic it was difficult to give a clear answer but agreed that “in general it is possible to grow the female ranks PADI Professionals – and the demand for female PADI Pros worldwide”.

The organization began to promote women working in their world, especially in places where they are not encouraged to be as active in the outdoors, such as the Middle East. They started an AmbassaDiver program where they use their website and social media to tell the stories of these women breaking the mould. These include Master Scuba Diver Trainer Nouf Alosaimi from Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s first female technical diver, who founded Pink Bubbles Divers (a female diving community that encourages women to connect with the ocean); and Ehdaa Al-Barwani who is Oman’s first female PADI instructor and runs women-only diving courses.

One thing is certain, the number of female divers in Jordan has increased since Wa’ed joined Go Aqaba in 2018. According to Khaled, there are now five of them teaching scuba diving in Aqaba, and they have seen an increase in the number of women. customers too.


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