What's holding females back from scuba diving?

Updated: Oct 31

Scuba Diving is seen as a male-dominated extreme sport; with the notion of heavy tanks, complicated equipment and the overall fear of the unknown. Worldwide only 38% of PADI certifications went to females in 2018, even though this figure has grown, it’s still well behind.

Female Scuba Diving UAE

Warmer climates are more favourable for women divers compared to cool climates which may be a reason why the sport hasn’t gained momentum. With social media platforms such as Instagram, there are now beautiful lifestyle images which reflect sun-kissed hair, stunning coral reefs, fit and glamorous women in scuba gear and through this platform the sport has gained its popularity.


The wonderful thing about scuba diving is that there is a sense of freedom and independence. You can escape from the everyday stresses from being a mum, a manager, a colleague, a planner, a provider (the list goes on!!). Diving allows you to escape into the underwater world where you can listen to the meditative sounds of your breathing and the waves. It’s wonderful feeling not having the urge to pick up your phone and scroll through mindless social media posts.


There’s plenty of reasons why scuba diving is a good activity for females, especially if you’ve just moved to the UAE and looking for new and exciting things to do. What’s holding you back? If you’re still unsure and have a few concerns – we’ve listed a few Q&A’s from recent female open water divers!


CAN I DIVE WITH MY PERIOD?


The answer is yes! However, scuba diving pre, during and post menstruation you may feel fatigued and de-hydrated. Just be mindful of how your body usually feels and don’t push yourself if you don’t feel up for it.


Worried about sharks? If you think sharks will attack because of the smell blood, in fact, they’ll probably stay away from you as they’ll smell that you’re not the right type of dinner!


For environmental purposes and if you haven’t already, then we’d recommend using the mooncup which you purchase in the UAE at these sites:


Read scuba diving on periods here.


CAN I WEAR MY CONTACT LENSES?


Yes, you can wear contact lenses. It’s recommended to wear soft contact lenses (instead of hard contact lenses) as they are gas permeable. Hard contact lenses might blur your vision as you’re ascending with nitrogen build up and cause dry eyes and irritation.


During the PADI Discover Scuba Dive or PADI Open Water Course, if you’re worried about the mask skills, you are allowed to shut your eyes.


For glass wearers, you can buy masks with prescription lenses. I’d recommend the ScubaPro Zoom Evo and Scout Masks. We encourage all Open Water student to buy their own mask at the start of the course as you’ll definitely feel more comfortable during the skills. You can purchase masks at ScubaPro Jumeirah – plus say the word ‘Chloe Blue’ and receive a 20% discount!


I’M NOT A STRONG SWIMMER, CAN I SCUBA DIVE?


You don’t need to be an Olympic champion, but you do need to be confident in the water. During the PADI Open Water Course, you’ll need to swim 200 meters and do a 10-minute float. If you had a bad experience in the water, we can try and build your confidence with a Discover Scuba Diving session.


I’M AFRAID OF THE SEA, MARINE LIFE AND SHARKS!?


You do need to be prepared when going into the sea and look at the conditions for scuba diving. Scuba Diving in the UAE is pretty safe, there is occasionally a season of jellyfish which you need to be wary of, but most of the aquatic life is happy – if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone! In the unlikely event that you do come into contact with marine life, then seek medical attention straight away.


I SUFFER FROM SEASICKNESS – CAN I DIVE?


We’d recommend speaking to a medical doctor if you suffer from bad seasickness. However, there are popular remedies that have been known to help!

  • Any form of ginger

  • Seasickness bracelets

  • Draminex

  • Diznil

 

If you'd like to hear more about female diving in the UAE and beyond, check out our latest podcast 'Female Diving & Instructor Life'. If you'd like to start your scuba diving journey in Dubai or Fujairah, get in touch with our female-led scuba diving team.

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