There are a surprising number of diving operators in Muscat offering a range of trips and PADI courses. The closest dive sites are just south of the city along the coast at Bandar Jissah and Bandar Khayran (which is also where you’ll find the popular Al Munassir wreck) and, slightly further afield, at Fahal Island (40min–1hr by boat). Euro Divers, Omanta Scuba and the Oman Dive Centre also do trips out to the Daminayat Islands, about a two- to three-hour trip by boat each way (or about half that in Omanta’s high-speed catamaran). As throughout Oman, nutrient-rich waters attract a fine array of marine life, ranging from tiny nudibranchs to whale sharks. You stand a better chance of seeing larger sea life at the Daminiyats and Fahal, since they’re further offshore. Daminiyat Diving, upstairs in the Jawaharat A’Shatti Complex in Shatti al Qurum, stocks a reasonable range of diving gear; alternatively, try the shop at Bluzone Diving.
All diving operators also run snorkelling trips to explore the coral gardens at Bandar Jissah, Bandar Khayran and Fahal Island, and most (plus a couple of other operators) also run boat trips around the coast. These include dolphin-spotting boat trips – you should have a better than ninety percent chance of seeing dolphins (mainly spinner, sometimes bottlenose); whale sharks and humpback whales are also very occasionally sighted. Some operators also offer sunset cruises, leaving at around 4.30pm and lasting a couple of hours.