Many call the Red Sea an underwater paradise, and for a good reason! Between Asia and Africa, this salty sea entices scuba divers, and those looking to learn to dive, from across the globe. The sea is bordered by world-class dive destinations, including Egypt, Sudan, Israel and Jordan, providing anyone interested in learning to scuba dive in the Red Sea and to live unfiltered underwater a wide range of destinations to choose from.
With calm conditions and plentiful marine creatures, the Red Sea is an ideal destination to learn to dive. This is the place to disconnect, get your dive gear on, and transform your life!
We’ve spoken to five divers whose lives were completely altered by learning to dive in the Red Sea. Dive into their stories as we learn how the Red Sea transformed their lives and helped them to discover how to Live Unfiltered!
Stella Sobol – From a Tour Operator Holiday Rep. to an Entire Life by the Red Sea
Not long ago, Stella Sobol was working for a well-known British tour operator in Egypt as a Holiday Representative. A big part of her job was to sell general trips to the area as well as diving, but she thought, “How can I sell scuba if I haven’t experienced diving?” So, she chose to learn, and embarked on PADI Open Water Course immediately. As a “fully-fledged water baby”, she wasn’t too sure about scuba gear at first. But, “the difference between looking into a fish tank, and being inside the fish tank” blew her mind!
At 50 years old, Stella discovered diving and had no idea how it would impact her life, especially her love life. The Belgian owner of the dive center Red Sea Diving College, who had been in Sinai for over 40 years, is now her husband, and they live together in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Furthermore, Stella is now a PADI Divemaster with 800+ dives, in countries on four continents.
Stella is passionate about encouraging others to learn to dive in the Red Sea, in particular. She proclaims, “The Red Sea offers the most diverse sites possible, with astonishing sheer walls, historic wrecks, and pretty coral gardens. Couple with that, a short flight from Europe, and value for money you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The Red Sea is simply unbeatable!”
Mohamed Habib – From Pharmacist to PADI Pro
After completing his degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Cairo, Egypt, Mohamed Habib headed down to Dahab for a break in advance of his lined up career path. “[He] always had a strange connection to the sea and wanted to do something [he’d] never done before. So, [he] took the Open Water course and decided that’s what [he] wanted to do with [his] life!”. Mohamed fell in love with the ocean, commenting that it taught him to “be humble in front of the strength of water and nature.”
Mohamed got infected with the all-too-familiar dive bug and went on to become an Open Water Scuba Instructor. The Red Sea won! He left behind 24 years of life in the city, a promising Cairo-based pharmaceutical career path, family, friends, even his car, and stayed in Dahab to work in the Red Sea.
Mohamed would encourage others to learn to dive in Dahab in particular. It has “a variety of conditions allowing amateurs to professionals to sharpen their skills and gain extra experience. Plus, cheap diving and living expenses.” It’s also an ideal destination “if you’re short on time as there are abundant shore diving sites.” Additionally, he shared that diving gives an “appreciation of life and living greatness with seeing the most tiny and most delicate creatures underwater.”
Paddy and Liz Gilmore – Above-Water Adventurers to an Underwater Expert Duo
Having ventured on land across the globe together, the duo decided to complete their Open Water Diver course and Advanced Open Water Diver course in Dahab in 2011. They were “looking for an activity that [they] could do together where neither of [them] had an advantage over the other in terms of strength or flexibility or size, etc. This was particularly relevant to [them] as [they] were both working in outdoor adventure education at that point.”
Paddy and Liz shared that they particularly love Dahab, in South Sinai. Firstly, when asked why they would encourage others to learn to dive there, they answered “for the excellent instructors and dive centers as well as for the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that permeates all of life there!” Secondly, “[They] have visited other parts of Egypt over the years diving yet always return to Dahab.” Their adventures in Egypt have always “felt a little like a home away from home.”
After years of land-based adventure education, the Red Sea transformed Paddy and Liz’s lives, crafting them each a career as PADI Professionals!
Roberta Ibba – Terrified Beginner to PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
After a stressful Discover Scuba Diving experience in 2006, Roberta vowed to never go diving again. She told us, “When I came out, I told myself that this thing was not my thing, that I would never try diving again.“ So we were surprised to hear that today she is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer.
Roberta has an unusual story of why she picked up diving again. “In 2017, after 11 years, a cousin of mine was doing his Divemaster training in Sardinia. To get his certification and be a Discover Scuba Diving Leader, he needed to do some Discover Scuba Diving training with someone that had never been in the water. He asked me, but I told him I was too scared to help, and I ended up not doing the dive“. Sadly, her cousin passed away the next year, and she found herself remembering the promise she made to him that they would dive together one day. So, for her birthday she decided to try scuba diving again in a pool in Senegal. It was a success, and she booked a trip to dive into the Red Sea soon after.
At the end of her first dive in Egypt, she “felt in love with the coral reef, the marine life, the colors,” but most of all she “felt at home.”
In her own words: “I always wanted to fly. Now I fly underwater. I feel so powerful and lucky to be able to visit this special side of the world. I feel like a hero. Since I started diving I changed my fears and timidity to courage and confidence. When you start diving, you open your mind to the hidden beauty of nature’s creation, and you are more aware about the obligation to protect it.”
Are You Ready to Live Unfiltered and Learn to Dive?
These inspiring divers each transformed their lives in different ways and overcame challenges by learning to dive in the Red Sea. Are you ready to escape the surface pressure and #LiveUnfiltered through scuba diving like these PADI divers? Sign up for your Open Water Diver course and get started learning to scuba dive online right away. Or, book your next trip to learn to dive in the Red Sea!