A series of coral towers rise from the seafloor to just below the surface, two kilometres northwest of Abu Diab. These separately standing towers are known as Habili Abu Diab and form an approximately 380 m long formation. However, mooring, and therefore also diving, is only possible here during calm seas, since the formation offers little shelter from the wind and waves. Night dives are therefore also not possible here. Though this site generally does not require great diving skills, having some experience is of use here because of the site’s topography. Habili Abu Diab, as well as the other dive sites north of the Ras Banas peninsula, is rarely frequented by liveaboards since most of them sail further out at sea on their way to the Fury Shoals or to the south. Daily boats currently also rarely sail here near Ras Banas, so your dive group will often be the only one at the reef.
The reef formation is surrounded by the seabed, which descends gently to the south and drops steeply to a depth of 30 m and beyond to the north. Coral rocks of all sizes lie between the towers here, and the rugged reef walls A create an almost mystical atmosphere underwater. In some places lost fishing nets A can be found caught on the reef-an indication that the region has been actively fished. Unfortunately, some parts of the southern side have been destroyed, and the northern side, though well preserved, lies in the shade all day. However, the tops of the towers certainly make up for the southern walls’ lack of corals and fish. They are lushly covered with corals, inhabited by a variety of fish and lie in the sunlight providing a magnificent sight.
Because of the reef’s exposure and formation, the currents flow freely about the site. Nevertheless, the individual towers provide sufficient shelter, so you can dive on their sheltered side and easily cross the unprotected gaps.
Route A: western tip-mooring
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: * Go by RIB to the western end of the reef formation. Here, the waves may be big, so it is recommended to start the dive with negative buoyancy. Descend to the seabed at 20 m, where you will find some coral towers rising to 5 m below the surface. Dive to the southeast following the line of towers while remaining in sight of the reef walls and explore them to the north or south at will. The narrow passages between them make an interesting scene. On the northern side, the sandy seabed drops steeply from the reef, whereas it evens out to the south.
Although in some places ruined on their southern flanks, the reef walls A mostly display an abundant coral growth. Remain at the feet of the towers along with the entire reef formation. Then when diving to the reef tops towards the end of the dive, it is best to dive around the easternmost coral tower A, where you can thoroughly explore the reef flat A A. However, take big waves and an accordingly strong surge at a depth of 4 m and above into account. At the end of the dive, head back to the mooring 1.
If the current is weak, you can of course also start the dive directly from the boat 1.
Tips / Hazards
Interesting underwater landscape with lush reef flats The corals on the southern side are partially destroyed Occasional strong surges on the reef flats • Strong currents possible