Abu Dabbab North comprises the three northernmost reefs of the Abu Dabbab group (see points 1, 2 and 3 on the satellite map). Fishermen have numbered the reefs of the entire formation from north to south with the numbers one to six, which has to lead to the individual names Abu Dabbab Wahid, Ithnain and Thalata (1, 2 and 3 respectively). The site lies just 4 km off the mainland, 25 km south of Port Ghalib and 32 km north of Marsa Alam, which is why it is often frequented by daily boats. Liveaboards also visit the reefs for the check dive right at the beginning of a tour, or for the last dive at the end. Because of its proximity to Elphinstone, which is just 9.5 km away, Abu Dabbab has become a popular site for shallow dives for those who have done a deep dive in Elphinstone, which occasionally makes it crowded on the surface and underwater.
The site features several highlights: each reef has beautiful, extensive coral gardens A A that reach from a depth of 15 m to 4 m below the surface, and the wreck of Heaven / A, a liveaboard that sank in 2003 (see 1-2-3). lies here at a depth of 15 m between the reefs Ithnain and Thalata (2 and 3). On top of that, a system of caves and caverns A A riddle these two reefs. Note however that the caverns in Thalata A are narrow and branch out and are therefore only suitable for experienced divers. A rare red anemone A can also be found growing between the two arouks that rise from the seabed between the reefs (2 and 3) and east of Heaven.1
When planning a dive at the site, take into account that the current usually flows from the north and at can times become quite strong in the channel between the reefs. The best place for night dives is below the mooring between the reefs Ithnain and Thalata (2 and 3) and close to Heaven I, since the other moorings are too far away from the coral gardens and offer no highlights because of the barren landscape below.
Duration: about 45 min. Difficulty: * Go by RIB to entry point and then dive along the coral garden A, which gradually runs into reef 3, keeping it on your right shoulder until you reach the mooring
Route B: reef 2 – Heaven / -mooring B
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: ** Depending on where your boat is moored, either go by RIB to the entry point or dive directly from the boat J. Behind the small solitary arouk, you will find entrance A to the caverns A at a depth of 4 m. If you follow the passage, you will emerge out of the reef on the southern side. Continue across the coral garden and to the right of the reef to reach the small arouk again about 40 m away and head south into the channel between reefs 2 and 3 towards the wreck of Heaven / A. Then continue south until you reach reef 3 and dive along with it, keeping it on your left shoulder, and return to the moorings.
Route C: coral garden -reef 1
Duration: about 45 min. Difficulty: ** Go by RIB to the entry point and dive counterclockwise around reef 1, keeping it on your left shoulder. Because of the shallow depth of only 6 m, you may be pushed about by the waves and surge and find it difficult to orient yourself above the huge coral garden A. Also note that the southern side is unspectacular
Tips / Hazards • Account for the currents in your dive plan • The caves in reef 3 A are mostly narrow and branch
widely. Only suitable for experienced divers A • Occasionally difficult orientation over the huge coral