Shaab Maksour lies alone on the northeastern border of the Fury Shoals, 17 km off the mainland. The narrow 1500 m long reef is entirely surrounded by steep walls, which meet the seafloor at a depth of 100 m. This fact, combined with the reef’s exposed location, often leads to strong currents and demanding diving conditions making it unsuitable for beginners. It is also only possible to moor at the southern tip, which has just enough space for a few boats. Nevertheless, Shaab Maksour is often frequented with several divers often found underwater at the same time.
The reef is far too large to fully explore in a single dive. You must enter the water more than once to do so. The most popular site on the reef is directly below the moorings 1, where the walls plummet to 18 m before giving way to an abundantly overgrown plateau A that stretches to the south at a depth of up to 40 m before plunging almost vertically to 100 m. Its edge is ideal for shark sightings since they often patrol there. Two large arouks A rise from the plateau to a depth of 9 m (as seen in photo A in the background). The plateau itself is, however, often swept by strong currents, so take care not to get carried out into the open sea A. Over the plateau at a depth of 8 m lies cave-like openings A in the reef, which can be observed in more detail during the safety stop.
At the northern tip, the sloping reef walls form an elongated plateau starting at 25 m that drops into the depths at 40 m. There too, there is a chance to encounter sharks, especially early in the morning. To the east, a beautifully covered wall A extends along the entire reef, whereas the west side is rather uninteresting.
Dive Routes Route A: southern plateau (all day)
Duration: about 45 min. Difficulty: Dive directly from the liveaboard 1 using the easily visible two arouks A that rise from the deep as a reference when descending. The southern plateau A starts here at a depth of 20 m. Dive along the edge of the drop-off to the southern tip, while keeping an eye out for big fish in the blue. Turn around at the southern tip at 40 m and dive back to the reef across the plateau. Ascend along the reef wall and make the safety stop near the cave openings A.
Route B: northern tip – eastern wall
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: *** Go by RIB to the northern tip .and watch the current as you descend to avoid being carried to the western side. Keep an eye out for sharks on the northern plateau at 30 to 40 m and then dive to the south along the eastern wall A, keeping the reef on your right shoulder. Finally, surface and return to your boat by RIB.
Route C: eastern wall (morning)
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: ** Go by RIB to the entry point and dive along the dropoff A, keeping the reef on your right shoulder. Depending on where you entered the water, you may be able to dive with the current back to the moorings to the south. If it is not possible, surface and return by RIB.
Tips / Hazards • Beautiful but challenging dive site
Interesting and varied southern plateau A Strong currents possible always stay close to the reef Big fish are most likely in the south and north Steep walls—watch your depth