- General Information Umm Arouk literally means “mother of coral towers”, which is a fitting name, since the reef has a great number of pinnacles that form an extensive stony forest A to the southeast. The reef lies at the centre of St. John’s reefs, 54 km from the southern tip of the Ras Banas peninsula. Despite its small diameter of just 120 m, it provides safe moorings I even at night, and though only a few boats can moor here at the same time, the dive site is always well frequented.
- The reef is surrounded by the gently sloping sandy seabed at an average depth of 20 m, on which an impressive stony forest A responsible for the reef’s name is found near the two eastern arouks. The coral rocks here rise up to a depth of 5 m below the surface and provide a spectacular scene. Furthermore, the sloping walls to the north and east are full of corals A, where shoals of sweetlips and other fish can be admired, while many small outcrops and recesses line the eastern wall at 10 m, on which a beautiful colony of anemones A is found at 5 m. The western and southern sides of Umm Arouk are in contrast relatively barren and partially damaged A.
- Diving at the site is easy due to its shallow depth. Currents are rare, and the visibility is usually excellent. Although you may at times find it difficult to find your way through the stony forest, it is not so extensive that you risk getting lost. Umm Arouk is also ideal for night diving, where a variety of creatures, such as octopuses, Spanish dancers, shrimps and sea urchins can be found both at the eastern wall and within the stony forest