Travellers who dive into the heavenly blue waters of Bahrain can return home with more than memories of their time on the islands. Adventurous visitors can now participate in diving missions to find pearls and bring treasures they are lucky to find underwater. Pearl diving has been closed to tourists for 80 years but is being submitted again as part of a major drive to bring tourists to the Arabian Gulf. Bahrain has been recognized as the world's pearl capital and will become one of the few places where visitors can dive for precious gems.
What is pearl diving?Pearl hunting is a pearl recovery activity of wild molluscs, usually oysters or mussels, in the sea or freshwater. Pearl hunting was widespread in the Persian Gulf and Japan, but also it occurred in other regions. In most cases, pearl-bearing molluscs live in depths that can not be accessed manually from the surface, and there is a need to dive or use some forms of tools to reach them.
How deep do pearl divers go?In Asia, some pearl oysters can be found on shallow water at a depth of 5-7 feet from the surface, but divers often had to go 40 feet about 12 meters or even 125 feet deep to find enough pearl oysters. These deep dives were extremely dangerous to divers.
How much is a real pearl worth?Pearl value can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as its type, size, colour, surface quality and much more. The wild pearl will be worth more than cultured pearls. However, on average, the pearl value ranges between $ 300 and $ 1500.
Tools of Pearl DivingDefinitely, you will need some essential equipment when you decided to go pearl diving. Although pearl hunting is a kind of diving into water (scuba diving), more equipment will be needed for pearling. Divers will need stone and iron weights, nose clips, oyster knives, leather finger protectors, oyster baskets and cotton diving suit.
Pearl Diving in BahrainVisitors to the Bahrain Kingdom are invited to the deep waters of the Gulf for diving and searching for natural pearls, where the history of the pearl hunting industry is restored to this day. By selecting a group of four diving sites, each containing an abundance of oysters, divers can collect up to 60 oysters from the sea floor in the Gulf. And if they are lucky enough, they can preserve the finest treasures of the island forever.
Bahrain’s Best Pearl diving sitesThe Bahrain Pearling Track became the second Bahraini place to be included in UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012 after Bahrain Fort. In recognition of the importance of the Bahraini pearl heritage worldwide, it focuses on three local oysters and more than ten locations on the ground in Muharraq. Ras Rayyah, the northern tip of Muharraq is the starting point for all diving activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Visitors with a licensed permit can dive for two hours, and collect up to 60 oysters in one session. This licensed allows visitors to access diving sites such as Sayah, Amamah, Shataya and Balata, located off the coast of Muharraq, north of Bahrain Island. The pass allows for government control of the ocean, ensuring the surveillance of diving trips and the number of oysters collected for sustainability. For beginner divers, Sayah, the site closest to the beach, is the most convenient, and visitors who do not have a full PADI licence are welcome to dive into the shallow water. Bu Amama, Shtayaah and Bulthama are deepwater sites located about 35 miles from the coast of Muharraq Island. Here, visitors must obtain a full PADI licence and be fully equipped with scuba diving equipment. Whatever the preferences, whether they are beginners or advanced, there is a unique experience available to all through the official diving companies Delma Marine and Scuba Life. It is worth mentioning, Scuba Life Bahrain runs separate PADI courses for those looking for a qualification to the Bahrain Kingdom.
Museum of Pearl DivingBesides going to pearl hunting, you can also enjoy visiting the Bahrain Pearl Diving Museum. Located in the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, as it is an important historical building in itself. The museum lists the history of pearl diving in Bahrain with different tools. As well as other artefacts from the history of maritime navigation in Bahrain. For more adventures: Horseback Riding: Best Horse Riding Tours around the world Mountaineering: Best Mountains to climb around the world Safari Jeep Tours Between the Wildlife and Spectacular Deserts Hot Air Balloon Activity: Journey to discover the world from above