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BSAC in UAE?

Discussion in 'The Gulf' started by Oldbear, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

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    About 6 years ago while working in Kuwait I joined the local BSAC. I really enjoyed my Dive Leader training ang the social aspect of that club. I thought at the time there were a couple of BSAC clubs in UAE. Do any of these still exist?
     
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

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    @Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai would be the one to know as he’s BSAC trained as well as a PADI instructor.
     
  3. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

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  4. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

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    Yes there are 3 small clubs All are in decline for various reasons

    When they were set up the UAE was a different place, i.e. no commercial operations (or limited choice) and a limited social scene Now that's all changed and there is a wealth of choice for divign and things to do. 30 years ago the expats were very dynamic and got off their backsides, now a lot of people want to be spoon fed. That said the BSAC clubs have done themselve no favours in their attitude

    Abu Dhabi - ADSAC BSAC 0815 Very small club, which is a sub section of a larger club because of legal framework. so you need to be a member of the larger club. All but dead, only a handful of members

    Sharjah - Sharjah Wanderers BSAC 406 Another small club which is also a sub section of the Wanderers Sports club. The sports club was set up in the 70's by the Sheik of Sharjah specifically for expats, its the only place in Sharjah where you can (legally) buy and consume alcohol. Because of this only Non Muslims can be members (of either) - again part of the legal covenant

    406 run 2 small 30' boats to the West (Dubai) Coast but only have 4-8 regular divers, so only get out every other week or so. Being part of the wanders club they have access to a large pool and their own clubhouse and bar so can carry out training and do have a social meeting place.

    Unfortunately Sharjah is a nightmare to get to in the week because of the traffic. There club house is 15 miles from me in Dubai, but that trip will take 2-2.5 hrs.

    Dubai BSAC 1339 - Desert Sports Diving club, was the largest by far. As recently as 3 years ago had 100 divign members (non diving added another 50% to the membership) and annually would record 1800 club dives per year in country (in addition to those organised separately for members)

    They suffered the loss of their villa which would hold their boats and compressor and bar (which used to generated £25000/$32000) per year of income in addition to the membership fees. While this was a blow, the subsequent committees managing the club have equally been responsible for it's decline. It now only boasts 20 members and manages to get 1 boat once every 4 weeks on average, struggling to get 4 people interested to dive

    DSDC got mired with internal politics and backbiting - the principles who run the committee are a clique. The diving standard is very sloppy and complacent especially given the experienced divers are very experiences (+1000 dives each) In addition they look down on the commercial ops (PADI & SSI) and have made no effort to integrate themselves with the larger diving community.

    It's a shame, they are the only group with boats and ready access to the West coast wrecks, none of the commercials dive Dubai, so there would have been an opportunity. But given their attitude and standard of diving no one will put divers their way

    A lot of the experienced divers and instructors left and still go diving as a group of friends, away from the politics and general BS I''m a huge BSAC supporter and got my DL via the Dubai club, I like others left and do our own thing, the only club I could recommend to anyone would be Sharah 406. DSDC is just an accident waiting to happen and their standard of training would be laughable if it wasn't such a serious subject
     
  5. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I dive with quite a few ex-DSDC members, in fact am main buddy used to be a member.

    As Martin mentioned above they were their own undoing.

    Back in '02 after being in Dubai for 5 years I was invited along, in fact their clubhouse was reasonably close to where I lived. I was a BSAC member in Saudi (Riyadh Desert Dolphins 1394) back in the 80s as well as the BSAC Club at the National Guard Hospital in the 90s, both very sociable, however the Riyadh group didn't dive too much for obvious reasons.

    In Dubai though my initial feeling was that this club was not for me and my style of diving, but I did dive with a couple of them from commercial outlets on the east coast (Divers Down).

    DSDC did launch their boat yesterday from Fujairah Marina.
     
  6. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

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    Yes their 1st boat since early sept..
     

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