Green Fins
Aqaba's Underwater Paradise and the Quest for Sustainable Tourism through Green Fins


Embracing Sustainability in Aqaba

Author: Dominik Wyszogrodzki e-mail: Nestled along the pristine shores of the Red Sea, Aqaba is more than just a picturesque trav-el destination; it's a sanctuary for both marine life and adventure seekers. With its breath-taking underwater landscapes and commitment to sustainable tourism, Aqaba has emerged as a top-notch scuba diving hub and, together with the Reef-World Foundation, is taking a monumental leap towards sustainable tourism with the Green Fins programme. Organised by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), with the invaluable support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) implemented MSME Project and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this initiative aims to en-hance the competitiveness of local dive centres, provide unforgettable experiences for envi-ronmentally conscious divers, and safeguard its precious Aqaba Marine Reserve (AMR). Let's take a minute and delve into the Green Fins programme and its role in promoting sustaina-ble tourism in Aqaba, catering to the international travel trade and the scuba diving community.

The Green Fins Initiative: Pioneering Sustainable Scuba Diving Tourism

Green Fins, a globally recognised programme, has taken centre stage in Aqaba's mission to preserve its marine environment while boosting its appeal as a premier diving destination. An initiative focusing on educating dive centres, divers, tourists and local communities about responsible diving and environmental practices. By adhering to a code of conduct, divers minimise their impact on the delicate underwater ecosystems, ensuring they remain vibrant and healthy for the next generations

Vision and Expertise

ASEZA's forward-thinking approach and GIZ's expertise in sustainable development have created a formidable partnership, setting an example for responsible tourism in the region. By integrating eco-friendly practices into the diving sector, ASEZA has solidified its commit-ment to preserving Aqaba's natural treasures. GIZ's extensive experience in fostering sus-tainable projects further bolsters the success of the Green Fins programme, ensuring that environmental considerations are seamlessly integrated into the tourism experience.

Championing Conservation: Aqaba Marine Reserve

Aqaba's commitment to marine conservation is exemplified by its Aqaba Marine Reserve (AMR), a marine protected area that safeguards the region's rich biodiversity. With the sup-port of local and international donors, AMR has become a model for sustainable manage-ment of coastal and marine resources. This collaboration ensures that the Green Fins princi-ples are effectively implemented, resulting in a harmonious coexistence between tourism and nature.

Unveiling Aqaba's Underwater Wonders: A Diver's Paradise

For the avid scuba diver, Aqaba offers an aquatic wonderland brimming with vibrant coral reefs, mesmerising marine species, and unique underwater landscapes. The Red Sea's clear, warm waters create perfect conditions for diving year-round. Whether you're a seasoned diver or a novice just dipping your fins, Aqaba caters to all levels of training, offering a di-verse range of dive sites suitable for beginners and experts alike.

Diverse Dive Sites for All Experience Levels

Aqaba boasts a myriad of dive sites, each with its own allure and charm. Beginners can em-bark on gentle explorations of nearshore reefs, where colourful corals and playful fish wel-come them into the underwater realm. Experienced divers can plunge into the depths to encounter more elusive sites and intricate coral formations. From the enchanting Japanese Garden to the awe-inspiring Cedar Pride wreck site, every dive promises an unforgettable experience.

Beyond Diving: Aqaba Appeals to Non-Divers

Aqaba extends far beyond its captivating underwater realm, making it a haven for non-divers, groups of friends and families as well. While divers immerse themselves in the aquat-ic wonders, non-divers can explore the stunning landscapes of Petra and Wadi Rum, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From the rose-red city carved into the cliffs of Pet-ra to the breathtaking desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, these attractions provide an enrich-ing cultural and natural experience.

Family-Friendly Adventures and Tranquil Escapes

Aqaba's family-friendly offerings cater to travellers of all ages. From relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, water sports, and waterparks to embarking on boat tours, families can bond over unforgettable experiences. The city's modern amenities, diverse culinary scene, and wel-coming locals create an inviting atmosphere that guarantees a memorable vacation. For those seeking tranquillity, Aqaba's luxurious resorts offer a peaceful retreat surrounded by stunning vistas of the Red Sea.

In the heart of the Red Sea, Aqaba's commitment to sustainability, epitomised by the Green Fins programme, transforms it into a leading diving destination that resonates with eco-conscious travellers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Through collaborative efforts, Aqaba offers a harmonious blend of marine conservation and captivating experiences. As you em-bark on your scuba diving journey or explore the region's cultural treasures, Aqaba invites you to join its mission of preserving the natural wonders that have enchanted generations. Responsible diving and marine conservation go hand in hand when it comes to exploring the beauty beneath the waves. The Green Fins programme is a beacon of hope for our oceans, promoting sustainable practices among dive operators and enthusiasts. Now, let's dive deeper into the heart of Aqaba's sustainable diving community by introducing the Green Fins Certified Members who are leading the charge:

Red Sea Dive Centre (Silver Member)

Website: Immerse yourself in the underwater wonders of Aqaba with the Red Sea Dive Centre. Nes-tled along the captivating Red Sea coastline, within the "Divers Village", the Red Sea Dive Centre stands as a silver member of the Green Fins programme. Committed to safeguarding the underwater world, they implement eco-friendly diving practices, reduce single-use plas-tics, and raise awareness among divers about the importance of marine conservation. With their efforts, they're proving that a dive adventure can be both thrilling and environmentally conscious. Their experienced team of passionate divers is committed to providing unforget-table experiences while upholding the highest environmental standards.

Deep Blue Dive Center (Silver Member)

Website: Venture to the enchanting waters of Aqaba Bay and re-discover Red Sea diving with the Deep Blue Dive Center, a pioneer of Green Fins, which has swiftly transitioned from its digi-tal membership to full-blown Silver Membership status. Located right on the beach of Tala Bay Resort in the south of Aqaba, the dive centre provides its own exciting house reef and boat dives along the coastline. Their team's dedication to sustainability shines through their coral reef protection initiatives, responsible diving guidelines, and collaboration with local communities. By choosing Deep Blue Dive Center, divers contribute to a healthier marine ecosystem while experiencing the wonders of the underwater realm.

Diverse Divers Club (Silver Member)

Website: Nestled within the prestigious Ayla development in Aqaba, the Diverse Divers Club has proudly achieved its Silver Membership status with Green Fins. This remarkable achieve-ment is a testament to the club's unwavering dedication to fostering sustainable tourism through a harmonious blend of education and responsible diving practices. Operating two liveaboard-style luxurious boats provides unbeatable experiences for divers from all corners of the world seeking adventure in the sunniest corner of the Red Sea. By instilling awareness about the importance of marine conservation, they empower their staff and clients to make conscious choices that contribute to the long-term health of Aqaba's reefs and marine life.

Bait Al-Aqaba Dive Resort (Silver Member)

Website: Experience the famous Jordanian hospitality with Bait Al-Aqaba Dive Resort - A family-run, well-established dive centre based at the South Beach within the "Divers Village". It offers a blend of comfort and years of experience in providing professional, safe and responsible diving, focusing on reducing their ecological footprint and enhancing diver education by providing an experience that marries adventure with preservation. Their efforts contribute to Aqaba's appeal as a tourist destination and the sustainability of its marine resources.

Arab Divers (Silver Member)

Website: Arab Divers, based within the "Divers Village" at the heart of Aqaba's South Beach, invites you to sustainably explore Aqaba's underwater beauty. As a Silver Member of Green Fins, the dive centre sets an example of how a diving centre can be an agent of change in pre-serving natural treasures. By adhering to the Green Fins guidelines, they create a platform for divers to explore the beauty of Aqaba's underwater world while actively participating in its conservation. Their commitment speaks volumes about the power of collaboration be-tween the diving industry and environmental initiatives.

Aqaba Adventure Divers Resort

Website: Aqaba Adventure Divers Resort is another "Divers Village" located dive centre, providing comfortable accommodation options with a team of experienced and certified instructors. The centre caters to individuals of all skill levels, from those taking their first breaths under-water to seasoned divers seeking to explore the unique underwater landscapes of the Red Sea.

Hammerhead Dive Centre

Website: Discover the wonders of Aqaba's underwater world with Hammerhead Dive Centre, nestled in the heart of Aqaba's city centre and offering unparalleled diving experiences. The centre is a hub for adventurers and diving enthusiasts alike. With a team of certified instructors, state-of-the-art equipment, and a commitment to safety and sustainability, Hammerhead Dive Centre invites you to explore the vibrant marine life and captivating dive sites of Aqa-ba's pristine waters.

Royal Dive Club

Website: Royal Dive Club at Luxotel Aqaba Beach Resort & Spa offers exclusive access to the captivat-ing "King's Reef," a unique house reef boasting vibrant corals and diverse marine life. This hidden gem provides an uncrowded and personalised diving experience for resort guests, allowing them to explore the underwater beauty of the Red Sea in a tranquil setting. With experienced dive instructors and a commitment to preserving the reef's ecology, the Royal Dive Club ensures an unforgettable and eco-conscious adventure.

Coral Garden Diving Centre

Website: Dive into the Red Sea with Coral Garden Diving Centre – one of Aqaba's newest Green Fins Certified Members. Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater landscapes and visit Aqaba's famous wrecks while knowing you're treading lightly. Dive responsibly, knowing their proven commitment to sustainability and marine conserva-tion shines through every dive. From eco-friendly practices like responsible diving and waste reduction to protecting the coral reefs by implementing a strict "no touch" policy, a dive cen-tre dedicated to preserving Aqaba's marine environment. Each of these dive centres isn't just a gateway to breathtaking underwater wonders; they're also ambassadors of responsible tourism. Dive into a world where exploration and conservation intertwine by choosing Green Fins Cer-tified Members. With their commitment to sustainable diving, these operators are setting a powerful example of how adventure and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand. Explore, experience, and join the cause to protect our oceans—one dive at a time. By choosing a Green Fins Certified Member ( you're actively contributing to preserving Aqaba's marine treasures. Aqaba's commitment to sustainable diving through the Green Fins programme is a testa-ment to its dedication to protecting and conserving its marine ecosystem. With the steadfast leadership of ASEZA, GIZ MSME Project, IUCN and the Aqaba Marine Reserve, and the pas-sion of Green Fins Certified Members, Aqaba's underwater paradise remains a beacon of hope for the future of our oceans. So, dive in and experience the magic of Aqaba's waters while leaving only bubbles behind!