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Abu Dhabi’s Freediving UAE runs basic freediving courses tailored to introducing newcomers 18 years and older to the sport, as well as the International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) accredited courses.

Freediving is a water sport that encompasses breath-hold diving, meaning being in and under the water while holding your breath. People first started freediving to gather or hunt for food, collect valuable items to trade, or to find pieces lost overboard. It’s only in recent times that freediving has become more of a recreational activity. Diving without breathing equipment can also be called skin diving or snorkelling and both can use a mask, snorkel and fins. However, freediving will always involve a breath-hold, no matter how deep you go. 

The UAE actually has a long history of freediving, with the pearling industry and its legendary pearl divers creating a period of wealth for the country from the late 19th century through the second decade of the 20th century. Relying on extensive expertise, from shipbuilding to sailing, the most complex process of all was the pearl diving voyage, which lasted four months in the midst of summer. The shallow Arabian Gulf waters provided an ideal environment for pearling because oyster beds were shallow enough for divers to reach without modern scuba equipment.

The cost for a one-day introductory Discover Freediving course with Abu Dhabi’s Freediving UAE is AED 800, with the two-day AIDA Foundation course being AED 1,850 and the three-day intermediate and four-day advanced courses being AED 2,881 and AED 3,344 respectively.