Diving for all: Red Sea Global boasts KSA’s first PADI certified centers – Arab News

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Red Sea Global, the developer behind regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and AMAALA, announced that its two dive centers have become the first and only PADI Adaptive Service Facilities in Saudi Arabia.

PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the world’s leading scuba diver training organization, recognizes dive centers that have adaptive provisions.

Earning the accreditation for RSG involved ensuring that all aspects of the dive bases, including infrastructure and logistics, communication methods, training protocols, and safety measures, are designed to be inclusive and welcoming to all divers. The rating requires each center to have PADI Adaptive Techniques Instructors on staff and wheelchair access throughout, including both for the diving pool and any boats it uses to provide dive experiences. Successfully attaining the rating means RSG is now able to offer inclusive diving experiences to all its guests.

Rosanna Chopra, executive director — destination development, Red Sea Global, said: “As the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organization, PADI’s mission resonates with our commitment to creating a billion torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean. We are proud to be part of this global network and to lead the way in adaptive diving initiatives in Saudi Arabia.”

Red Sea Global has two PADI 5 Star Dive Centers: Nujuma Dive Center at the Nujuma Ritz Carlton Reserve hotel, and the TBV Dive Club at Turtle Bay Village. Both are operated by Galaxea, RSG’s wholly owned dive operations subsidiary, responsible for offering diving experiences at its destinations. 

To attain the rating of Adaptive Techniques Instructor, each of the Galaxea instructors participated in three days of training across the classroom, the pool and open water. Using webbed gloves, they experienced diving with limited mobility, and through a black out mask, diving with a sight impairment. They were also taught how to guide divers with these types of disabilities. These instructors are now able to teach the following two PADI specialties: Adaptive Techniques Diver and Adaptive Support Diver.

In a statement, Saudi Water Sports and Diving Federation said: “We celebrate Red Sea Global for their remarkable feat as the inaugural ‘PADI Adaptive Service Facilities’ in Saudi Arabia. This significant milestone shines a bright light on diving in the Red Sea, showcasing inclusivity, excellence, and unique marine life. The federation will continue collaboration with Red Sea Global, creating a sea of opportunities and destinations for all divers to explore and enjoy.”

Last year, RSG announced a commitment to ensuring its luxury destinations and experiences will be fully accessible and inclusive for guests and visitors with disabilities and special needs. This latest achievement demonstrates its continuing progress against this commitment.

Last year, The Red Sea welcomed its first guests, and the Red Sea International Airport has been receiving a regular schedule of domestic flights since September 2023; international flights are set to commence imminently. Two of the destination’s hotels are open, with three more on track to open this year.

A second destination, Thuwal Private Retreat, will also open this year. AMAALA remains on track to welcome first guests in 2025, when the first resorts complete as part of Triple Bay Phase 1, along with Corallium and the iconic Yacht Club.

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