Liloneoftheashes is based in Dubai, and writes about the many ways to enjoy the luxuries that the UAE has to offer without breaking your wallet. Originally from Malaysia and having spent the latter part of life in New Zealand, she enjoys the occasional ladies’ night and plans a lot of the events within her social circle - from brunches, dinners and nights out to afternoon teas and getaways within the region and afar.
In line with CitiSpi's theme, the blog liloneoftheashes.com focuses mainly on just that - that living here in the UAE does not have to be expensive, you can go out and socialise and have a great time, on a budget.
Here's her take on a Try Dive in the Pool experience with Al Boom Diving :
I was a little nervous. "Try Dive with Al Boom Diving" was the request for review. As much as I love swimming, snorkelling, and anything to do with the water, the thought of going to the deep end with a tank strapped on my back scared me. So I went on to their website here to have a look at what it was - simply learning how to underwater in their pool, with equipment as though you were doing the real deal, being in constant contact by their PADI instructor. Not too bad then, doesn't sound too scary - I'll give it a shot.
Before getting to the dive centre, I was sent a medical form to fill in. Queries like, could you be pregnant, or attempting to be pregnant? Nope. Not so soon anyways please, I have a 6-month old at home who has just started crawling around the house like a little army person. Have you ever had asthma, severe attacks, head injuries - the list went on. If you ticked yes to any of those, you will not be allowed in the pool. Thankfully I was fit for some try diving. Yay.
We made our way to their Dive Centre on Al Wasl Road on a cool Friday morning. I was introduced to my instructor, and then given a wetsuit to put on. Swim-wear underneath, wet-suit zipped up on and flippers worn, he then gave me the diving gear which included the tank, weights, and a lot of odd-looking pipes sticking out. This was getting interesting. He briefed me on what they were - the mouthpiece to breath throughout the entire experience (do not breathe through your nose, he said), what to press to go down into the water, and what to press should we decide to go up. A quick lesson on a few basic hand signals, it was time to get submerged into their pool. Here we go.
I started practising how to breath through my mouth. I know it sounds like the easiest thing in the world but when you're underwater, and you get nervous, your heart pumps and you breath quickens - you tend to fall back to your comfort zone of breathing through your nose. No no no - that wouldn't work, because there is no oxygen there. After a few tries, I told him I was good to go. And with him holding my hand, we started to go deeper.
We went slowly around the pool, my hand always in his hand. I breathed slowly, deeply - inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Do not panic, do not panic, the little voice in my head said. As we swam very slowly around, my focus was entirely on the breathing. It was not easy. I just had to stay calm. We went close to a plastic alligator and he asked me to touch it, so I did. Focus was entirely on my breathing. As we went around the pool, my goggles started to fog up. I didn't know what to do, and carried on swimming, until I told him that it was getting a little too much. I was getting a bit nervous. Hand signal to get up, we slowly made our way up to the surface. I removed my mask, and breathed in through my nose - ah...
How was the entire experience? It was very exciting, to be honest. First time trying a try dive. A lot of admiration to those who do this as a sport, it is not easy. And I'm sure you will get to see a lot of amazing things in the sea. I'm jealous.
Will I move on to try the real PADI experience? Maybe not for me, but hey - you should give the Try Dive a shot. It's a cool and inexpensive way (AED 150 for an hour altogether) to see if it is for you - and something different to do on a morning. At the moment there is an exclusive CitiSpi Gold offer for a free try dive. Take the plunge. This is aimed at someone who’s never tried diving before and wants to try breathing underwater without committing to too much time or money.
Just don't book in a trip to the Burj Khalifa after, as apparently there is a minimum pre-flight surface interval greater than 18 hours recommended after your last dive.
For more details, check out the Citispi app here! And to book your exclusive CitiSpi Gold offer call Al Boom Diving on 04 341 4940.