After 80 Years, Bahrain is Finally Opening Up Pearl Diving Trips to Tourists

Bahrain Pearl Diving
Like every intrepid traveler, scuba divers are always in search of the next great bucket-list-worthy adventure. Whether swimming with apex predators, diving the deepest wrecks, or exploring underwater caves, there’s no shortage of niche marine-based adventures around the world. Now, the tiny island nation of Bahrain is opening up its waters to one more: pearl diving.

The waters off the coast of Bahrain are among the most stunning in the Arabian Gulf. Unknown to many, this is the best place to find the world’s purest, natural pearls. Among those in the know, it’s been the undisputed pearl capital of the world for more than two millennia. For the first time in 80 years, the country will join a handful of destinations around the globe by inviting tourists to dive its waters in search of pearls.

Traditional pearl diving is an arduous, dirty, and dangerous job. Professional, commercial divers typically spent weeks or months at sea. The task required divers to be lowered on weighted ropes with only a nose clip for safety. They would remain underwater for more than a minute at a time, essentially freediving while desperately scouring the ocean floor. Modern pearl diving is, thankfully, much safer and easier. Tourists need only know a handful of basic steps to start diving for their own pearls, and even non-SCUBA certified snorkelers can take part as well.

The move is part of an overall initiative to boost tourism to the Arabian Gulf. It will also be a way to raise money to protect the Gulf waters and bolster a more sustainable pearl diving industry. Consequently, the tours will be strictly regulated and are only available from operators at specific ports.

Licensed tickets must be purchased in advance from Bahrain’s official government website. Travelers then complete a workshop on what to expect and how to properly — and safely — dive for pearls. Divers must work with one of the few licensed tour operators and depart from the port of Ras Rayyah. Visitors are allowed to collect up to 60 oysters, which are professionally appraised before being packaged for their return home.

Food & Drink

Heading to Hawaii? Make Your Reservations at Manta Restaurant to Eat Big Island Beef

How can cattle raised in Hawaii stand-up to beef carefully coddled for years in Japan, Australia, and the mainland U.S.? Pretty damn easily, that's how.
Food & Drink

8 Rum Cream Liqueurs You Need to Know (That Aren’t RumChata)

Rum cream can be a transformative and distinctive force in tropical cocktails, from Jamaican classics to Brazilian coconut flavors to your standard horchata-inspired fare.
Fashion & Style

You Don’t Have to Drive an 18- Wheeler to Rock these Cool Trucker Jackets

The trucker jacket was built with hard work and the open road in mind.
Auto

Tesla’s Model 3 ‘Price Drop’ May Foretell a Looming Reckoning

If you looked at some news headlines, the $35,000 Model 3 is already here. So what gives and why does the faux price tag possibly spell a looming disaster?
Food & Drink

Homebrewing 101: An Introduction to Extract Brewing

There’s no need to tackle the most complex processes right away or invest in a ton of expensive equipment. Ease yourself into the world of homebrewing by using a malt extract kit.
Living

Detroit’s Shinola Hotel Has Us Feeling Right At Home

With stylish guest suites and a social “living room,” the Shinola Hotel honors the Motor City’s past while looking to a bright future.
Travel

‘App in the Air’ Could Help Travelers Survive the Next Government Shutdown

It's like an airport survival kit in your pocket. It will be handy long after the government shutdown ends (again).
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet?
Outdoors

4 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the World

You'll need a healthy dose of fear and a desire to push your self to the edge — just not over it.
Travel

The Palms Casino’s Newest High-Roller Suites Have a Bowling Alley and Whiskey Room

The Hardwood Suite is a basketball-centric masterpiece, while the Kingpin suite is a bowling bro's paradise.
Travel

Celebrate Your Single-ness This Valentine’s Day with a Cheap Vacation

Contiki is looking to make solo celebrations even better with deeply discounted travel packages for Singles Awareness Day.
Travel

Win a Private Island Getaway for You and 7 of Your Closest Friends

Bring the entire squad on an ultra-luxe Belizean getaway worthy of a one-percenter.
Travel

10 Reasons to Visit Norway in 2019

The picturesque ruggedness of Norway is just part of the appeal of what may arguably be one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.
Living

The Jamaican Villa Where Ian Fleming Created James Bond is for Rent and It Is Amazing

You can vacation at the birthplace of secret agent 007, complete with butlers to make your martinis.