GVR Report cover Saudi Arabia Diving Tourism Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Saudi Arabia Diving Tourism Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Diving Type (Scuba Diving, Free Diving), By Tourist Type, By Age Group, By Gender, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68040-124-9
  • Number of Pages: 65
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The Saudi Arabia diving tourism market size was estimated at USD 29.3 million in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% from 2023 to 2030. The increased interest and involvement in various sporting activities over the last decade, including water sports, directly contribute to the growth potential of the Saudi Arabian market for diving tourism. Growing consumer interest in exploring coral reefs and marine life is anticipated to fuel the growth of the market over the forecast period.

Saudi Arabia diving tourism Market size, by type, 2020 - 2030 (USD Million)

Saudi Arabia has emerged as the fastest-growing tourism destination among G20 countries. The country's tourism sector has experienced an astonishing +121% surge from pre-pandemic international tourism levels, as reported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Tourism Barometer. This recovery of the tourism sector can be attributed to Saudi Arabia's significant investment in the industry and its pioneering efforts in future-proofing the tourism sector. The substantial growth reflects the country’s commitment to becoming a leading player in the global tourism landscape.

Furthermore, according to a report commissioned by the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) in December 2020, coastal and marine tourism plays a significant role in the global tourism market, accounting for approximately 50% of all tourism worldwide. This sector contributes substantially to the global economy, representing a value of USD 4.6 trillion, equivalent to 5.2% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The growth and development of coastal and marine tourism create favorable conditions for the expansion of diving tourism.

According to an article published by Virtuoso in July 2023, tourists now have the opportunity to explore Saudi Arabia's northwest coast, which boasts pristine coral reefs, dormant volcanoes, and historic sites. The Red Sea hosts one of the world's largest and healthiest barrier reefs. In a commitment to environmental preservation, the kingdom is strategically limiting development to less than one percent of the entire area, focusing on just 22 out of the 90-plus islands.

The development initiatives are designed to offer travelers a sustainable and eco-friendly experience while appreciating the natural beauty of the islands. Diverse activities are being introduced, such as diving, snorkeling, mangrove kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, and sailing to the central hub, the island of Shura, as well as the neighboring islands of Ummahat and Sheybarah.

The growing consumer inclination toward sustainable tourism has presented the hospitality and tourism industries with an opportunity to recover from the pandemic’s adverse impact and prepare for a more resilient and sustainable future. According to an article published on Booking.com in 2021, 83% of travelers across the globe wanted to travel more sustainably. This offers diving tour operators an opportunity to transform their business models and strategies and set realistic and reasonable parameters around food, flights, accommodation, and transport in their travel policies. With a clear understanding of consumers’ willingness to spend on diving tours, tour operators can manage their pricing portfolio to tap into price-sensitive markets.

Diving Type Insights

The scuba diving dominated the market with a share of over 75% in 2022. Scuba diving is becoming increasingly popular among children and adolescents, due to a growing number of courses developed especially for this demographic and improvements in safety measures. This growing consumer interest and the availability of an increasingly wide range of recreational diving activities are projected to drive the market.

The free diving segment is expected to register the fastest CAGR of 14.0% from 2023 to 2030. Free diving was mainly limited to spearfishermen and pearl divers. However, it is becoming increasingly popular as a sport and water activity, and many people are participating in events and championships around the world. For instance, in July 2019, Saudi Arabia and the GCC nations launched the Jeddah International Freediving Tournament, which was sponsored by the Saudi General Sport Authority and run by the Saudi Water Sports and Diving Federation. This tournament is ranked number one in the world by AIDA.

Tourist Type Insights

The participation of international tourists dominated the market with a revenue share of over 59% in 2022. International tourists are an important growth contributor to the market as they may travel specifically for diving or incorporate it into their travel plans. Popular diving sites in the country such as Farasan Islands, Al Fahad Shipwreck, Yanbu Barge Wreck, Car Cemetery, Kormoran Wreck, Al Lith Coral Reefs, and Dammam Artificial Reef are gaining traction among international tourists.

Domestic tourism in the Saudi Arabia diving tourism market is expected to register the highest CAGR of 13.2% from 2023 to 2030. Domestic tourists are more likely to regularly engage in scuba diving and other water activities. According to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism, around 31.4 million of Saudi Arabia's domestic tourist journeys in 2021 were leisure travel. That year, about 64 million domestic traveler trips were made in total. The market is likely to be driven by domestic tourists owing to the accessibility and convenience of domestic diving sites rather than international destinations.

Age Group Insights

Saudi Arabia diving tourism by age group 30-40 dominated the market with a share of over 40% in 2022. The 20-30 age group segment is estimated to register the fastest CAGR of 14.4% from 2023 to 2030. There has been a significant increase in millennial tourists seeking vacations in international destinations, including those in the Middle East. Business of Travel Trade (BOTT) Travel Sentiment Tracker conducted an online survey of over 6,000 millennial travelers across India in January 2021. As per the results, 62% of millennials would prefer Thailand, followed by Singapore (58%), the UAE (52%), the Maldives (46%), and Saudi Arabia (40%), in the category of short-haul international destinations.

Gender Insights

The men segment dominated the diving tourism market in Saudi Arabia with the largest revenue share of over 64% in 2022. It is a common perception that men are more suited and better at diving owing to the need for physical strength to master this intense underwater sporting activity. Men tend to have more muscle mass, higher lung capacity, and greater upper body strength, which can make diving easier for them. This can be especially important for certain types of diving, such as cave diving, night diving, or wreck diving.

Saudi Arabia diving tourism Market share, by type, 2021 (%)

The women segment is projected to register the highest CAGR of 14.2% from 2023 to 2030. One of the leading factors driving the growth of diving tourism among women is the rapidly increasing female diver population. As shown in the figure above, the number of PADI certifications issued to females for recreational diving courses increased from 35.8% in 2015 to 38.4% in 2019. Financial and educational support from non-profit organizations such as the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) is a major factor driving participation among female divers.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Diving-type innovation by the key players establishes a competitive advantage in the market. By introducing new and innovative diving types, key players differentiate themselves from their competitors and position themselves as leaders in the industry. This helps them gain market share and increase their profitability.

  • In October 2022, Scuba Schools International (SSI) launched its Try Mermaid program. The course offers cost-effective information to potential students via free digital resources before they visit their local SSI training facility to earn their certification in confined waters.

  • In February 2021, ZuBlu launched its scuba diving tour platform. The website is made to help snorkelers, divers, and travelers find distinctive settings, great experiences, and resorts so they can make more informed selections about where and when to visit.

Some prominent players in the Saudi Arabia diving tourism market include:

  • Scuba Schools International (SSI)

  • Al-Haddad Scuba

  • Scuba Travel

  • Saudi Hirat

  • ZuBlu

  • LiveAboard.com

  • Bluewater Dive Travel

  • Hope Of Spring

  • West Coast Diver

  • Behind the Mask

Saudi Arabia Diving Tourism Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2023

USD 34.2 million

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 77.3 million

Growth rate

CAGR of 12.9% from 2023 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2021

Forecast period

2023 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2023 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Diving type, tourist type, age group, gender

Country scope

Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Scuba Schools International (SSI); Al-Haddad Scuba; Scuba Travel; Saudi Hirat; ZuBlu; LiveAboard.com; Bluewater Dive Travel; Hope Of Spring; West Coast Diver; Behind the Mask

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Saudi Arabia Diving Tourism Market Report Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis of the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For this report, Grand View Research has segmented the Saudi Arabia diving tourism market report based on diving type, tourist type, age group, and gender:

  • Diving Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Scuba Diving

    • Free Diving

  • Tourist Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Domestic

    • International

  • Age Group Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • 10 to 20

    • 20 - 30

    • 30 - 40

    • 40 & above

  • Gender Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Men

    • Women

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