Malaysia presented its new ecotourism destinations and Diveheart adaptive diving programs at the World Expo, one of the biggest and oldest events on earth, taking place in Dubai from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 (postponed from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic).
In a collaboration between Malaysia Tourism and adaptive dive training organization Diveheart, Syed Abd Rahman, Diveheart Malaysia ambassador and advisor for the National Dive Council of Malaysia, presented the Diveheart adaptive diving programs in Malaysia, which features accessible tourism at Malaysia’s beautiful dive destinations.
Jim Elliott, president and founder of Diveheart, viewed the exhibition as a good opportunity to reach out to divers in the Middle East and expand the Diveheart adaptive diving community. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the life-changing power of scuba diving,” said Elliott. “There really are no boundaries to what we can achieve, and we have seen time and time again how educational scuba therapy has built confidence and transformed the lives of people with disabilities all over the world.”
Elliott conveyed his appreciation for Tourism Malaysia’s outreach to Diveheart for the collaboration. “This collaboration demonstrates Malaysia’s commitment to opening doors to every diver, regardless of their abilities, to explore new dive destinations, build international friendships and gain new experiences at the same time.”
Diveheart Malaysia is now collaborating with Heriot-Watt University at the Kuala Lumpur and Dubai campuses. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Diveheart Malaysia Ambassador Rahman, who as the founder and director of Kids Scuba Malaysia, presented the Diveheart program in Dubai in December 2021.
Rahman has trained over a hundred local adaptive divers and volunteers in Malaysia over the past decade. “I am pleased that more and more dive destinations in Malaysia are becoming more disability-friendly in terms of the facilities offered and willingness to accept adaptive divers,” said Syed, who has been a driving force in connecting government agencies with private tourism businesses in Malaysia in a bid to increase accessibility for people with disabilities.
Beautiful diving for all divers
At the World Expo in Dubai, Rahman, who is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, also presented the world-class diving that can be found in the waters around Malaysia. “Malaysia is truly blessed with so many beautiful dive destinations, including Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, Tenggol Island, and of course, the islands in Sabah, including Layang Layang and Sipadan Island,” he said, adding that Malaysian waters are known for their rich underwater biodiversity, beautiful coral reefs and variety of dive sites that are suitable for divers of all levels.
For more information about adaptive diving at Diveheart, visit: diveheart.org.