PADI Dive Centre Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

PADI Dive Centre Kota Kinabalu Sabah

It’s true location is “almost” everything and we proudly offer our clients the choice of TWO Downbelow PADI 5 STAR Career Development Centres based within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park so you can decide which PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu, Sabah suits you. Both are purpose built dive facilities on paradise islands. Our PADI 5 Star CDC Centre on Gaya Island caters for day trippers who prefer to stay overnight on the Kota Kinabalu mainland in KK City or other resorts. Our PADI 5 Star CDC Centre on Manukan Island caters for guests that wish to stay overnight in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

Both dive centre have access to all the same dives sites in the marine park and offer the same PADI Courses, daily diving, snorkeling  so your diving experience will be the same from either location.  The difference is the time you spend out of the water and this is what will dictate which PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu, Sabah suits you.

Candidates that join for our internationally renowned PADI Divemaster & PADI Instructor Development Courses benefit from the education they receive at both PADI dive centres.

PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu

Downbelow on Gaya Island

PADI Dive Centre Kota Kinabalu Sabah
PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Downbelow PADI 5 Star CDC Centre – Gaya Island

Our PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre fondly known as “The Beach House” on Gaya Island is perfect for those people looking for an all inclusive package. We include KK city land transfers, lunch, refreshments, required euipment plus your chosen fully guided activity or PADI course.

Surface Intervals

The island provides a very special experience,  it is a fun place to spend the day where our guests can enjoy our tropical paradise. We are the only operator at this location so our surroundings are non crowded. Surface intervals between activities are taken on the beach house veranda so even if your family or group are taking part in different activities you will still be together during the breaks. Basic washrooms and fresh water non-heated showers are available. We serve a freshly cooked local lunch of rice, a meat dish, vegetables and fruit, vegetarian & vegan options are available.

About Gaya Island

At 15km², Pulau Gaya, or Gaya Island in English, is the largest of the 5 islands and home to a local stilt village on the eastern shore nearest to the city. It remains un-spoiled and is not on the main tourist route.

Walking trails criss-cross the island, meandering through virgin, tropical rain forests. Gaya Island is surrounded by ocean, abundant with diverse and fascinating marine life & wildlife. We have sheltered reefs with year round dive access.

Pool vs Confined Open Water ?

Confined water training for skill practice and introduction to scuba diving takes place immediately in front of the dive centre, which boasts a natural confined open water lagoon. Open water dive sites start literally a giant stride away from our jetty, with the rest a few minutes away by boat.

Downbelow on Manukan Island

PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu Sabah
PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Downbelow PADI 5 Star CDC Centre – Manukan Island

Our PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre on Manukan Island is perfect for those people wanting a beach resort holiday. We offer great value stay & scuba dive and stay & snorkel safari packages. We also offer daily scuba diving, PADI courses, snorkel safaris and sea kayaking trips to walk-in guests so if you are staying at the resort you can find us at the pool side and subject to availability book your activity. If you are island-hoping and want to fit in a couple of dives, drop by and say “hi”. Pre-booking is advised particularly during peak season since we limit all our activities to small groups. If you want to pre-book your day trip to our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Manukan Island please contact us.

Surface Interval

Whether you are an in-house guest or with us for a day trip, between activities you can enjoy the resort facilities.

Relax next to the resort pool, treat yourself to a slow mango lassi or cappuccino between your activity. At lunch time the resort offers an A La’ Carte menu or beach BBQ (a personal favourite). At the end of the day do “as divers do” and enjoy sundowners at the beach-side bar.

All food & beverage is at your own expense. Resort washrooms are provided.

Island transfers are not included in our standard package, however your daily boat transfers can be arranged with us or you can use the water taxi’s that operate daily within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

Pool vs Confined Open Water ?

At Manukan island training for scuba diving skill practice and introduction to scuba diving takes place in the resort swimming pool. Open water dive sites are accessed from the beach with the rest of the 49 dive sites in the marine park just a few minutes away by speedboat.

Full Service Dive Centres

PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Both PADI dive centre Kota Kinabalu, Sabah are purpose built and offer the same high standard of safety & equipment you would expect from a Downbelow PADI 5 Star CDC dive centre.  Fast custom- built speedboats, air compressors with NITROX, a certified equipment service center plus equipment to easily handle a great variety of shapes and sizes.

Downbelow’s international staff are highly skilled with many years of experience in their field and we pride ourselves on an exceptional level of service and safety. Our diver-to-dive-guide ratios are very low, ensuring that new divers a well looked after and experienced divers can enjoy the dive to the full.

Where Do You Want Your Borneo Adventure to Take You ?

  • Day Trips & Cultural Adventures

    Day Trips & Cultural Adventures (29)

    Whether you are an adrenaline seeking enthusiast or wanting a more relaxed day trip from Kota Kinabalu, we have a number of exciting programs for you to experience.
  • Downbelow Eco Lodge

    Downbelow Eco Lodge (9)

    Our very own Eco Lodge accommodation based in KK Times Square is ideal for those people wishing to combine basic clean and secure comfort at an affordable price. Family friendly!
  • Hotels & Resorts

    Hotels & Resorts (19)

    Given the variety of options in today’s travel and holiday market, selecting the right hotel or resort can be a bit overwhelming. We have selected our favourites that we have been working with for many years and enjoy ourselves.
  • Manukan Island Dive Resort

    Manukan Island Dive Resort (12)

    Our PADI 5 STAR CDC Dive Centre is located at poolside of Manukan Island Resort. As such our packages offer excellent value for money and are only sold at these rates by us directly.
  • Mountain Package

    Mountain Package (10)

    We offer a range of climbing packages to the summit of Mount Kinabalu at 4,093m ASL. Based within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Online Promotions

    Online Promotions (67)

    Book online now to secure your trips and enjoy NO CREDIT CARDS FEES charged by us and NO BOOKING FEE!
  • PADI Diving Courses

    PADI Diving Courses (18)

    We offer the full range of PADI Scuba Diving Courses from beginner to all PADI GoPro professional levels at our PADI 5 Star IDC Centre.
  • PADI Go PRO Courses

    PADI Go PRO Courses (20)

    A professional diving internship as a PADI Divemaster, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor or beyond is a very rewarding opportunity for scuba divers, with 1 to 3 months to spare.
  • Wildlife Tours

    Wildlife Tours (19)

    We have put together a selection of our personal favourite wildlife locations. Nights can be added or taken away and itineraries can be combined to create your perfect tailor-made wildlife adventure.


It doesn’t get any better than Downbelow!
They planned our entire 2 week stay in Borneo, we didn’t have to lift a finger. We saw everything you can imagine; Pygmy Elephants, Orang Utans, Proboscis Monkeys, Crocodiles, Horn bills!They know all the best local spots and really take care of you which is so important when traveling somewhere new!
Tamsin & Phil, Independent Travellers
One stop shop for marine and wildlife adventure
I spent a month with Dive DownBelow studying to be a PADI Open Water Instructor. Great location (near markets, shops and cafes), professional staff and a fun experience all round.
Carl Charter, GoPro Intern
A very memorable holiday!
The whole Dive Downbelow team is great and this was a huge contributor to us having a very memorable holiday with you. Thank you for your help all through the trip, and also thank you to Tim who was very professional, patient and made our diving course so enjoyable and successful.
Dmitry & Helen, Independent Travellers

Our Commitment to Conservation!

PADI Dive Centre Kota Kinabalu
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM project_aware_logo

During the past 15 years the company has established itself as a leading conservation and education provider locally and on the international platform. At Downbelow we are committed to responsible tourism. We design experiences and provide courses that foster appreciation, awareness and conservation of our environment and development of local people. In the course of this labour of love, our effort has been acknowledged by various publications and awards. To date, Ghost Net Removals, Underwater and Beach Clean Ups, Coral for Life, Tree for Life & Project Aware remain a large focus of our day to day life Downbelow!

What Makes Downbelow Different ?

  • Customised Itineraries To Save Money & Maximise Time
  • Genuine Focus On Conservation & Outreach Community Programs
  • TWO Full Service Island Based PADI 5 Star IDC Centres – Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
  • Own and Operate Our Adventure Lodge Accommodation – KK Times Square
  • Fully Comprehensive Quality Control Standards and Procedures
  • TWO Resident PADI Course Directors – In House and Full Time
  • Gained International Awards for Excellence, Education and Experience
  • Awarded the PADI Green Star Award for Environmental Practices to Reduce our Environmental Footprint
  • Hassle FREE – airport to airport service all under one company
  • Dedicated experienced travel consultant for planning your trip, during your trip and post trip support
  • Approved British Ministry of Defence Commercial Dive Centre
  • Company Profits Support Welfare & Marine Conservation