Hi Sue , it's Luke from Emperor Divers Marsa Alam and Oceans Red Sea Marsa Alam , apologies for the delay but thanks to sg and Alan for filling in. FYI guys I've been away from the desk for a few days mainly setting up the new Hamata Dive Centre - I won't go off topic so we'll leave that there :)
So where to start? Firstly I'm glad we've been recommended to you and thanks for contacting me, and hopefully you'll enjoy Egypt & Marsa Alam as much as I do! There are plenty of options from a diving point of view and also snorkeling - we run the diving side of things as Emperor Divers and the boat trips & snorkeling as Oceans Red Sea but essentially it's the same people, offices and boats. Both have detailed websites, I cannot share external links here (although one is posted above by sg2) but you can find the TripAdvisor review pages for both by clicking the links just after my name in the first line of this post, and then you'll find contact details and web addresses etc.
We do sell fins and masks here - we don't sell any of the cheap rubber type that you often find in sets, all of our brands are European and can be used for either diving or snorkeling. Of course that makes them more expensive than the cheap sets either found online or in some of the bazaar outlets in Egyptian hotels etc. We don't have a large range though, so the advice above to find a local dive centre is sage. Rest assured though if you don't find the time to do that, we can provide both items for sale or rental at our shop in the Resta Reef Resort.
With regards to learning to dive, as Alan says it can be a great idea to do the theory and also the pool work in the UK before coming out as it saves you precious holiday time and also you make the course feel a little less intensive. We can offer both the PADI Open Water (OW) and PADI Scuba Diver (SD) courses, both are aimed at beginners. OW is typically a 4 day course but can be reduced depending on how much you do in the UK before you come. You can choose to complete the theory online (called eLearning) or from a book (called fastrack) and then do the poolwork and dives here, which should take 3 days. Or you can find a centre in the UK to help you with the theory and poolwork, and then we call this a 'referral' which means you complete the dives here typically over 2 days. This gets you your full diving license. The SD course is a partial license with some limitations, but you can halve the timings I gave you above, and once you have that license you can upgrade to OW any time after by completing the rest of the theory, poolwork and dives.
In case you just wanted to try diving rather than go for the whole course, we offer 'try dives' on the Oceans Classic and VIP boat trips, or we can do a 1 day PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience. Lots of options - I hope one appeals to you. By all means ask me any more questions about the above either here or feel free to Private Message me. All our prices and more details on the above can be found on the 2 websites, but if you need any help whatsoever or can't find the information you're looking for please just ask and I'll be happy to help.