Dive centers on Gili Air are scattered across different parts of the island. The largest one, like 5 Oceans, is located right at the port. Two centers, Manta Dive and 3W, are on the eastern side, which, along with the southern side, is less affected by tides. Blue Marlin is located on the northern side.
These centers, like the ones on Gili Trawangan, are part of the GIDA association, which sets the prices for dives and training courses. This means that a center cannot drastically lower prices to attract customers. Instead, they attract customers with other features. This could include small-group training, trips to rare dive spots, tablet-based training, or collective events that allow students to feel like part of a larger diving community.
If you haven't decided on a center yet, just visit a couple of them, talk to the managers, and see where you feel more comfortable and at ease.
Manta Dive Gili Air
This is an international dive center with a large multinational team. The center has three boats and is located on the eastern side, which is least affected by tides.
The center's team values the family atmosphere greatly. They emotionally welcome everyone who comes here into their "family." On Saturdays at 8:00 PM, there's a quiz night at the Thai restaurant of the dive center for all their friends. Every week, the dive center's team conducts beach clean-ups. In the sea, about 30-40 meters from the dive center, they've built an artificial reef called the Bio Rock, where they grow corals at an accelerated pace using very weak electric currents passed through metal structures.
The center offers training for all levels, starting from introductory sessions to instructor-level courses.
They also have their own delightful mini-resort and a Thai restaurant right next to the dive center.