You either love it or hate it! I am passionate about desert driving but I dare to say that the underwater world has even more to discover, besides of risking your life with every dive.
I have done my license with Al Boom Diving which is a reputed but also the most expensive company locally. Tourists finishing it in 3 days, you can get a hardcopy book along with CD's or decide for the cheaper version of an online course. I finished my Scuba (down to 12mtrs AED 1750) over the weekend, spent the first day 5 hours in a salt water pool and certainly did not feel like a fish! As vacation came in between, I completed my OW (open water down to 18mtrs AED 2350) two weeks later which was a good decision as it is the same in desert driving.....gain experience over time and let the knowledge sink in. If I may mention that I went to Maledives that particular vacation and did 4 dives which were amazing.
The good thing in diving is, you can do it almost everywhere in the world and buddies are easy to find as the Diver community is surprisingly large.
As Capri mentioned, there are plenty of companies around, just make sure they are PADI recognized and issue an international license. Refreshers should be done if you have not been diving I guess for 6 months.
Let's see what the Almost Family Daddies & Uncles working out for us.