Fishing in Dubai
Information on fishing, angling and the permits required for sea fishing off the coast of Dubai. Information includes contacts for local fishing associations...
The fishing season in Dubai typically runs from October to late May when the weather cools down. Onshore, offshore and deep sea fishing opportunities are available throughout the United Arab Emirates.
Recreational Fishing Licences
Fishing licences are required for all recreational fishing activities in Dubai. Tourists can obtain short-term fishing licences through most major hotels, diving clubs or tour operators.
Only residents of Dubai can apply for a yearly recreational licence from the Dubai Municipality. Residents of other Emirates cannot be issued a licence in Dubai. The recreational fishing licence is free and grants permission to fish off the coastline and from a leisure boat.
Applying for a licence
In order to apply for a licence, a person must register for a user ID and password on the Dubai Municipality website. Once this is done they must select the appropriate services and roles to their profile. A request for a recreational fishing licence can be found linked to the Environment page.
Once login details have been received, log onto the website, select Online Fishing Licence Application under the available services area (under the login box).
Copies of the following documents will need to be attached to the online application. It may be necessary to bring them in person to the Dubai Municipality Environmental Department for further verification.
- Residency visa
- Labour card
- Driver's licence and vehicle registration (if available)
- Tenancy contract and recent utilities bill (from DEWA)
- Passport sized photographs
Approved licences will be issued within three days and may be collected at the Dubai Municipality building near Deira Clock Tower on Monday and Wednesday from 07:30-14:30.
- Dubai Municipality - Environmental Department
At: Near Deira Main Post Office, Abu Hail (Deira)
Tel: 04 606 6822
Fax: 04 703 3532
Local Fish Species
The warm waters attract a large variety of fish species. Barracuda, cobia, kingfish, mackerel and sailfish are frequently fished. It is prohibited to catch crab, mussels, oysters, squid and juvenile fish.
Where to Fish
The government has set general guidelines on where fishing may take place. Some popular fishing spots include areas of Jumeirah and Umm Sequim, near Garhoud and Maktoum bridges and past Jebel Ali Free Zone.
Fishing is not permitted in wildlife sanctuaries, protected areas, certain beaches or shipping/port areas.
Fishing Clubs and Tour Operators
Tour operators run daily fishing excursions with fishing equipment and tackle, transportation and knowledgeable guides all provided.
For a list of licensed tour operators: Click here
Overfishing of certain fish species, particularly the local favourite, hamour, has led to an awareness campaign to help consumers make better choices about the types of fish they eat. There is a federal law in place that prohibits the marketing and sale of local fish based on size.
The Emirates Wildlife Society, together with the World Wildlife Fund, is leading conservation efforts for these local fish. The following fish are largely overfished and should be avoided by consumers:
- Safi Arabi
The website Choose Wisely has a consumer fishing guide and information on overfishing.
- To download the consumer fishing guide: Click here
- For further information on overfishing: Click here