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Everything you need to know about fishing in Dubai

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The warmth of the sun, the calm ocean waves and the serene sounds of seagulls chirping in the distance… that’s the kind of tranquillity you can enjoy when fishing. While many may find it to be a tedious task, for many fishing is a way to unwind. If you are someone who enjoys the sport and are on the lookout of how and where to go fishing in Dubai, this article will be your guide.


Fishing has been a long-standing tradition in the UAE that dates back centuries. The tradition is still alive in many of the emirates – it is actually one of the most popular things to do in Ajman. Fishing in Dubai is also a fairly popular activity as it is a popular tourist activity and a regular pastime for many residents in the city. Some of the most popular fishing excursions in Dubai include deep sea fishing and kayak fishing.

There is no set rule as to when you can go fishing in Dubai – it can be done all year round. However, if you are on the lookout to catch a specific species of fish in Dubai, knowing the best fishing season is helpful. The months between October to May are the ideal fishing season in Dubai for king mackerel, tuna and kingfish; while the summer months of June to September are ideal for Sailfish and Queenfish. Some of the other types of fish you can catch in Dubai all year round include the Barracuda, Hammour and many more.

Fishing tours in Dubai are a popular tourist activity

There are many ways to enjoy fishing in the city – you can do it yourself or you can go through licensed vendors. Those who prefer fishing on their own can just carry their fishing equipment and head to any of the fishing spots in Dubai. But whatever the case, having a licence is mandatory for any kind of fishing trips in Dubai.


Dubai is a popular fishing ground for people across the UAE, however, the reducing numbers of fish species led the government taking certain measures to prevent further environmental disruption. This is why having a licence is mandatory for anyone who wishes to fish in Dubai. Currently, only citizens and residents can apply for a fishing licence in Dubai. Tourists have to go through licenced vendors to be able to fish in Dubai. Fishing without a licence calls for a fine of AED 500 – AED 1k.

Dubai fishing licences permit the holder to fish only with a fishing rod or reel.

Fishing licences in Dubai can be applied for through the Government’s online portal or by visiting the office of the Environment Department – Natural Resources Protection Section, in Abu Hail. There are two types of fishing licences residents and citizens can apply for, they are as follows.


A recreational fishing licence permits the holder to fish in the authorised areas and from a boat in coastal waters of Dubai, using the fishing rod or line only. It is renewable and valid for one year. The application for a recreational fishing licence in Dubai is free but can only be done from November to May. The service is suspended from June to October to maintain local fish resources.

Documents required for the Recreational Fishing licence

  • Passport copy & Emirates ID (with residency for non-local)
  • High-resolution personal photo
  • Boat license (to request recreational fishing using boats)

** Additional documents required from non-local residents:

  • Proof of residency in Dubai such as Tenancy contract/ownership certificate
  • DEWA Electricity bill
  • Job contract / Official Letter (if the establishment provides accommodation).
  • Labour card/work permit (to request recreational fishing using thread and hooks)



This licence is for those individuals looking to fish in the UAE’s marine waters as Only UAE national artesian fishers are eligible to get this and require prior approval from the local fishing organisation.

Documents required for the Artisanal fishing licence  

  • Service Application Form
  • Approval of Ministry of Climate change and Environment
  • Boat Testing Certificate from Coast Guard Group – Fourth Squadron.


For more information about the above licences, you can contact the Environment Department on  +971 4 606 6334 Or +971 606 6822.


Al Garhoud Bridge is one of the approved areas to fish in Dubai. 

Now that we know all about obtaining the licence, let’s take a look at all the amazing fishing spots in Dubai. The Dubai Municipality has designated areas to fish in Dubai to ensure fishing enthusiasts have a fulfilling experience while also preserving the fishing stocks  The designated fishing areas in Dubai include:

  • Al Garhoud Bridge
  • Al Maktoum Bridge
  • Al Seif Road Dubai Creek
  • Jumeira
  • Umm Suqeim



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