Whether or not you are an avid fisher, there is just something more appealing to fishing abroad. Is it the warmer climes, the change of scenery or just the anticipation of not knowing what species you may come across in your net? Who knows, but fishing is the world’s most popular sport so we thought we’d write a post on Where to go Fishing in Dubai.
The History of Fishing in Dubai
Back in the 1800’s and prior, Dubai was known as a small coastal fishing village. By the mid 1800’s a branch of the Bani Yas Tribe took over the village led by the Maktoum family who actually still rule the emirate of Dubai now.
The natural harbour created by Dubai Creek attracted many to the village for fishing and pearling. A lot has changed in the last 200 years and the discovery of oil has contributed to Dubai becoming one of the biggest business powerhouses in the world. However, it still has many fantastic places to fish and here’s our favourites below.
The Best Places to go Fishing in Dubai
1. Dubai Creek
We ought to start with where it all began! Dubai Creek is home to various great spots and with a close walk to the lush Dubai Creek Park, you can make a relaxing day of it. This is a fantastic area if you also want to immerse yourself in traditional Dubai culture. Keep a look out for species like Kingfish, Hammour, and Striped Bass which reside around the creek.
2. Al Garhoud Bridge and Al Maktoum Bridge
The Al Garhoud and Al Maktoum Bridges are a fishing hotspot, which can get fairly crowded during peak times. Do note that the bridges can get pretty hot especially in the summer, so come prepared! However, these spots are therefore teeming with various fish species. A particular draw for these areas is the chance to catch yourself a Barracuda or Tilapia!
3. Beyond the Jebel Ali Free Zone
The seas beyond the Jebel Ali Free Zone also mark a good location for a fishing trip! You will find similar fish species to those you would find in Dubai Creek, namely Kingfish and Hammour. It would certainly be an enjoyable day out! Do be mindful of fishing restrictions here though.
4. Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach is another convenient hotspot, the main caution is to ensure that you come equipped for the potentially slippery and unstable rocky surfaces. However, once you’ve got those grounds covered, you can be in for the chance to catch Sultan Ibrahim and Barracudas. All the while, you may also find yourself amongst graceful stingrays.
Do I Need a Licence to Go Fishing in Dubai?
In order to fish in Dubai, and anywhere in the UAE, you will need to get a licence. However, this is fortunately an easy process! The licences are also year long so you won’t have to reapply if you plan to fish frequently.
Fortunately, for tourists you can just go through a licenced vendor or tour guide. They will provide you with a short term licence and the equipment you will need.
How Do I Get a Fishing Licence in Dubai?
As mentioned, obtaining the recreational licence is quite simple. You will need:
- A copy of your passport
- Your Emirates ID
- A high resolution photograph of yourself
- A boat licence (if applicable)
However, those who are not citizens of Dubai, will also need to provide:
- Proof of Dubai residency
- Electricity bill
- Your job contract (if your employer provides your accommodation)
- Work permit
The application for a recreational fishing licence in Dubai is free. However, you should note that it can only be done from November to May due to maintaining fish numbers.
Follow this link to the Environment Application for a recreational fishing licence in Dubai.
Fishing Spots in Dubai Without a Licence
If you do not want to go through the process of applying for a licence and get caught fishing you may face fines of at least 1,000 AED (approx. £205). Therefore if you’re a tourist, we recommend that you opt for the tour option or go through a licenced vendor such as your hotel for a short term licence.
When is the Best Time to go Fishing in Dubai
Depending on when you are thinking of going fishing will affect what type of fishing you should do and what species you are more likely to catch.
During the winter months from October to May is when fish tend to swim closer to the surface. During this time, you may find yourself hooking tuna, kingfish, and king mackerel!
During the hot Dubai summers, fish tend to lurk deeper in the sea. Therefore, during the summer you may want to try your luck deep sea fishing before sunrise or after sunset when the heat is not so intense! June to September is the optimal time for Sailfish and Queenfish, if this is what you are after.
Places Offering Fishing Trips in Dubai
If you’re visiting Dubai and unable to obtain a licence but wish to try fishing in Dubai you can book with any of the below tour operators:
Fishing UAE provide deep sea fishing trips in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras al Kaimah. They offer a personal and tailored service with a maximum of only 6 persons per trip. This ensures that your getting the best from them and the sea.
Fishing UAE trips start at 1,000AED for a 3 hour weekend trip and go up to 2,500AED for an 8 hour trip on a Friday or Saturday. For more information on their prices visit the website here.
Go Fishing Dubai
Another popular tour operator is Go Fishing Dubai. Go Fishing Dubai are rated #1 on Trip Advisor as the top fishing tour operator in Dubai. They set sail from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club and even offer an eat your catch service.
For more information you can visit their website here.
Dubai Fishing Trip
As you can see, many of the tour operators have pretty original names.. but they all carry fantastic reviews. This particular operator has 4.4 on Google Reviews (December 2020).
Dubai Fishing Trip host events for all of the family and welcome children and teenagers on board too. This company will take you north of The World Islands which has some fantastic waters to fish.
For more information and prices visit their site here.
Fishing in Dubai remains to this day a rich and important part of their culture. From residents to citizens to tourists, the appeal continues to attract many to the water’s edge to see what they can hook!
From experts, to those just wanting to try something new, Dubai has all sorts of options to cater to your needs! There are even various fishing tours you can partake in, especially if you are wanting to learn the ropes.