Whether or not you are an avid fisher, there is just something more appealing to fishing abroad. This is why even holidaymakers can’t resist the temptation of planning a rewarding fishing adventure even when they are in Dubai.
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 one of the world’s most popular sports so we thought of helping you out with a quick guide in case you are interested in Where to go Fishing in Dubai.
The History of Fishing in Dubai
Back in the 1800s and prior, Dubai used to be a small coastal fishing village and nothing like the city you behold today. By the mid-1800s, a branch of the Bani Yas Tribe took over the village led by the Maktoum family who actually still rule the emirate of Dubai.
The natural harbour, created by the Dubai Creek, attracted many to this village to explore alluring opportunities in fishing and pearling. Time passed and a hell lot of things (mostly are on positive notes) got changed in the last 200 years. And finally, the discovery of oil has contributed a lot to Dubai’s humongous progress to make it one of the biggest business powerhouses in the world.
In spite of tremendous urbanization, Dubai still holds so many fantastic places to go fishing and here are our favourite places for fishing in and around the town.
The Best Places to go Fishing in Dubai
1. Dubai Creek
We ought to start with where it all began! it would be not wrong to say that Dubai Creek is the most iconic fishing spot in the town. This place lets you meet the most fascinating and charming part of the city. Home to various great spots, Dubai Creek treats your eyes with those ancient edifices and scenic sunset views.
This is a fantastic area if you want to immerse yourself in traditional Dubai culture in terms of architecture, authentic Emirati Cuisine and old-world lifestyle. For the fishes, you have species like Kingfish, Hammour, and Striped Bass to catch easily. After a fulfilling fishing stint, you can take a close walk to the nearby Dubai Creek Park to enjoy a relaxing night-out in the area.
For direction, you can check out the Dubai Creek Location here.
2. Al Garhoud Bridge and Al Maktoum Bridge
The Al Garhoud and Al Maktoum Bridges are two of the most celebrated fishing hotspots in Dubai. Both these places become fairly crowded during peak times.
Do note that the bridges can get pretty hot especially during the summer days. So, come prepared with all those summer essentials to beat the heat! Fishing enthusiasts prefer these two spots because they can catch various fish species without wasting too much time and effort. A particular draw for these areas is the chance to snatch a Barracuda or Tilapia from the water on your own!
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. There are not many restrictions but the authority doesn’t encourage an indiscriminating fishing approach that disrupts the ecological balance.
4. Jumeirah Beach
Are you surprised to see the name of Jumeirah Beach on our list? Well, although this beach has got sufficient beautiful reasons to pull the crowd, the excellent fishing opportunity is surely one of them.
Jumeirah Beach is a very convenient fishing hotspot in the city. But before you land there, here comes a piece of caution! Jumeirah Beach fishing area is potentially slippery and there are unstable rocky surfaces everywhere. Never forget to bring fishing gear and accessories to prevent accidental falls.
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.
5. Al Mamzar Creek
Al Mamzar Creek presents another great fishing spot just outside of Dubai in Deira. Not many fishing enthusiasts are aware of this spot because it has earned its fame very recently and the best part is you don’t have to face the crowd if you pick this fishing area.
You can’t just go fishing anywhere on the Al Mamzar Beach. Make sure that you avoid swimming and bathing areas, Mamzar Corniche, landing bases and fishermen harbours. It is ok to fish the rest of the area.
Do I Need a Licence to Go Fishing in Dubai?
In order to fish in Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, you will need to get a licence beforehand. However, obtaining a fishing licence is, fortunately, an easy process here! The licence comes with a year-long expiry. So, you won’t have to reapply if you plan to fish frequently.
Fortunately, tourists can just go through a licenced vendor or tour guide to go fishing in Dubai. No need to procure any individual fishing licence for tourists. The authority will provide you with a short-term licence and the equipment you will need.
How Many Types of Fishing Licences Are Available in Dubai?
The Natural Resources Protection section of Dubai Municipality is the competent authority to issue licences for fishing within the emirate’s regional water. There are two types of fishing licences that Dubai Municipality provides.
1. Recreational Fishing Licence
As the name suggests, this licence is meant for recreational purposes and it enables you to fish only with a fishing rod or can add a fishing boat for coastal waters of the emirates of Dubai. The licence is valid for a renewable term of a year.
2. Artisanal Fishing Licence
This licence is given to only UAE nationals and it requires consent from the local fishing authority. Even with this permit, you can’t go fishing everywhere. There are specific locations where fishing is permitted with this license and some protected species are not allowed to be caught.
Documents Needed for Application for the Fishing Licence in Dubai
As mentioned, obtaining a recreational licence is quite simple. You will need:
- A copy of your passport
- Your Emirates ID
- 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 you 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 in order to maintain fish numbers.
Follow this link to know more about the Environment Application for a recreational fishing licence in Dubai.
How Much Does a Fishing License Cost in Dubai?
The yearly recreational fishing license in Dubai can be obtained for free. Also, a one-week fishing permit can be issued to tourists.
Can I Go Fishing in Dubai Without a Licence?
If you ditch the process of applying for a licence and get caught fishing without a permit, you may be slapped with a fine of anything around 1,000 AED (approx. £205). Therefore, if you’re a tourist, it is better to 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?
To offer a little bit of help with the best time to go fishing in Dubai, we have furnished a list below to show you what catches to expect throughout the different months of the year. It’s evident that Novemebr to May is the best time to plan your Dubai fishing trip.
in addition to this, 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, when fishes tend to swim closer to the surface, it is easier to catch them. During winter season, you may find yourself hooking tuna, kingfish, and king mackerel easily!
when it’s summer in Dubai, fishes tend to lurk deeper in the sea. Therefore, during summer days, you may want to try your luck in deep sea fishing before sunrise or after sunset when the heat is not that intense! June to September is the optimal time for Sailfish and Queenfish, if this is what you are after.
What I Can Expect to Catch in Dubai?
When it comes to fishing, Dubai will not disappoint you. Fishing spots in the city are blessed with plenty of fish species and that’s why chances are high of catching an impressive variety when you go fishing in Dubai. Let’s see what you can catch here.
- Small Shark
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:
1. Fishing UAE
Fishing UAE provides deep sea fishing trips in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. They offer a personal and tailored service with a maximum capacity for only 6 persons per trip. This ensures that you are getting the best from them and the sea.
Fishing UAE trips start at 1,500 AED for a 4-hour trip, 1,700 AED for a 5-hour tour and go up to 3,000 AED for a 10-hour trip. Weekend slots may cost ever more. For more information on their prices and facilities, you can visit their official website.
2. Go Fishing Dubai
Another popular tour operator is Go Fishing Dubai. Go Fishing Dubai is 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 a “cook and eat your catch” service.
They offer a variety of fishing and yacht renting services and it is not at all difficult to find something to meet your requirement and fit your budget. For more information on their pricing, you can visit their website here.
3. Dubai Fishing Trip
As you can see, many of the tour operators have pretty good reputation for conducting fantastic fishing tours in Dubai and Dubai Fishing Trip is one of them. Their reviews tell vividly about the service and facilities they offer to the customers.
Dubai FishingTrip host events that you can enjoy with all of the family. It welcomes children and teenagers on board too with special attention. This company will take you north of The World Islands which has some fantastic spots to catch a variety of fishes.
For more information and pricing, you can visit their official site here.
Fishing in Dubai is considered to this day as a rich and important part of Emirati culture. From residents 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 fishing options to cater to everyone’s needs! There are even various fishing tours you can partake in, especially if you are wanting to learn the ropes.