How to Get a Fishing License in Dubai

Man fishing on a yacht28

Fancy a nice big catch? Deep-sea fishing is one of the most intriguing adventures the UAE waters offer. Boasting over 500 marine species, Gulf waters are rich with marine life, including blacktip sharks, groupers, sailfish, parrotfish, and many more.

Dubai is considered one of the most prominent sailfish destinations globally, playing host to mariners and sea fishing enthusiasts in the Middle East. This is more so because fishing had historically been a part of the local culture.

Fishing is a unique art that requires mastering. Techniques for a great catch, often used by fishermen in the UAE, are angling (using a hook), netting and trapping. However, it would help if you went deep-sea fishing for the ultimate catch — a straightforward adventure that lures tourists from all corners of the globe to the Middle East.

Get on a boat and sail more profoundly into the sea!

Fishing license in Dubai

Hundreds of thousands of people come to Dubai every year to jog in Dubai. If unregulated, this can cause severe damage to marine life in the sea. For that reason, the government has placed regulations on fishing. Nothing complicated, though.

A license is required by anyone who fishes. Fishing without proper permits can incur a fine of up to 1000 dirhams. Individual fishing permits are only given to UAE citizens and residents. Even then, a professional fishing license is given only to UAE nationals.

However, tourists can obtain a short-term permit if they go to a fishing license company. To make matters easy, numerous companies offer fishing trips in Dubai. The upside of this is that you can hire a boat, a captain, and a crew with experience and knowledge in fishing. They can help you find the fish and, if needed, hook one.

Those who want to apply for a fishing license can visit the online portal or the Environment department office directly. 

There are two types of fishing licenses in Dubai:

1. Recreational Fishing license

A recreational fishing license can be obtained free of cost. Having this license allows you to fish using a fishing rod and line.

Documents required to apply for a permit:

  • Passport copy & Emirates ID (with residency for non-local)
  • Photographs
  • Boat license (for the permit to fish using the boat)

Non-citizens require these additional documents:

  • Proof of housing (housing rental contract/ownership of the residential property).
  • The electricity bill was issued in the name of the applicant from DEWA. 
  • If the employer provides the housing, the employment contract shall be attached.
  • Labor card/work permit.

2. Artisanal fishing license

This permit is only given to UAE nationals and requires approval from the local fishing authority. As we focus on recreational fishing, you don’t have to worry about this.

One must be at least 18 years old to apply for the license. Even with a permit, you are not allowed to fish everywhere. There are specific locations where fishing is permitted, and some protected species are not caught.

Fishing Spots in Dubai

With a recreational fishing license, you can fish at: 

  • Al Garhoud and Maktoum Bridge
  • Al Seef Road
  • Dubai Creek
  • Jumeirah
  • Umm Suqeim

Al Wasl offers yachts and fishing boats to cater to corporate team building and private cruises needs. Whether you prefer offshore or deep sea fishing, if you are a fan of big game fishing or night fishing, or if you want to get some sun, sea, and sand along with a great catch, go fishing! You can even cook your net on the yacht at the end of the day.

So, what are you waiting for?