Why fish in Dubai?
Dubai is one of the world’s leading cities. It is a modern and opulent city where dreams are made. Visitors come from all around the world to soak up the frenetic urban atmosphere and to take advantage of some of the world’s most luxurious and highest quality services and amenities. Dubai offers jet-set urban living at its finest, with hotels, resorts, dining options, shopping, beach clubs, and spas that can not be beaten anywhere in the world.
Many users never consider some of the leisure opportunities that Dubai’s position on the shore of the Arabian Gulf provides. If shopping till you drop isn’t your thing, the sea offers one way to escape the hustle and bustle to enjoy one of Dubai’s best kept secrets, its incredible fishing opportunities. As a matter of fact, fishing is one of the original three pillars of Dubai’s economy, along with the dhow trade and pearl diving. Unbeknownst to many visitors, Dubai boasts a thriving fishing community to this day.
A chartered fishing tour gives you the chance to get out and try your hand at angling for a variety of fish species from this exotic urban location. Imagine getting picked up from your lavish Dubai hotel room and taken directly to the vessel by our transfer service. Our staff has prepared everything in advance so that you can enjoy a day on the water. With some luck, you bag a few trophies. You spend the afternoon enjoying the fish you caught finely grilled by our staff before heading back to the city.
As with our standard yacht cruises, a variety of vessels are available for your fishing tour. It is possible to combine a yacht cruise with fishing, please enquire about which type of yacht you would like to try this with and we will see if it is possible. For more on the amenities available on one of our yachts, please contact us.
If you want to focus on fishing, it’s best to stick with our dedicated ten-meter fishing vessels. These do not have all the exceptional amenities of a yacht, but they do have toilets, cabins, a fridge or cooler, and a barbeque. Every tour comes with complimentary ice, water, and soft drinks. Every boat has its own sound system. All you need is a playlist on a device that is compatible with an audio jack to enjoy the music of your choice.
If you wish to fish from a yacht rather than from a dedicated fishing vessel, a wider range of services is available. These include catering, drinks, live entertainment, and more. Contact us to customize your perfect yacht-based fishing tour.
Getting to the boat on time can be a hassle, especially in Dubai traffic when you don’t know where exactly you are going. We like to make life easier for everyone by offering a transit service from and back to any hotel in Dubai. The transit service can be offered in sedans, SUVs, or vans depending on your preference and the size of your group.
Duration & location
A fishing trip requires extra logistics and enough time to ensure you have a chance to catch, cook, and eat your game. Therefore, the minimum duration of a fishing tour is four hours. Fishing tours can be extended to try a few different spots and to benefit from both the morning and late afternoon ideal times. The important thing is that we need enough time for orientation, reaching the deepwater fishing grounds, the actual fishing, and inshallah, cooking and eating your catch before getting back to port.
Our captains and crew have records of the most successful fishing locations saved in GPS. These are generally about twenty to thirty kilometers offshore, away from the city and where the sea gets deeper. Once you reach these top spots, we will use the vessel’s fish finder to locate schools of fish.
Our captains and crew
All of our captains are highly experienced, qualified, and certified to operate the vessel according to local and international standards. Our fishing vessel captains have particular expertise and experience in running these fishing tours. They know exactly how to maximize your chances of a catch while guaranteeing the utmost safety during a smooth, comfortable fishing tour.
Our crew members are highly skilled, experienced, and trained to perform every service necessary onboard. Personnel with knowledge of first aid and emergency response techniques are present on every tour.
Regulations, conservation and season
Recreational angling in the UAE requires a license, but we will arrange this on your behalf. UAE residents can acquire a permit from their local municipal authorities. We will need your passport and residence permit or visa to process the license. A passport-sized photo may also be required, inquire for details. Not that the UAE Coast Guard requires you to carry your identity document such as a passport on you at all times while onboard.
Depending on the season, different regulations may apply. The species and quantity of fish you are allowed to harvest will vary, though this rarely becomes an issue. We will handle all the legal considerations for you so that you can relax and enjoy your day on the water.
The ideal fishing season in the waters off of Dubai is from January to May, with the first three months of the year being the absolute best. The summer heat makes staying on deck waiting for a bite less enjoyable than it could be. Besides, less fish are caught in the summer. The fishing really starts to pick up again in October, when temperatures also start to become more clement. The species of fish that you are likely to catch vary with the seasons.
- January and February is the best time to catch Cobia.
- April and May bring a good chance to hook a tuna.
- Barracuda and kingfish are usually caught between November and May
- Emperor bream and threadfin bream can be caught all year but are typically small
As for the best time of day, all of the old proverbs are true. The early bird catches the fish. If you can plan to be at a fishing site by 6 am, you’re golden. There is a second period just before sunset when the fish tend to bite more.
Types of fish that you may catch
The waters off of Dubai offer a wide range of fish species for you to try your luck with. The fish that you are most likely to catch include:
- Emperor bream
- Threadfin Bream
If you are lucky, you will even hook into giant trevally. Other species you may pull out of the water include:
- Striped bass
If you have an interest in fishing for a specific species of fish, please let us know before your fishing tour so that we can optimize your equipment, bait and fishing location accordingly.
Types of fishing and basic tips on how to fish
Popular fishing methods in Dubai:
- Bottom fishing
The most common methods of fishing off the coast of Dubai are trawling and bottom fishing. Trawling involves using specific kinds of lures while bottom fishing works best with bait like squid or fish. Trawling targets surface-dwelling fish while bottom fishing does just the opposite. Casting is a technique best practiced by fishermen who are beyond the novice level. It also targets surface-dwelling fish. Jigging is also an advanced method, and it has the benefit of targeting either top or bottom dwellers.
By using a method that targets surface-dwelling fish such as trawling, you are most likely to catch barracuda, kingfish, trevally, cobia and tuna. Bottom fishing targets species such as emperor bream, threadfin bream, grouper, and mackerel.
Equipment & training
We will provide everything you need for a successful fishing trip. This means a full set of quality, well-maintained equipment including rods, reels, fishing line, weights, lures, bait, and all the other tackle, tools, and accessories needed. You can choose from a standard fishing tour package where we plan all the details for you, or you can customize your experience.
If you are keen to try a specific style of fishing or keen to catch a specific species of fish, let us know, and we will arrange the appropriate equipment for your needs. Our dedicated fishing vessels feature fish finders, but you can request not to use them if you prefer an extra challenge.
Your skill level is never an obstacle to enjoying a day out fishing on the water. Whether you have never picked up a rod in your life or you hold multiple sportfishing trophies, our Dubai fishing tours offer an exciting and memorable experience. We will have crew members on board who can guide and instruct you on how to net a monster barracuda even if this is your time ever setting foot on a boat, let alone swinging a fishing rod. We must note that we cannot guarantee a catch on every fishing tour, but we do everything we can to raise the odds and make the experience enjoyable.
Release, take away, or cook and eat onboard?
Once the triumphal moment has arrived and you have retrieved a shimmering gilled creature from the murky depths of the Arabian Gulf, you will be faced with a choice. We recommend releasing any fish that you do not plan to eat. This helps to conserve the population and ensure that fishing can be enjoyed in Dubai for generations to come. If ‘take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but memories’ is your motto, catch and release is definitely the way to go.
If you have made a particularly large haul, are short on time or simply prefer, we can pack your catch up so that you can conveniently take it with you to cook at a later time. Our staff will be happy to gut, scale, and prepare the fish any way you like prior to packaging.
The option we recommend most is to let us grill your trophy fish onboard while relaxing as part of your fishing cruise. Our fishing vessels come equipped with a barbeque for just this purpose. Our staff knows how to grill each species of fish, just the right way to provide you with a truly memorable meal.
Bring along your own drinks to enjoy with your meal or enjoy the light beverages that we provide as a complementary part of your fishing tour. There is no better way to finish off a day out on the water than enjoying the marine fruits of your efforts as part of a lovely al fresco meal.
We are often asked whether it is possible to combine a fishing tour with other activities out on the sea, such as swimming or riding things like banana boats. This is often possible as long as the activity is compatible with the type of vessel that you have selected.
Swimming is not possible at the fishing locations, which are roughly 30km from the shore. Instead, we can make a stop at a safe swimming area such as a lagoon closer to shore. Please note that, for our guests’ safety, our crew may stop guests from swimming if they are not skilled enough or are not in the proper physical condition.
Riding towed inflatables like a banana boat, or a donut is also possible in safe waters depending upon the vessel chartered. Please enquire with us for how best to tailor your cruise to your needs. Remember that the time needed to engage in these activities counts toward the time booked for your fishing tour. Please budget accordingly.
What to bring
The most important things you can do on a Dubai fishing tour are to keep yourself hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.
Consider bringing these items with you:
- Sunglasses, preferably polarized
- A hat
- Clothing that protects you from sunburns
- Motion sickness pills
- A swimsuit
- Any fishing equipment you would prefer to use