Abu Dhabi's location along the coast of the Persian Gulf offers unique opportunities to fishing enthusiasts and being an island the city has a close relationship with the sea.
Before the discovery of oil fishing was the main industry and even today fishing is important to the locals.
There are regulations about the size of fish that can be caught and your fishing boat charter company will be able to advise you about which fish to return to the water.
Fishing enthusiasts need to make sure they have a fishing license, fish from designated areas and fish only in the authorized fishing season.
Trawling is illegal in Abu Dhabi and only fish of certain sizes can be kept.
Fishing is a great past time in the UAE with calm waters, an abundance of fish and more!
Fishing season in Abu Dhabi
The official season is from October to May but November to February is thought to be the best time to fish in Abu Dhabi.
Types of fish you can catch in Abu Dhabi
The most commonly caught fish off the shores of Abu Dhabi include kingfish, sailfish, tuna, dorado and queenfish.
If you venture out and do some deep sea fishing the range of fish species is wider and includes blue and white marlin, wahoo, shari, cobia, giant trevally, Spanish mackerel and grouper fish.
Where to rent or buy fishing equipment
Many of the hotels can arrange fishing excursions and boat charters, there are also several companies which offer fishing trips and rent out charter boats. Arabian Divers & Sport Fishing Charters, Western Marine Sports Club (for example a 3 hour excursion costs 350AED), Empros Watersports (operating from the Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi), Lulu Boats, Sea Cruiser, Sea Tourism, Hiltonia Beach Club (operating from the Hilton Hotel), Blue Waters Marine and Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi fishing licenses
If you will be fishing from the shore you will need a fishing license. You can get a seven day recreational license.
This license allows you to fish with a hand held rod and reel from the shore and not with the traditional fishing nets. Licenses are only issued to people over 18 years old. Apply online for a fishing license from the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency.
The license for a week costs 30EAD. If you are going on a fishing excursion the company taking you will have a commercial fishing license which covers you as well when you are on the trip.
Where to fish in Abu Dhabi
There are certain designated areas where you can fish straight from the shore. Some of the popular shore fishing areas are from the breakwater at Mina Port, from Al Raha cornice and from Reem Island. However before you go fishing check which areas are designated as this can change.
Another option is to rent a boat with a fishing guide from a boat charter company. There are companies which offer big game sportfishing, fishing lessons, half day excursions and full day excursions. You can charter a boat to take out by yourself or go with a fishing tour. On a fishing excursion the necessary equipment, bait etc should be provided.