UAE | Leisure

Fishing at your pleasure in the UAE

Summer is back with a blast of hot air and as the pace of life slows down, people head to the beaches to cool off, sail, paraglide or to fish.

  • By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:39 May 16, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Megan Hirons/Gulf News
  • Angler Rawan Fahd checks for a good spot in front of the new Garhoud Bridge.

Abu Dhabi: Summer is back with a blast of hot air and as the pace of life slows down, people head to the beaches to cool off, sail, paraglide or to fish.

With temperatures hovering around 46 degrees Celsius, early morning is the best time to fish or about three hours before dusk. Fishing season in the UAE runs from October to late May.

Fishermen's tales of someone catching a 59kg sailfish are true. But not many people know that you need to get a licence for recreational hook-line fishing in the UAE. The licence is given to residents of the UAE. There are also short-term licences for tourists.

In Abu Dhabi, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) is responsible for licensing fishing activities.

"The licence assists in proper and sustainable utilisation of the country's natural resources and helps protect fish stock," says Thabit Zahran Al Abdul Salaam, Director of Marine Environment Research Centre.

"Marine resources are precious and a balance needs to be maintained. It is important that we know how many people go fishing and what the impact on our resources are."

The licensing system was established in 2003. Recreational fishing licences are valid for a year.

The Environment Agency has an agreement with major hotels, diving clubs, for tourists to obtain licences.

Last year Abu Dhabi issued 145 annual recreational fishing licences and 259 weekly recreational fishing licences.

In Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, the Municipality issues the licence.

What you need to know:

Some good spots for fishing:

  • After Jebel Ali Free Zone
  • Near Maktoum Bridge
  • Dibba
  • Dubai Creek
  • Behind Hyatt Regency

Types of fishes:

  • Kingfish, Barracuda
  • Emperor Snapper, Stingrays

Not allowed to fish:

  • Crab Squids
  • Small fish

Cost of annual recreational fishing licence:

  • Abu Dhabi-Dh 120
  • Dubai-Free
  • Sharjah-Dh50
  • RAK-Dh110
  • Ajman-Dh110
  • Fujairah-Dh50
  • Khor Fakkan–Dh50
  • Kalba, Dibba –Dh50

Documents required:

  • Passport copy (with valid residence visa for expatriates).
  • One passport-size photograph
  • Eligibility- 18 years or older
  • Processing time- 3 working days
  • Short-term licence can be got the same day.

If you own a boat:

  • Boat licence
  • Two photographs
  • Rent Contract

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