July 23, 2024

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The Complete Guide for Fishing in Dubai

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For many, Dubai is synonymous with splendor. Its cutting-edge architecture and luxurious amenities can make anyone feel like royalty. Luckily, the waters off the coast of the “City of Gold” are as bountiful as its streets. So if you’ve got the itch to go fishing in Dubai, you should know it’ll definitely be worth it.

Dubai overlooks the Persian Gulf and its sprawling fishing grounds and extensive reefs. Here, there’s a fantastic variety of both eating fish and those you’ll simply target for the thrill of the battle. For anglers who haven’t fished this region before, there’ll be many new species to encounter and scratch off the bucket list.

That’s why, in this article, we’ll present some of the top species you’ll run into while fishing in Dubai. We’ll also cover a few ways to fish and when’s the best time to do so. So if you’re visiting this part of the United Arab Emirates, this is where you’ll find all the angling basics.

What kind of fish can you catch in Dubai?

The Persian Gulf is a vast body of water, with plenty of hiding places for fish and hunting grounds for anglers. The species you’ll get to reel in here are diverse, with each outing bringing something different. Here are just some of the most common game fish you’ll target in Dubai…


With sleek, torpedo-like bodies and two sets of razor-sharp teeth, Barracuda are natural-born predators. They’re ferocious fish, known for ambushing their prey with lightning speed. This makes Barracuda a valued target for anglers. They’ll strike your bait explosively and produce a brilliant display of power and agility while you fight them.

This photo was taken by Ruslan Haslan of Fishing in Dubai.

The different reefs scattered throughout the Persian Gulf are the perfect hunting grounds for Barracuda. It’s where they find their food and it’s where you’ll get the chance to trick them and reel them in. Barracuda bite best on live bait, though they’ll strike artificial lures, too. Also, they’re present in Dubai’s waters throughout the year, always ready for a battle.


While local anglers call them King Mackerel or Kingfish, the big, toothy fish swimming through the Persian Gulf are actually Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel. However, the Kingfish nickname these fish bear in Dubai is very fitting, seeing as they’re the largest species in their family. They reach sizes of over 1.5 meters and, when hooked, fight with serious power.

A bald man in a blue sleeveless shirt standing on a boat, holding a big King Mackerel he caught fishing in Dubai and smiling.
This photo was taken by Nabil Sadik of Abo Youssef Fishing Charter.

If you’re looking to get into a tussle with Kingfish, the best time to visit Dubai is between November and March. Most of the time, you’ll catch them by trolling spoons or lures. But when the conditions are right and you spot them near the surface, you can also cast at them. Either way, Kingfish are among the finest game fish in the Persian Gulf, and well-worth planning a visit over.


Where there are Kingfish, there must also be Queenfish, right? We joke, but Queenfish is another species you can encounter in the waters off Dubai. They’re big and feisty, capable of acrobatic jumps and surprisingly powerful runs. On light tackle, they’re an extremely entertaining adversary.

An angler on a charter fishing boat posing with a Queenfish he caught, with two other anglers partially visible behind him, as well as the ocean.
This photo was taken by Nikolche Jovanoski of Trophy Fishing.

Queenfish are abundant in the Persian Gulf. They share their best season with Kingfish, meaning you can reel in both fish from November through March. You can cast at them with surface lures and watch them strike aggressively. Or, if you have the know-how, you can also catch Queenfish on the fly.


The Persian Gulf is also home to several species of Trevally. If you’ve ever had the honor of battling them, then you’ll know just how energetic these fish are. They’re hardy and stubborn, willing to fight until the bitter end.

An angler in a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a neck buff holding a Golden Trevally towards the camera with one hand, with the open water behind him.
This photo was taken by Ruslan Haslan of Fishing in Dubai.

As we’ve already mentioned, there are different kinds of Trevally swimming about. Some of the species you’ll run into while fishing in Dubai include Bludger, Yellowspotted, Orangespotted, as well as Golden Trevally. These fish bite throughout the year in Dubai but the period between November and March once again offers the highest chance of reeling ‘them’em in.

And Many More!

Another seasonal visitor you can catch in Dubai is Cobia. They’re not an everyday sighting in these waters, but let’s be fair, Cobia are so unpredictable that there’s probably no place on earth where you can catch them consistently! Besides them, there are also different types of Grouper, Spangled Emperor, Pompano, Amberjack and even the occasional Tuna swimming about.

An angler wearing sunglasses and a hoodie, holding a big Amberjack reeled in while fishing in Dubai, with the center console of the boat he's on visible behind him.
This photo was taken by Ruslan Haslan of Fishing in Dubai.

So while Dubai does face competition from places such as Fujairah that have access to the Gulf of Oman, its waters still provide plenty of angling variety. You just have to figure out what fish you want to go for first.

Best Ways to Fish in Dubai

What’s going to determine the type of fish you end up catching in Dubai, in no small part, is how you approach its waters. There are different ways to get your line wet here, with each offering something unique. Take a look…

Charter Fishing

If you’re searching for the most effective way to get your hands on some fish in Dubai, charter fishing is for you. The reason is simple – there’s just no one that knows the water better than the captains that fish them every day. A pro guide will have their navigational charts dotted with all the fishing spots, taking you to places with a high certainty of catching fish.

A photo taken at sunset of a fishing rod being held over the side of a charter boat, with an angler holding a second rod visible behind.
This photo was taken by Mahmoud Saadeddine of Blue Marlin DBX.

In addition to their knowledge, charter captains will provide you with all the fishing equipment you need for the trip. This usually includes all the specialized rods and reels, paired with bait and lures that local fish love feasting on. So whether you’re looking to catch your next trophy or spend an enjoyable day on the water, Dubai’s fishing charters will cater to your every need.


We mentioned it earlier in the article – the bottom of the Persian Gulf plays host to numerous reefs and sunken wrecks. Also, it’s fairly shallow, with an average depth of about 50 meters. These two things combined make the waters off the coast of Dubai a special kind of playground for spearos.

An underwater photo of a man swimming away from the camera while holding a spear gun, with vegetation visible on the sea floor.

The reefs provide a habitat for various species you can shoot, including Mangrove Jack, Hamour Grouper, Amberjack, and even Kingfish. Since there are so many spots throughout the Gulf, you can easily hop between them if conditions seem less than ideal at your first spot. Much like with conventional fishing, you’ll want to pair up with a charter captain to go spearfishing in Dubai.

Kayak Fishing

Some guides also offer kayak fishing tours in Dubai. This is a cool way to get to know the inshore waters in this part of the world. You can fish the Dubai Creek running through the city, or head a little off the coast and fish around the World Islands. From the air, these are shaped like the Earth, with small sandy islands making up the different continents.

A sunset photo of an angler in a kayak, holding a lure on one of his two rods, with a silhouette of Burj Al Arab visible in the background.
This photo was taken by Basheer Al Salabi of SeaYou Watersports.

There’s a variety of fish you can reel in from a kayak in Dubai. These range from Kingfish and Barracuda to Hamour Grouper and other eating fish. There’s even a fish called Sultan Ibrahim that you can catch close to Dubai’s coasts. As with other kinds of fishing, pairing up with a licensed kayak guide will give you the best experience on this kind of adventure in Dubai.

Shore Fishing

Finally, there’s the option to simply set up and fish from the shores of Dubai. There are several piers, beaches, and bridges around the city that offer excellent coastline angling. These include Jumeirah Beach, as well as Al Maktoum and Al Gahroud Bridges, both of which have fishing piers nearby.

A photo of a man casting his fishing rod while ankle deep in clear, light blue waters on a white sandy beach.

The species you can expect to catch from the coast include Hamour Grouper, Trevally, Sultan Ibrahim, and more. The only caveat when it comes to shore fishing in Dubai is obtaining a license. We’ll elaborate more on that later in the article, but, in short, shore fishing is mostly reserved for Dubai citizens and residents.

When is the best time to go fishing in Dubai?

Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Kingfish Great Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great
Barracuda Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great
Queenfish Great Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great
Trevally Great Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great
Emperor Great Great Great Great Good Good Good Good Good Great Great Great
Hamour Grouper Great Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great
Cobia Great Great Good Good Good Weak Weak Weak Good Good Great Great

If you’ve been following so far, you can probably already guess when’s the best season to fish in Dubai. The action in this part of the Middle East starts heating up in November and stays solid all the way through May. However, many consider January, February, and March as the finest months to fish the Persian Gulf.

In the peak season, the fish you’ll catch in the water offshore from Dubai include Kingfish, Queenfish, various species of Trevally, Hammour Grouper, and Cobia. While fishing slows down once the first days of June arrive, it’s still possible to catch something if you visit Dubai during summer. Emperor and Barracuda are two fish that you’ll see biting throughout the year.

Dubai Fishing Rules and Regulations

An infographic image featuring the flag of United Arab Emirates along with text that says "Dubai Fishing Regulations What You Need to Know" against a dark blue background.

As you plan your trip, there’s one important thing you should know – you can’t fish solo in Dubai as a tourist. Fishing licenses for individuals are available only to citizens or residents of the city. Everyone else has to go through a licensed charter business.

So whether you want to go kayaking, spearfishing, or just rod fishing in Dubai, the first thing you should do is look for a guide. While this may disappoint prospective shore anglers, in other ways, it makes things a lot simpler. You won’t have to worry about fish size and bag limits, because your guide will make sure everything is above board.

Dubai: A Modern City with a Long Fishing Tradition

A sunset photo of Burj Al Arab and the Dubai skyline from the water, with red dust visible in the air.

Dubai was established in the 19th century, but the fishing and pearling activity in the area dates back hundreds of years earlier. Before the city became the luxurious wonder it is today, locals of the area were dependent on the Persian Gulf and the fish living in it. So while you’re out there reeling in your fish, remember that you’re taking part in something Dubai locals have been doing for centuries.

Have you ever been fishing in Dubai? What’s your favorite fish to target in the Persian Gulf? Hit the comment button and let us know!

The post Fishing in Dubai: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Marko
Title: Fishing in Dubai: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/dubai-fishing/
Published Date: Fri, 05 May 2023 08:15:05 +0000

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