Fishing in Abu Dhabi

Abandon the hustle of United Arab Emirates’ vibrant capital to immerse into the exciting world of fishing in the Arabian Gulf.
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About Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, lying on the banks of the Arabian Gulf (also known as Persian Gulf). The waters of the gulf along the emirate’s long coastline are rather shallow and flat, with numerous lagoons, mangroves, and big and small islands, on one of which lies the city of Aby Dhabi, the capital of the emirate and the whole United Arab Emirates, as well as the second largest city of the country. Many excellent fishing charters cater to the diverse population of Abu Dhabi, where many of the expats and locals alike enjoy various outdoor activities, including fishing. The best time for fishing in Abu Dhabi is the winter months, as in the summer heat the fish is becoming somewhat lethargic.

Fishing Types

Recreational fishing in Abu Dhabi is saltwater without exception and carried out from boats. The most common craft offered by captains appears to be a 30-35 ft. central console with powerful outboard motors. These boats can take you offshore in search of pelagic species, or explore nearshore areas for the smaller, but easier to catch fish, whichever you prefer.

Targeted Fish Species

The shallow, warm waters of Abu Dhabi offer abundant nutrition and cover, including artificial reefs, to literally hundreds of species of fish. Most anglers pursue the typical representative of those tropical fish that lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle near the bottom and around islands, wrecks, and reefs, such as groupers, trevally, cobia, and barracuda. Pelagic species like queenfish and king mackerel are also present in the catch, although to hook the biggest and most desirable fish like tuna, swordfish, and sailfish, one would normally have to sail quite a long way from the coast. Endemic species like spangled emperor and hamour are also among the highlights of fishing in Abu Dhabi.

Fishing Techniques

Fishing techniques used by captains for recreational fishing in Abu Dhabi depend on the species you’re after. Bottom loving fish such as groupers can be caught by bottom fishing, with baits or jigs. Spinning with light tackle is efficient for smaller species in inshore areas, and fly fishing and bowfishing are also offered. Larger pelagic in the deep sea are usually caught by heavy tackle trolling, towing baited hooks or artificial lures behind the boat where they can seduce the kingfish, tuna, or even bigger fish.