Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi is the competent authority, which provides licences for fishing within the regional water of the emirate. The agency provides a number of fishing licensing services, including:
Commercial fishing licences
Commercial fishing licences are issued to professional fishermen in Abu Dhabi. To get this service, the following conditions the applicant:
Must be a UAE citizen and registered with Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCaE)
must have a fishing boat registered by the MoCCaE
must have good conduct and behaviour
must be at least 18 years old
must comply with decisions issued by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and use allowed fishing equipment.
Hadhra fishing licence
Hadhra is a traditional fishing method used in shallow coastal areas. This licence is issued to traditional UAE fishers.
Fishing net permit (Al Ghazal)
This permit is issued to fishermen who own a speedboat and hold a commercial fishing licence. Net fishing is permitted in the waters of Abu Dhabi except for the areas banned by Law No. 23 of 1999 on the Exploitation and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources in the UAE (PDF), and the related local decisions. This service is provided to owners of fishing boats only, not of big fishing vessels.
Weekly recreational fishing licence
The public can apply for this licence, which enables them to fish on the Abu Dhabi beaches. It is issued to UAE citizens, residents and tourists.
Annual recreational fishing licence
Holders of the annual recreational fishing licences are allowed to fish on the Abu Dhabi beaches. This licence is valid for one year and issued to citizens, residents and tourists.
A gargour is a cage-like fishing trap with an opening that allows the fish to swim inside without being able to escape. It targets deep-water fish such as the hammour, jesh and zuraidi. Gargour permits are issued for commercial fishers having big fishing launches (motor-engine powered dhow).
‘Bohoor’ signifies internal waters and the UAE’s regional waters within the Abu Dhabi emirate. This permit allows traditional fishers to practise fishing in these areas. It can be renewed every 4 years.
Dufara fishing permit
Dufara is a small fishing net used in shallow waters to catch fish such as the golden trevally, scaled queenfish and the yellowtail scad. This service requires the applicant to have a registered fishing boat.