Fishing and Conservation Regulations

At Desert Islands, we take pride in continuing the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s tireless efforts to preserve the area’s stunning natural environment.

Help Continue Sheikh Zayed’s Legacy

We are all responsible, both visitors and staff, for continuing Sheikh Zayed’s important work. As part of this duty, please ensure you familiarise yourself with the below fishing and conservation rules in accordance with UAE Federal Law.

It is prohibited to:

  • Fish within 3 nautical miles of any island within the UAE
  • Fish for or capture whales, dugongs, dolphins and other marine mammals of all species and sizes, or to extract oysters, sponges and corals.
  • Anchor and run fishing boats in marine reserves, and fish in spawning, hatching and nursery grounds, within three nautical miles of any UAE island. It is also prohibited to use fishing guns whilst diving.
  • Transport or trade any animals on the island, alive or dead, or to damage birds’ nests/destroy their eggs.
  • Capture sea turtles of all species, sizes and ages, or to collect their eggs/tamper with their habitat and nesting beaches.
  • Undertake any activity that damages the quantity or quality of flora.
  • Hunt and kill birds, or terrestrial/marine animals.
  • Hunt, capture and trade wild animals, birds, and reptiles within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi without permission from the relevant authority.

Any person violating these laws shall be subjected to imprisonment and fines. Fishing boats, equipment and captured animals will also be confiscated.


The first wildlife breeding programmes on Sir Bani Yas Island were introduced in 1971. In 2009 more than 10,000 animals were re-introduced onto the mainland, as part of a programme with Abu Dhabi Environment Agency.

Sir Bani Yas Island.
You explore it.
We conserve it.