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By No owner — last modified Dec 22, 2016 10:41 PM

 United Arab Emirates - Profile

Facts

  • The UAE is a federation of seven independent states, with coastlines on the Arabian Gulf (aka Persian Gulf) and the Gulf of Oman. Abu Dhabi is the federal capital. Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwain are known as the Northern States. The interior is mainly desert; most of the 9 million inhabitants live along the coast or in inland oases.
  • Cruising opportunities in this area are very limited due to the difficulties of sailing into
    the Arabian Gulf via the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, however a small number of foreign yachts venture into the area every year.
  • The piracy issues prevalent in 2011 have significantly reduced. The Gulf of Oman and sailing area from Muscat Oman, around the beautiful Musandam Peninsular and into the Arabian Gulf, are quite safe. Iran remains a no-go area, so any passage plan should stay well inside Oman and UAE territorial waters.
  • Sailing as a sport or leisure activity is growing in popularity, largely as a result of a push to get international sailing events to the country, such as the Volvo Ocean Race. This has resulted in an increase in the number of locally owned yachts (although still mainly power boats).
  • Generally marina facilities are of a very high standard with a large expatriate Indian workforce which means that major repairs can be done very cost effectively. The cost of labour is cheap and the work, if properly supervised, can be done to a high standard. It is best to ask around the local sailing community for recommendations as to where to get work done and to allow for sufficient time, as specialist parts may need to be imported, for which a 5% duty fee will apply.
  • Ease of clearance depends on the preferred emirate port of arrival. Generally allow 1-2 days.
  • Fuel is subsidised so petrol and diesel are all very cheap.
  • There are a number of marinas; in Ras Al Khaimah, near the border with Oman, then in Dubai, at the Dubai Golf and Yacht Club. About 3 miles west of the town is the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club and in the city centre is the Dubai International Marine Club and Jumeirah Palm. In Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Palace Marina is right on the ocean and easily accessible, and also suitable for very large yachts. The Yas Marina is 12 nautical miles via an inland channel in the heart of Yas Island and inside the Grand Prix Formula One circuit. There are also other options. All marina’s are conveniently located near hotels, with restaurants, bars and supermarkets.

Security

The piracy issues prevalent in 2011 have significantly reduced. The Gulf of Oman and sailing area from Muscat Oman, around the beautiful Musandam Peninsular and into the Arabian Gulf, are quite safe. Iran remains a no-go area, so any passage plan should stay well inside Oman and UAE territorial waters.

It is strongly advised that advice be sought on the current situation in this area before planning a visit.

Also check the UK FO website

Last updated December 2016.

Weather

June to September is the hottest, dry period of the year; October to May being more pleasant.

United Arab Emirates.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

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andreatithecott
andreatithecott says:
Dec 22, 2016 08:40 AM

My husband and I are based in UAE and keep our yacht here. We sailed the boat over from Singapore in January 2015 clearing into Abu Dhabi. Customs and immigration clearance was quite strait forward however, ensure there are no Iranian stamps on the passport and no weapons, drugs etc on the boat. As a foreign flag vessel current UAE regulations allow a period of 21 days grace and sailing in territorial waters. Then the vessel needs to have a UAE Navigation Permit, which lasts one year and must be renewed each year. Boats being imported into the UAE must pay import duty on the vessel at 5%. Note - duty at 5% now applies on all sailing equipment bought for boats in the country, whether they are locally registered or foreign registered. The arrangements for sailing from one emirate to another differ slightly. In Dubai for example, you need an approval to sail to other Emirates, but not from Abu Dhabi. The actual sailing bit is very safe. Beware sailing too close to Iranian waters and straying into their territory as this will result in being arrested. (Andrea December 2016)

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