FTA MOEI Federal Transport Authority approved courses for UAE Boat Captain Certificates for pleasure and commercial vessels, boat and yachts – Abu Dhabi – Dubia – Ras al Khaimaha – Fujairah – Ajman – Sharjah – Umm al Quwain

FTA Small Boat Driving License 12m ( UAE MOEI)

This is the 2 day course that is required to operate a small boat in the UAE.

The training and licence is authorised by the UAE Government, Federal Transport Authority (FTA) part of Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI).

This UAE government issued licence covers all areas of the UAE including:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Ras al Khaimah
  •  Sharjah
  • Fujairah
  • Dubai
  • Ajman
  • Umm al Quwain

Required Documentation

  • Passport copy
  • Visa copy
  • Emirates ID card copy
  • Your face photo (passport style)
  • FTA / MOEI Medical report OR UAE Car Driving Licence
  • Minimum age of the applicant is 16 years to receive a pleasure boat driving licence up to 12m.

Note: if the applicant holds a current UAE Car Driving  Licence – a medical report is not required


Part 1 – Theory

The first part consists of a one day THEORY which prepares you to start the  PRACTICAL day afloat on a boat.

The theory provides you with the knowledge to safely operate at sea and includes both safety and international collision avoidance regulations. Local (UAE) rules and conditions are also included.

We have an online learning system in various languages, so that you can study most of the theory on your smartphone or computer prior to the practical session. This prepares you to pass the theory part of the test, which is 50 multi choice questions.

Part 2 – Theory Exam

The exam is available in various languages.
Question examples are:

  • “What buoy is this and what action would you take”
  • “If you see a buoy flashing groups of two white lights, what action would you take”
  • “What sound signal would you make to indicate that you are altering course to starboard”
  • “What kind of vessel is indicated by these lights”
  • “If a person falls in the water from your boat, what are your immediate actions”
  • The pass mark is 70% 
  • The exam may be oral by prior approval and arrangement

Part 3 – Practical Session

The second session is the practical day which allows you to practice the skills, manoeuvres, man-over-board and boat handling that is required to safely command a vessel in the UAE waters.

This includes how to give a “Captain Safety Brief”, safety equipment on the boat and how to use it, safe navigation of your vessel.

You will be expected to demonstrate the following during the practical session

  • Carry out a Man Over Board (MOB) exercise and recover the dummy MOB
  • Safely berth the vessel (Parking)
  • Follow a course and plan a safe route.
  • Give a Safety Brief
  • Be in command of passengers and crew in a safe manner
  • Identify navigational marks and take appropriate action
  • Manoeuvre the vessel safely in a marina in confined spaces
  • Keep a sharp lookout and obey collision rules

Coastal Safety Institute – our company

Coastal Safety have been providing boat captain training in the UAE since 2003 and previously in the UK since 1992.

Standard training courses are available as well as specialist training for safety and rescue.

In the UAE, you must have a UAE issued boat driving licence issued by the FTA  – Federal Transport Authority for the appropriate size vessel and use (pleasure or commercial)

Coastal Safety offers all the boat and yacht training courses to satisfy the FTA regulations.

For more information and to enrol on the course please complete this form.

apply now




Who is the course for? This is required for residents and locals that wish to own / operate a boat in UAE waters. Crew may also do the course.
Minimum Age requirement 16 years
Length of course 2 days
Overview of course topics
  • launch and recovery
  • boat handling
  • close quarters handling
  • collision regulations
  • basic navigation
  • buoyage and compass
  • safety precautions
  • emergency situations
  • captain safety brief
  • basic engine checks
  • wind, tide & current
  • anchoring
  • securing to a buoy
  • man overboard
  • docking
  • safety equipment
What will I learn? Safety and boat handling skills.
Where is the course location?
·         Abu Dhabi

·         Dubai

·         Ras Al Khaimah

·         Your own location

What are the prerequisites? Emirates ID card is required to gain the UAE government licence.
How much does it cost? AED 2300 per person (inc UAE Licence fee)
What will I be able to do when I complete the course? You will be able to safely take a boat with passengers and crew to sea for short coastal trips.

More importantly you will have the skills and knowledge to safely bring everyone back to port safely should the weather change or when fog reduces visibility.

When do I get the licence? You will be given a “Certificate of Competition” which allows you to be issued with the UAE Government Licence from the UAE.

We make the government application on your behalf. The licence is normally issued within a working week.

Course Syllabus 


Fire Safety
First Aid
Heavy Weather
Passage Planning
Safety Brief
Prevent Environmental Pollution
Responsibilities of the Captain and OOW
Trailering a boat
Voyage planning


Rope-work knots splices
Towing & being towed
Vessel Construction
Set and drift
Stability and seating
Man Overboard (MOB)
 Berthing alongside
Leaving berth
Safety Equipment
Safety checks
Turning in small spaces
Mooring ropes
Travelling at speed
Holding fixed position Turning on warps
Closing down and securing

apply now




“Commercial Vessel”  Captains ONLY

If you are to operate a commercial vessel, taking fare paying passengers  or goods, then you will need to have a “commercial endorsed” licence.

This means that you must hold a current STCW “Basic Safety Training Certificate.” This is an additional 1 week course covering firefighting, first aid, safety regulations and sea survival. This certificate is valid for 5 years.

Requirements for UAE FTA Boat Driving license Commercial 12m

  • Copy of the passport, residence visa and Emirates ID
  • Copy of the medical fitness certificate
  • Copy of the Training certificate issued by one of the FTA Training institutes
  • Copy of the STCW BST Training course certificates from approved institute
Pleasure  Commercial
Up to 12m TRANS tick mark 16 TRANS tick mark 16
Up to 24m TRANS tick mark 16 TRANS tick mark 16



Obtaining a UAE boat captain license offers several advantages, especially if you’re passionate about boating and maritime activities.

Here are some key benefits:

Legal Compliance and Safety:
With a valid FTA boat captain license, you demonstrate your competence in handling a boat and understanding the rules and regulations governing watercraft operation. Proper regulation and licensing reduce the risk of accidents and mishaps on the water.

Professional Opportunities
As a FTA licenced boat captain with STCW Basic Safety Training Certificate, you can explore various career paths and business ventures related to boating and marine services in the UAE and get a good job.

Work opportunities can include:

  • Delivering boats by water can be an attractive solution, especially for larger vessels.
  • Chartering boats for tourists or private events.
  • Working as a tour guide or instructor for water-based activities.

Enhanced Skills and Knowledge:
The licencing process involves training and assessments, which improve your understanding of navigation, safety protocols, and emergency procedures.
You’ll gain practical experience and learn how to handle different situations on the water.

Access to UAE Waters:
UAE waterways and marinas require that you have a valid captain licence


Having a license allows you to explore a wider range of locations and access exclusive areas.

Credibility and Trust

  • Clients, passengers, and boat owners trust licensed captains more than unlicensed operators.
  • Your license serves as proof of your qualifications and expertise.
  • Many insurance policies require a licensed captain to operate vessels.
  • Being licensed reduces liability risks and ensures compliance with insurance terms.

Enjoy safe and enjoyable boating experiences!

Venture to sea and come back safely 

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