Abu Dhabi beach closed after rare whale shark spotting

Officials assure residents it is not harmful but urge us to stay clear

Whale shark abu dhabi, Al bahar, Abu dhabi corniche
A'l Bahar Abu Dhabi/Facebook

An Abu Dhabi beach has been closed to swimmers as a whale shark basks in its waters.

Sun seekers are urged to avoid A'l Bahar beach at the Corniche for the time being after the endangered whale shark was spotted nearby.

A statement on the Facebook page of Al Bahar beach read: "A whale shark has been spotted by Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi in the Kasr Al Amwaj area.

“While they're quite safe creatures, the EAD still sent out a beach warning to steer clear of the waters for health and safety reasons.”

The beach is expected to be open again on Friday, just in time for a mega live music festival this weekend.

The EAD has moved to assure residents that the visitor is not harmful.

They tweeted: "If you come across a whale shark, we urge you to not approach it and for boat drivers to keep a safe distance."

Read more: Best things to do in Abu Dhabi this weekend

It's not the first time a whale shark has been spotted in Abu Dhabi this year.

One was seen swimming in the Khor Al Maqta area in March.

Whale sharks were designated as an endangered species in 2016, meaning they are considered vulnerable to extinction as numbers have halved in the past 75 years.

They are usually found in warm temperate and tropical waters and are thought to be harmless to humans.

They often grow to 40 feet in length and can weigh around 11 tonnes.

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