(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Swimmers will not be allowed on the Al Bahar beach at Abu Dhabi corniche until Friday after a whale shark was spotted in the capital's waters.
The management of the newly-opened leisure destination in Abu Dhabi has closed the beach following an announcement by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) that an endangered whale shark was spotted in the Kasr Al Amwaj area of the emirate.
"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," read a statement on the Facebook page of Al Bahar beach.
The beach will reopen for swimming this Friday, according to the management.
The EAD has assured residents that the whale shark is not harmful.
"EAD is monitoring a whale shark that has been spotted in Kasr Al Amwaj area in Abu Dhabi," tweeted the agency.
"If you come across a whale shark, we urge you to not approach it and for boat drivers to keep a safe distance."
Public can alert EAD on 800555 if they sight the shark.
Considered endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of endangered species, whale sharks appear occasionally in the marinas and waterways of Abu Dhabi during this time of year," said EAD in its tweet.
The whale shark is a slow-moving, filter-feeding carpet shark. They feed almost exclusively on plankton and small fish.
Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.