A whale was reportedly spotted in the Dubai Harbour marina on Saturday, according to one man who spoke with Al Arabiya English after he witnessed the incident and posted a video of it online.
The large sea creature was first seen by a yacht crew, who alerted marina staff on Sunday morning.
The United Arab Emirates coastguard was reportedly called and worked to free the cetacean along with members of the UAE Dolphin Project.
The whale was still in the marina on Saturday, but was not spotted again on Monday.
“It’s so unique. We saw some dolphins when we came to pick up one of our latest yachts and crews’ dhows, but it's rare to see something like this in the marinas,” said Jonny Dodge, owner of My Ocean Company whose crew first spotted the whale.
Marina staff directed boat traffic to avoid the whale so that it didn’t get hurt while it was in the area, Dodge said.
Dodge, 39, who has been coming to Dubai for the last 15 years, uploaded a video clip of the sea creature to Instagram.
The clip was shared by Dubai’s Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum, who added a caption suggesting that the cetacean appears to be a Bryde’s whale.
“You just don't expect to see anything like that. It’s impressive to see it so up-close. I’d been to Oman before and seen whales in Oman, but when you’re in such close proximity to one, it’s incredible,” said Dodge.
Dodge added that the crown prince was eager to come and see the whale for himself after hearing about it.
Although rare, whale sightings in the Gulf region are not unheard of.
Bryde’s whales have been spotted several times in the Arabian Gulf in recent years.
In 2018, a dead Humpback whale also washed up on the shore of Asir, in southern Saudi Arabia.
Whales often enter the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea by swimming beside large ships, but then lose their way and cannot return to the wider ocean, according to Saudi environment officials.
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