Whale shark targets Emirates Palace

Eight-metre ocean beast sent packing by beach supervisor

The whale shark heard Emirates Palace was the hottest address in town. {Getty Images}
The whale shark heard Emirates Palace was the hottest address in town. {Getty Images}

A whale shark had to be aided back to deeper waters at Emirates Palace on Wednesday, according to The National.

The eight-metre fish was only 20 metres from unsuspecting guests of the luxiourious hotel when beach club supervisor Jonathan Papellaro and two members of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) guided it to deeper waters.

Despite it being the biggest fish in the world, bathers were calmed by the fact the whale shark feeds on plankton, not holiday makers.

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“When they jumped in with the whale shark, I saw it was not really harmful because they touched it,” Papellaro told the paper.

Andy Elliot, the beach club director at the Emirates Palace, told The National a smaller whale shark had come into the hotel’s bay last year.

Elliot said that in 2007 more than 200 manta rays had swum into the hotel’s bay. Dolphins also regularly visit the area.

“In some respects it makes you feel quite good that we have so much wildlife that is keen to come in,” Elliot added.

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