Qatar is home to wonderful and mesmerizing marine life. This peninsula is surrounded by glimmering salt water that houses hundreds of marine species, including the endangered whale sharks.
Whale sharks have been spotted in Qatar for many years. You would notice that Qatar treasures these ocean giants as they closely monitor them throughout the seasons.
In this fascinating article, take a deep dive with the ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team as you learn more about whale sharks in Qatar!
Whale sharks are the world's largest living fish, growing up to 20 meters - almost the same length as a large city bus. Whale sharks have a distinct dotted pattern that naturally blends with the sea, making their swim a dazzling sight.
Whale sharks are confused with being a breed of either whales or sharks, hence the name. Although they share more similar traits with whales, whale sharks are classified as sharks.
In Qatar, whale sharks pool together in schools of over 100-150 fish at a time on the Northern coasts of the country, located about 145 kilometres from the shores of Doha. About 600 whale sharks have been recorded in Qatar and are mostly found here from April to September.
It is said that whale sharks roam Qatar's waters during these months to feed close to the surface on mackerel and tuna eggs - a delicacy to the whale sharks! Known to be solitary animals, whale sharks generally spend their time separately but will gather at foraging areas. Whale sharks in Qatar are observed and studied in a sanctuary in the Al Shaheen region.
The area where these fish roam was once closed to the public; it wasn't until recently that it opened for public sightings through Discover Qatar's "Whale Sharks in Qatar" tours.
RELATED: Whale Sharks tour in Qatar now open for online booking
Discover Qatar and Qatar Airways Holidays have recently launched their "Whale Sharks in Qatar" tour packages for those interested in seeing the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. There are two options: the Daily Explorer and Private Charter.
The Daily Explorer allows guests to watch the whale sharks from the boat and view the deck with a maximum capacity of 25 guests. With a sailing crew and whale shark expert on board, guests will also have an interactive Whale Shark lecture. Breakfast, sandwich buffet lunch and snacks are also included in the package.
View the whale sharks in your own private space! With a maximum capacity of 20 guests, this private charter also provides glass-bottomed kayaks that guests can use. Guests will also feast on breakfast, 3-course lunch, and snacks.
Qatar Airways Holidays has its own package for whale shark tours in Qatar, which offers return flight tickets with Qatar Airways, a chance to stay in one of Qatar's luxurious hotels, and more!
Sources: Visit Qatar, Discover Qatar, Qatar America Institute for Culture
Have you seen a whale shark before? Would you want to visit the whale sharks in Qatar? Let us know in the comments below! Do share this article - it keeps us going!
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