There are no Great White Sharks in the Arabian Gulf Image Credit: WikiCommons

We’ve all seen Jaws, and at one time or another we’ve all had the lurking fear that the next dip into the sea could be our last. Well, the good news is that there are no Great White Sharks in the Arabian Gulf, and shark attacks in general are extremely rare.

However, there are some species that maybe aren’t quite as friendly as you’d like, so it’s important to know who’s who down there. There are over 30 different species of shark off the coast of the UAE, some are rare, some not so much. If you ever encounter a shark, like these fishermen did off the coast of Fujairah recently, then it's best to leave them alone.

Here’s our guide to 16 familiar species that are known to exist in the Arabian Gulf.

Sharks listed in size order, from biggest to smallest


1. Whale shark

Risk to humans Low Usually found Open waters offshore, rarely inshore Approximate length 9 metres


2. Tiger shark

Risk to humans Very high Usually found Deeper waters offshore, rarely inshore Approximate length 5.5 metres


3. Great hammerhead

Risk to humans Very high Usually found Tropical open waters and inshore Approximate length 3.5 metres


4. Sicklefin lemon shark

Risk to humans High Usually found Open and coastal waters Approximate length 3.5 metres


5. Sand tiger shark

Risk to humans Medium Usually found Coastal waters Approximate length 3 metres


6. Tawny nurse shark

Risk to humans Low Usually found Inshore, sandy flat seabed Approximate length 3 metres


7. Sandbar shark

Risk to humans Low Usually found Off coastal areas Approximate length 2.4 metres


8. Bull shark

Risk to humans High Usually found Coastal areas and near rivers Approximate length 2.25 metres


9. Pigeye shark

Risk to humans High Usually found Offshore in open waters Approximate length 2 metres


10. Zebra shark

Risk to humans Low Usually found Near coral reefs, near the sea bed Approximate length 2 metres


11. Blacktip reef shark

Risk to humans Medium Usually found Near coral reefs and around rocky headlands and islands Approximate length 2 metres


12. Grey reef shark

Risk to humans Medium Usually found Offshore reefs and also wrecks and other structures Approximate length 2 metres


13. Graceful shark

Risk to humans Medium Usually found Tropical coastal waters Approximate length 1.7 metres


14. Whitetip reef shark

Risk to humans Medium Usually found Coastal waters Approximate length 1.25 meters


15. Arabian carpetshark

Risk to humans Low Usually found Shallow coastal waters Approximate length 0.75 metres


16. Grey bamboo shark

Risk to humans Low Usually found Shallow coastal waters Approximate length 0.7 metres