Dubai: A whale shark measuring a reported six metres long was sighted in Dubai Marina on Thursday afternoon.

The whale shark spotted in Dubai Marina on Thursday afternoon. Picture: Twitter

The unexpected tourist created a stir in the Marina, with scores of passers-by stopping to take photographs and videos to publish on social media accounts.

One social media user even created a Twitter account for the shark itself.

It is not the first time that a shark has been spotted in the UAE’s waters

August 28, 2008: A four-metre whale shark was found near Jebel Ali and was taken the aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm. This shark was released back into the sea in 2010.

May 26, 2007: A shark was sighted near the rocks at Al Mamzar beach.

February 7, 2007: A four-metre long whale shark was seen at Port Zayed in Abu Dhabi.

June 25, 2006: Passers-by spotted a five-metre long whale shark in Dubai Marina.

July 15, 2005: More than a thousand bystanders gathered at Dubai Marina to witness a stray whale shark.

March 3, 2004: A fisherman caught a three-metre long shark off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, which was later sold to one of Dubai's hotels.

August 16, 2003: An injured three-metre whale shark strayed into Dubai Creek and was rescued by Dubai Police.

January 15, 2003: A fisherman caught a six-metre shark in Ras Al Khaimah. Its exact species wasn’t confirmed.

Whale sharks are harmless sea-creatures that filter-feed plankton and other small fish. They are typically found in warm, shallow waters, making the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman suitable habitats. They make for common encounters for divers off the Omani coast.

Typically growing up to eight metres long, the biggest whale shark recorded measured 12.6 metres long and weighed a hefty 21.5 tonnes.