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The whale sharks of Qatar

Qatar is constant to the largest aggregations of hundreds of whale sharks in the country's northeast coast every year, creating a fascinating sight to behold. 

Qatar is home to one of the largest whale sharks aggregations in the entire world. With its appearance and the confusing name, it often is puzzling whether these endangered gentle giants are a breed of whales or sharks. Although whale sharks share a lot of similarities with whales, it belongs to the shark family. Let's dive into  a few fascinating facts:

  • Scientifically identified as Rhincodon Typus, the whale sharks can grow up to 20 meters in length, parallel to the stretch of a large city bus. 
  • While the fish matures like a whale and expels water through its gills, it also exhibits a few characteristics of sharks, such as their skeleton system being made of cartilages (not bones), 
  • The female species grow larger than the male species. 
  • Whale sharks are known for their distinctly dotted patterns and camouflaging appearances, making the migratory phenomenon a must-witness marine activity when in Qatar. 
The Whale Sharks of Qatar

Regardless of the riveting moniker, whale sharks impose no threat to humans, whether spectators or divers. They meander in warm and shallow sea waters of the Northern coasts of Qatar, located about 145 kilometres afar the shores of the capital city, Doha. Whale sharks appear in schools of over 100-150 fishes at a time. 

Whale shark eating habits

  • Whale sharks are filter feeders
  • They have about 3000 tiny teeth
  • They don't use teeth to eat
  • They feed on fish eggs and tiny plankton

Animal facts

  • Lifespan

    60 to 100 years

  • Length

    Up to 18 m

  • Diet


  • Speed

    5 km/h

The journey out to the waters also offers sighting bottlenose and spinner dolphins that are playful and fun. 

Embark on a thrilling adventure!

Discover Qatar offers attractive itineraries for all wildlife enthusiasts who want to admire these fascinating creatures.

The Whale Sharks of Qatar

The Daily Explorer itinerary

Join an adventurous and educational one-day Whale Shark voyage aboard a high speed catamaran.

  • Max 25 guests
  • Sailing crew and Whale Shark expert
  • Whale Shark watch from boat and viewing deck
  • Interactive Whale Shark lecture
  • Optional return private transfers from hotel
  • Breakfast, sandwich buffet lunch and snacks
  • Selected non-alcoholic beverages
  • Wi-Fi on-board
The Whale Sharks of Qatar

The Private Charter itinerary

Witness the largest fish in the sea in absolute luxury by chartering your own private vessel.

  • Max 20 guests
  • Sailing crew and Whale Shark expert
  • See the Whale Sharks from the yacht
  • Glass bottomed kayaks available
  • Interactive Whale Shark lecture
  • Return transfers from hotel included
  • Indulgent breakfast, 3-course lunch and snacks
  • Selected non-alcoholic beverages
  • Wi-Fi on-board

What is included

  • All necessary transfers

  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks

  • Selected non-alcoholic beverages

  • Wi-fi onboard

  • Whale Shark expert guide

For more information on the itinerary (price, boat type and more) please visit Discover Qatar.


  • The Whale Sharks of Qatar
  • The Whale Sharks of Qatar

What do wildlife enthusiasts say?

Seeing these incredible creatures was a truly awesome experience! An event to remember! 

The Whale Sharks of Qatar
Morey Nature aficionado

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The Whale Sharks of Qatar