A rare sighting of Eagle rays in the usually busy Dubai Marina. There has been a spate of unusual marine wildlife sightings in Emirati waters while human activity has been curtailed by the coronavirus outbreak.
DJ Lady Tom
Marine conservationist group Azraq, based in Dubai, says turtles are benefiting from quiet beaches and are nesting in larger numbers than in previous years. Pictured, a hawksbill turtle is released back into the ocean after having an injury treated by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project.
Dubai Turtle Rehab Project
Blacktip reef sharks have also been sighted in large numbers. Azraq founder Natalie Banks believes that reduced boating and pollution is drawing wildlife into previously human-dominated areas.
GREGORY BOISSY/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Some of the largest pods of dolphins ever seen in the region have also been spotted.
Getty Images/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Banks hopes that an enduring benefit of this period will be the greater awareness and interest in the UAE's marine wildlife. Not always known as a hotspot for biodiversity, Banks points out the country is blessed with an abundance of charismatic species such as this whale shark, recently spotted in Fujairah.
Humad Al Zaabi
The UAE is also home to one of the world's largest populations of dugongs -- or "sea cows" -- which has rebounded in recent years with the aid of a fishing net ban.