Whale sharks were spotted in Abu Thama reef, in the northern part of Bahrain, with a video of the creature going viral on social media.
A Bahraini sailor can be heard in the video egging on his friend to jump into the water to play with the creatures. He declined to do so.
Whale sharks are usually found in warm waters, making the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman suitable habitats.
They feed on plankton and other small sea creatures and typically grow up to eight metres long, making them the world's largest fish.
Divers and swimmers are sometimes able to get close to the sharks.
But they have been fished quite heavily, with the meat eaten in some parts of the world and the fins also considered valuable.
The whale shark is endangered, but illegal fishing continues in some places.