A Dubai resident got a shock when a late night stroll along the beach turned into an encounter with a snake.
Ken Mack, from Scotland, and his wife Victoria, were taking a walk on Al Sufouh beach when they found the creature writhing in the sand.
He estimated that it was more than a metre long.
“We picked it up by the tail and threw it back into the water,” said Mr Mack, a business mentor and investor.
“It tried to snap at us though when we lifted it. The night could have ended very badly for me if it had bit me.
“I walk along there quite regularly and never saw anything like that before.”
Mr Mack said his 7-year-old son was with them on Friday night and it was he who discovered the snake.
“He came running back to us and said ‘look, look I’ve found a big snake’,” said Mr Mack, 37.
“We went to look at it and were immediately taken aback by how huge it was.”
He said his wife decided they should pick it up to throw it back into the water.
“She lifted it by the tail and flung it back in the water,” he said.
He discovered several fish washed up on the beach beside the snake.
“It was so strange to see the fish and the snake on the sand,” he said.
“It was dry when I picked it up and we put it around a stick to keep it away from being able to reach our bodies.”
Dinesh Ramachandran, Dubai manager at pest control firm Rentokil, said the creature was mostly likely an Arabian Gulf sea snake.
“It is very rare to find one on a beach, especially in Dubai, but you need to be extremely careful around them as they are highly venomous,” he said.
“Thankfully their mouths are really small so it’s unlikely they will be able to do too much damage but, at the same time, it’s not a chance you really want to take.”
Mr Ramachandran urged anyone who finds one of the snakes on a beach, or anywhere else, to keep a safe distance and immediately report it to the authorities.
“It’s important not to disturb them as they are often shy and won’t attack unless provoked,” he said.
“If you are unlucky enough to be bitten by one it is vital you phone for an ambulance straight away to get treated.”
He said the snake was likely washed ashore by an unusually strong tide.