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Why do we love the water? The simple answer is that spending time in and around natural 'blue spaces' creates a substantial shift in our bodies and mind. As more people recognise and value their emotional sense of 'being well', there is an increased desire to go to places that support this ambition. People are habitually more active when close to water, promoting physical and mental health by enhancing mood and reducing stress and anxiety.

So, historically, and now, more than ever, travellers will choose locations that allow them to be near the sea, lakes, rivers or even artificial blue spaces. But how do you make the most of these spaces? How do you balance your wellbeing and a sense of relaxed 'slow travel' alongside the desire to immerse yourself culturally, enjoy exciting cuisine and have fun? What does this kind of travel experience look like?

The Blue Spaces of Dubai

Discerning travellers want to experience more than the average holiday when they go to a new place. A beach holiday? Yes, great, but what about sailing the ocean on a traditional boat while learning to catch and cook local fish? Or a beach picnic hosted by locals offering local cuisine that lasts all day?

At tabl. we spend our time curating the best ways for visitors to experience gastronomy through fascinating cultural, historical, and creative experiences.

But can you find 'blue space' benefits in the desert?

If you are in Dubai, you can, and we will show you that this destination offers so much more than high-end shopping.

Dubai – A Desert Oasis

Before it was the urban metropolis it is today, Dubai, located on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, was a tiny fishing and pearling settlement. It was founded in the 1800s by the Bani Yas tribe, who were known to be seafarers and traders and played a significant role in the region's history and development. The city began to focus on its tourism industry in the 1960s, building hotels and promoting itself as a destination for shopping and luxury travel. Considerable investment in the 1980s and 1990s helped spur economic growth and attract more visitors with iconic projects such as the Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah. Today, Dubai is a global city and a major tourist destination.

Dubai Lakes

Known as 'the land of manmade wonders,' while thankfully close to the sea, Dubai had no natural lakes or bodies of water within the city. So Al Qudra, a desert oasis, was created within the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. Designed to promote eco-tourism, it is spectacular and features four lakes, towering dunes and local fauna, making it a top recreation spot for residents and visitors of Dubai.

Al Marmoom is the largest reserve in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and home to many wildlife species, including a bird reserve with over 150 species. You will also find the famous Dubai Camel race track next to Al Marmoom Heritage Village.

Nearby Love Lake offers a superb location for walking, relaxing and exploring. You can tour a recreated Bedouin village, enjoy sumptuous cuisine with traditional music, and observe cultural rituals. Warsan Lake is located near International City and is home to exotic creatures, including rare birds, mammals and reptiles. Burj Khalifa Lake, located in central downtown, is a different offering in its urban setting but is a sight to behold as it is home to the world's largest choreographed fountain.

Dubai Beaches

Dubai offers some stunning beaches, perfect for swimming and sunbathing from October until May. Many boast fabulous beachfront dining experiences that allow you to unwind on the white sands next to the clear blue sea.

Kite Beach offers plenty of exciting cafés and gourmet food shacks, a skate park, a running track, paddle boarding, water skiing and kayaking.

La Mer beach has a beautiful coastline with palm-tree along the paths, famous street art and excellent coastal dining options from trendy fast food eateries to high-end restaurants. Sunset Beach is popular with surfers and those into fishing, and it is great for groups with BBQ areas and cafes and restaurants, offering great spots for sunset panoramas.

Plenty of tours and activities allow you to experience the relaxing water of the Arabian Gulf on, in or under the water.

Dubai's Marina

The Marina stretches for two miles along the beach and offers a promenade lined with palm trees where you can find elegant al fresco dining beside ornate fountains with sea views. Gastronauts will enjoy the array of fine dining restaurants that offer a huge range of international fare, including; Mexican, Asian, French, Thai and Lebanese.

While diversity is great for food lovers, do be sure to try traditional Emirati food. Dishes might typically include camel, goat milk, meat, fish, vegetables and different spices. Recipes include exceptional mouth-watering cuisines such as warm date and kale salad and fresh lobster kibbeh. It is delicious and healthy!

Dubai by Boat

From conventional excursion-style trips to traditional sailboats and private group charters, there is plenty of choice for travellers keen to take to the coastline of Dubai by boat. We recommend booking for early morning or evening to avoid the overbearing heat. Evening boat tours allow you to see the sunset and the city's attractions, highlighted by the night lights, and early morning trips offer a cool and fresh start.

Dubai speedboat experiences are big crowd-pleasers and offer guests a red-carpet treatment from start to finish. A ride dashing along the Arabian Gulf is undoubtedly one for making memories.

Travelling on a famous Dhow boat dinner cruise offers an enchanting experience, including a floating restaurant to enjoy traditional Emirati cuisine while taking in the calm ambience generated by the lapping of the water. Dhows are single or double-masted Arab sailing vessels with triangle sails. Extremely photogenic!

An evening dinner cruise in Dubai from the Marina is one of the best tour experiences. These beautiful luxury yachts have floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the bottom deck and an open-air top deck. The sunset views are breathtaking, along with the twinkling lights of the Cayan Tower, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Waterfall Bridge and the skyscrapers of the city skyline.

The dinner buffet offers a range of food, an engaging atmosphere and often live music and dancing.

You may prefer a charming historical coastal tour of the Arabian Gulf, passing both quaint islands and high-end architecture. A guided luxury yacht tour allows you to explore the sheer opulence of Dubai's urban and blue spaces. They offer the utmost comfort and style, with everything you need, including fresh cuisine prepared by the onboard chefs. You can fish, snorkel, swim or enjoy other water-based activities. Or just sit back and relax.

Waterside Dining in Dubai

Myriad dining options across Dubai allow you to enjoy the feeling of an oasis in the desert. Some popular choices are within hotels like the Al Qasr, Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa. The latter offers traditional Arabian cuisine with views of the Dubai Fountain and its spectacular nightly show each night; it's like an intricate dance performance with light and water! Beach clubs like the one at the Palm Jumeirah offer a more casual dining experience with sea views. Others are on the beach or the Marina. You really are spoilt for choice.

Experiencing the Blue Spaces of Dubai

Dubai offers a blend of blue spaces from dramatic fountains to specially created desert lakes and the glorious Gulf, allowing visitors to tailor their water 'therapy' to suit all moods and desires. A perfect getaway to beat those winter blues. Why not take a look at the variety of food and drink experiences in Dubai that are currently available with

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