Free Tap Water in Dubai from 2020 Onwards? Read Details Below

Free Tap Water in Dubai from 2020 Onwards? Read Details Below

Dubai tap water may be free in 2020. According to the Dubai Food Code, the city is set to become more environmentally friendly and this move may help

A new year comes with new beginnings for every sector of an economy. Be it food or entertainment, changes continuously take place in varying forms. Much in the same way, Dubai restaurants are set to unfold something different for 2020. All eateries will be required to offer free tap water, with landlords ensuring the quality of their tanks are up to the mark. This move comes after a revise in guidelines in the Dubai Food Code, which were unveiled on Monday. In order to be environmentally friendly, the project aims to reduce single-use plastics. While this will lead to improved training for food handlers as well, its push to convert people to drinking tap water is a new feature in the code.

“Whenever you go to restaurants or hotels, you will now be seeing drinking water regulations. If you want to have a cup of water, you will see you can get it from the tap or from the bottle and you just have to select which one,” said Amal Al Bedwawi, Head of the Drinking Water Control Unit at Dubai Municipality. “We are treating it as a new trend to protect the environment and reduce the use of single use plastics,” she added.

For starters, the drive will just be an advisory but hopes to become a part of the law. When asked whether restaurants would then have to offer tap water for free, Al Bedwawi stated, “There’s no study on this yet, but around the world it’s not being sold, so we’re not going to sell it here.” The success of this decision relies heavily on Dubai Municipality transforming the perception of tap water in peoples’ minds, in terms of hygiene, safety and cleanliness. “Water that comes from the tap is filtered anyway, tap water comes as drinking water,” she stated, adding, “But when it’s stored in tanks the risk is increasing, so we need to ensure restaurants are washing tanks used for tap water and this is the problem we are trying to control.”

Bedwawi noted the water body is currently building different systems to ensure water quality is continuously and routinely tested even in private villas and not only government controlled establishments. “Along with that all villa owners, say you rent, the owner should be testing the water as part of the contract. At the moment this is not in your [tenancy] contract, but in the future, by law, it has to be there.” The Dubai International Food Safety Conference is a three-day event that kicked off on Monday under the theme of global partnerships.

Statements from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) previously stated, “Our water quality across the generation, transmission and distribution networks meets the highest health and safety standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is the responsibility of the customer or owner and the maintenance companies to carry out regular maintenance of the internal networks and water tanks after the metre and to ensure that health and safety standards are met.” Habiba Al Marashi, chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) earlier said, “It is important we tackle the misconception that tap water is not fit for human consumption. We need to educate people and build awareness in order to reduce reliance on bottled water.”

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