|11 November, 2019

Soon, Dubai restaurants to offer free tap water

Tap water can be consumed directly at homes if tanks are clean and water sampling is done regularly

Image used for illustrative purpose. Water drips from a faucet in a private home in this photo illustration taken in Bordeaux, France, March 19, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Water drips from a faucet in a private home in this photo illustration taken in Bordeaux, France, March 19, 2019.

Reuters/Regis Duvignau

Hotels and restaurants in Dubai will have to offer customers filtered tap water as an alternative to bottled water, starting next year. The new regulations, set in the Dubai Food Code 2020, which will be released by Dubai Municipality next year, aims to cut down on single-use plastics.

Amal Albedwawi, head of the drinking water control unit at Dubai Municipality, told media at the 13th Dubai International Food Safety Conference on Monday: "Whenever you visit a hotel or restaurant, you can select whether to have filtered tap water or bottled water."

Launched in 2013, this is the first time tap water regulations will be included in the Dubai Food Code. She explained, "The tap water provided by Dewa is fit for direct consumption any way. However, people can consume water directly from the tap if the building tanks are clean and if water sampling has been according to drinking water parameters set by Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA)."

She added, "If tanks are regularly maintained, people can drink tap water any way. There must be no broken pipes, no rust in the tank, etc."

"We are currently building different systems to ensure water quality is routinely tested in residential and commercial properties. Ideally, the landlord should be testing the water as part of the contract," she explained.

The implementation of tap water service to customers in hotel and restaurant menus is officially not part of federal law and has been launched by DM as an initiative which they hope will catch on. Speaking to Khaleej Times at the sidelines of the conference, Albedwawi said, "For the first two years, there will be no penalties levied on the eateries either. We are promoting it as an initiative."

The initiative will be launched with the launch of the Dubai Food Code by 2020. "It is already a practice in some restaurants and hotels. We are hoping it will catch on," added Albedwawi.

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