Dubai Can initiative: Is it safe to drink tap water in UAE?

‘Dubai Can’ initiative announced to encourage residents to abandon single-use plastic bottles for refillable ones.


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Tue 15 Feb 2022, 2:40 PM

Drinking tap water in the UAE is safer than using plastic water bottles, officials said on Tuesday.

This came after Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the ‘Dubai Can’ initiative to encourage residents to abandon single-use plastic bottles for refillable ones.

Officials stressed that tap water across the UAE is drinkable. They also urged people to install additional filters at home to ensure the water is not affected by aging pipes or tanks.

"The water goes through the process of desalination (removing any ­impurities) before it reaches your taps,” an official said.

As part of the initiative, residents and citizens of Dubai are encouraged to refill their own bottles using over 30 stations installed across the emirates. Officials said more stations are expected to be installed in the future.

The water at refill stations, officials confirmed, is “very similar” to the water provided from local and branded water bottles. The stations use filters to provide safe and free drinking water available for all.

"The process of desalination removes unhealthy impurities from water at its source, with another layer of filtration at the refill station,” a statement read.

People can locate water stations installed across Dubai on a map shared on the initiative’s website


The initiative comes as part of Dubai’s efforts to reduce the use of plastic and promote sustainability. Recently, Dubai announced the introduction of a 25 fils charge on single-use plastic bags from July 1.

According to figures, plastic straws take around 200 years to decompose, and water bottles and coffee pods could take 450-500 years.

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