Dubai cuts plastic bottle use by over 3.5 million in six months

The Dubai Can movement has seen 46 water fountains installed across the emirate


A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 7 Sep 2022, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Sep 2022, 2:15 PM

An equivalent of more than 3.5 million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles had been cut from the emirate's usual consumption — just six months since the Dubai Can sustainability movement was launched, it was announced on Wednesday.

The initiative's success was measured based on the volume of water consumed from the Dubai Can fountains installed across the city.

Since Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, introduced the movement in February, 46 fountains have been set up in various locations, including public parks, beaches and tourist attractions.

The fountains are now in neighbourhoods like Kite Beach, Dubai Marina, JLT, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Harbour, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Festival City, Khawaneej, and others.

“We could not be prouder of this achievement. While encouraging residents and visitors to commit to a paradigm shift in their lifestyles, this initiative has a larger goal: creating a city that is the world’s most visited and the best place to live and work in, as envisaged by the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan," said Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development and Investments Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

The movement has extended far beyond the fountains themselves, with people across the city encouraged to purchase refillable bottles.

Many private companies have also invested in water fountains for their offices to discourage employees from using single-use plastics.

Moreover, the initiative has encouraged UAE residents to make behavioural changes and inspired conscious consumerism to achieve a more sustainable planet.

As the momentum for sustainability measures accelerated, a ban on all single-use plastic bags came into effect on June 1 as part of a more comprehensive UAE initiative to protect the environment and reduce waste.


The Dubai Can initiative aims to bring about a mindset change in how the city’s residents and visitors view sustainability, starting the transformation at the individual level and then progressing to the level of community, city, nation, and beyond.

The movement encourages creative ways of altering our consumption behaviour, one single-use plastic bottle at a time.

The Dubai Can initiative aims to continue generating positive environmental change and inspiring the city’s residents, tourists and corporations to make mindful and environmentally friendly choices.

Many valued partners and stakeholders from the business and tourism sectors have pledged to instal a fountain.

Dubai Can is well on track to meet the pledge of installing more than 50 fountains across the city by December 2022. The initiative’s efforts feed into Dubai’s commitment to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, enhancing the city’s reputation as a global liveability hub, and ensuring that people across the city have the opportunity to ‘refill for life’.

Over the last six months, the Dubai Can initiative has been supported by over 750 stakeholders, sponsors and partners from both the government and private sector, including Accor, Adventure HQ, Al Serkal, Dell Technologies, Atlantis, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai International Financial Centre, Dollar Car Rental, Dubai Islamic Bank, DMCC, Dubai Holding, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Municipality, Dubai World Trade Centre, Electrolux, Emirates NBD, Emaar, Etisalat, Goumbook, Gulf Marketing Group, Grundfos, Huawei, Majid Al Futtaim, Merex Investment, Nakheel, Pepsico, PWC, Radisson, Roads & Transport Authority, Shamal, Talabat; and media partner Arabian Radio Network.


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