Can I drink tap water in Dubai?

Dubai is a busy metropolitan city with a developed healthcare system, high education standards, political stability, and millions of tourists visiting every year. How about the tap water? Does it also meet the highest standards?

Many tourists visiting Dubai would like to know whether they can drink tap water in Dubai. Is the tap water safe or should I buy bottled water? So let me explain how it is with tap water in Dubai.

Can I Drink Tap Water In Dubai?


Glass of water with ice

Is tap water in Dubai safe to drink?

According to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the water is safe to drink as it complies with UAE and WHO’s GSO 149 Water standards.

The official statement from DEWA says: “Our water quality across generation, transmission, and distribution networks meets the highest health and safety standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

They also said: “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 meter and to ensure that health and safety standards are met.”

What does it mean? Basically, the owners of residential buildings or hotels need to make sure that there is regular maintenance and cleaning of the tanks and pipes where the water is stored and coming through. Otherwise, the pipes can cause corrosion and pollute the water.

Therefore, if you know that the maintenance and cleaning of the pipes and tanks are carried on on regular basis, the water is safe to drink.

Some people use filters in their households to be sure of safe water. Alternatively, the water can be boiled before drinking.

I personally always boil the water for tea and coffee in Dubai and I have never had any problems. For direct drinking, I used bottled water. When you are coming as a tourist I recommend the same.


Where does tap water in Dubai come from?

The tap water in Dubai and UAE comes from groundwater, however, it is only 1%. The rest comes from the sea. The UAE uses the best factories to desalinate seawater.

The seawater is pumped from the Gulf, which is then passed to DEWA Jebel Ali Desalination Plant which is the largest plant in the world.


Is using filters necessary?

As mentioned above, some residential people use filters in their households instead of bottled water to make sure they drink clean water. There are several different kinds of filters and companies that people can choose from and in different price ranges.

Nowadays it is becoming more popular to use filtered tap water over bottled water. It is more practical for people as they have clean drinkable water anytime, and they don’t have to carry heavy bottles from the stores.

It is also becoming an advisable practice to eliminate plastic bottles in order to save the environment.

Not only people in households but also hotels and restaurants following Dubai’s initiatives to use filtered water over the water in plastic bottles.

Part of this initiative are stations installed throughout the city with drinking water where residents can refill their own bottles.


Taste of tap water in Dubai

Many people do not drink tap water in Dubai and rather buy bottled water because they claim that it doesn’t taste good. However, when proper filters are used, the taste of the tap water is the same as the bottled water.

By filtering the tap water you will get clean and tasty water, which will decrease not only plastic waste but also your expenses for buying bottled water.


Water from a plastic bottle is poured into a glass

How about bottled water?

Many people find it safer and easier to buy bottled water from supermarkets. However, is bottled water really safer than tap water? There is no clear answer to that as plastic bottles can contain microplastics and BPA.

Also, when you are buying bottled water in big quantities, you should think about the environment. Dubai is still behind with recycling waste.

However, Dubai authorities trying to raise awareness among people to shift from bottled water to filtered tap water. There are initiatives raised with several sustainable development projects launched in the whole UAE.


Conclusion-Can I drink tap water in Dubai?

Coming to Dubai as a tourist, you can drink tap water after boiling it for your tea and coffee. You can also use it when offered in restaurants that already follow the UAE initiative and use filters for their tap water. Other than that, it is better to drink bottled water.

When you are a resident of Dubai, it is advised to use filters for your tap water, rather than buy bottled water. It is more practical, cheaper, hustle free and you are saving the environment too.

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