Can you drink tap water in Dubai? Is it Safe?

Wonders of modern architecture in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, taken from a helicopter high above the city.

Short answer: Yes, you can generally drink tap water in Dubai as it is considered safe for consumption. The government of Dubai and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) take extensive measures to ensure that the tap water meets international safety and quality standards.

Drinking water in the UAE | Time Out Dubai

What Dubai Government Says About Drinking Tap Water?

The Dubai Government, through the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), had consistently assured residents and visitors that the tap water in Dubai is safe to drink. DEWA has stringent regulations and quality control measures in place to ensure the safety and high quality of the tap water supplied in Dubai.

DEWA’s water treatment processes include desalination, filtration, and disinfection to remove impurities and ensure the water meets international safety standards. They conduct regular water quality testing to monitor and maintain water safety.

However, it’s essential to note that water quality can vary slightly in taste and odor due to the desalination process, which may be different from what some individuals are accustomed to. While tap water is considered safe, some people may choose to drink bottled water for personal preference.

How is Tap Water in Dubai Made Drinkable?

The water in Dubai is sourced from desalination plants and underground wells, which undergo thorough treatment and testing to ensure its safety. The water is treated to remove impurities and is chlorinated to eliminate harmful microorganisms.

However, some people, especially tourists who are not accustomed to the local water, may find the taste slightly different due to the desalination process. It’s also worth noting that water quality can vary in different parts of the city, so if you have any concerns, you can opt for bottled water, which is widely available and considered safe as well.

Should You Buy Water in Dubai or Drink Tap Water?

As discussed earlier in the article, it is completely safe to drink tap water in Dubai. However, many people have their own taste buds and they may not feel satisfied with the odor and taste of the tap water. So, they will prefer buying water from the general store instead of drinking tap water.

Can You Use Tap Water to Cook Food in Dubai?

Yes, many households use tap water in Dubai to cook their food and it is completely fine. DEWA does tests on a regular basis to ensure that the tap water being supplied to buildings is completely safe and of highest drinking water standards.

Many residents and businesses in Dubai regularly use tap water for cooking without any issues. However, if you have specific concerns about the taste or quality of tap water for cooking, you can also use bottled water for this purpose. Bottled water is widely available and can be used for cooking, drinking, and other culinary needs if you prefer it.

Do Restaurants Use Tap Water in Dubai to Cook Food?

Yes. Restaurants in Dubai use tap water to cook their food. There are a few reasons for that. A watered bottle in Dubai costs around 2.5 dirhams. If restaurants use watered bottle to cook their food they will have to increase the price of every food they cook by at least 4 dirhams. This will automatically impact all types of food and it is not feasible for many tourists and residents to afford.

How Much Are You Spending on Bottled Water Annually in Dubai?

On an average, you are spending close to 600 dirhams per individual on drinking bottled water. Why? Because a water bottle at Carrefour, Hyper markets, or even grocery stores (Baqalas) usually cost at least 2 dirhams per 1.5 liters. Now if people are drinking at least 360 liters of water per year (per person) then that would be around 600 dirhams per year spent only on water bottles.

Is tap water bad for your skin and hair in Dubai?

Tap water in Dubai is generally safe for use on your skin and hair. It undergoes extensive treatment and quality control to meet safety standards set by the Dubai government and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). However, there are a few factors to consider:

  1. Chlorine Content: Like in many places, tap water in Dubai may contain chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water. While chlorine is safe at the levels used for water treatment, some individuals with sensitive skin may experience dryness or irritation when using chlorinated water on their skin and hair. In such cases, you can consider using a shower filter to reduce chlorine exposure.
  2. Mineral Content: The mineral content in Dubai’s tap water, primarily due to desalination, can vary. Some people may find that the mineral-rich water affects the texture of their hair or skin. If you notice any issues, using moisturizers or hair conditioners can help.
  3. Personal Sensitivity: Individual sensitivity to water can vary. If you have specific concerns about the impact of tap water on your skin and hair, you can try using bottled water for rinsing after showering or for specific skincare routines.

Overall, while tap water in Dubai is safe for personal hygiene, individual preferences and sensitivities may vary. If you have concerns about the impact of tap water on your skin and hair, consider using skincare and haircare products that suit your needs or explore options like shower filters to address any specific issues.

DEWA Certifications for Tap Water

DEWA runs thousands of tests every year to ensure that tap water is completely safe for drinking in Dubai.

Common certifications and standards that DEWA typically aligns with for ensuring the quality of drinking tap water include:

  1. ISO 14001: This standard focuses on environmental management systems, which includes aspects related to water quality and resource management.
  2. ISO 9001: This certification pertains to quality management systems, which encompass processes related to water treatment and distribution.
  3. ISO/IEC 17025: This accreditation specifies the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. DEWA’s Central Laboratory, responsible for water quality testing, may hold this accreditation.
  4. World Health Organization (WHO) Standards: DEWA often aims to meet the water quality standards set by the WHO for safe drinking water.
  5. Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC): DEWA’s Central Laboratory may be accredited by EIAC for its testing and calibration services.
  6. Local and Federal Regulatory Approvals: DEWA’s adherence to local and federal regulations and standards in the UAE is essential to ensure the safety and quality of tap water.

Conclusion: Tap Water is Safe to Drink in Dubai

In summary, while tap water in Dubai is generally safe for drinking, if you have any doubts or preferences, you can choose to drink bottled water, which is readily accessible in hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets throughout the city.

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