Can I drink the tap water in Dubai?

Tap water

Dubai’s geographical positioning makes it renowned for its arid climate and limited freshwater resources, making it a considerable challenge to provide potable water to its residents. So, have you ever wondered how we have uninterrupted access to tap water in our homes in Dubai?

Where does Dubai’s Water come from?

The Arabian Gulf is the main source of water for the UAE region. The UAE government has accomplished an impressive feat by sourcing water from the Arabian Gulf through a desalination process. This method involves treating seawater, removing the salt and other impurities to produce water that's fit for consumption. As per data made public by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), more than 98.8% of Dubai’s drinking water is acquired through the desalination process, wherein the remaining 1.2% comes from underground wells. As per a report published by the International Desalination Association, the UAE is second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of highest desalination capacity globally.

What are the Water Quality Concerns?

  • While the water that leaves the desalination plants is fairly clean and safe for consumption, the quality may deteriorate by the time it reaches your tap. One of the contributing factors to this potential drop in water quality is the condition of the water tanks that desalinated water is stored in before reaching your taps.

  • In the ideal scenario, cooking with desalinated tap water is perfectly safe. However, water quality can be compromised due to contaminants in water tanks that store desalinated water. The Dubai Municipality recommends getting water tanks cleaned at least once a year. In reality however, these tanks are not cleaned frequently enough, which could lead to a build-up of sediments, dirt, debris and potential bacterial contamination. There have also been instances where small insects have gotten trapped in water tanks, which further deplete water quality. In such a situation, using tap water for cooking, drinking and showering would not be suitable.

So, what’s the alternative for Dubai residents?

Bottled Water :

Bottled water is a convenient alternative if you are looking for an on-the-go clean water solution. It’s portable and is thus a healthy hydration option even when you are on the move. However, the use of plastic water bottles has led to widespread environmental concerns, since plastic bottles cannot be recycled. Ethical concerns have also been raised since manufacturers of bottled water sometimes resort to practices that affect the natural ecosystem and create water scarcity in certain regions.

RO Water Purifiers :

If you are looking for an environment-friendly potable water solution, then an RO water purifier may be the right choice for you. RO purifiers use reverse osmosis technology to get rid of contaminants like bacteria, heavy metals and sediments to ensure clean drinking water. There are mainly 2 kinds of RO water purifiers. Tankless RO purifiers and RO purifiers come with a storage tank.  

Tank RO Purifier :

In a tank RO purifier, once the filtration process is complete the water is stored in a small tank. One of the main advantages of this is that in case of a power cut off, you will still be able to access the purified water which is stored in the tank. On the other hand, if you are pressed for space, then this may not be a good option for you, since the storage tank can take up a considerable amount of space. Additionally, the stagnant water present in the tank can become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria if frequent maintenance and cleaning are not carried out. Compared to their tankless RO counterparts, they also have a much slower filtration speed.

Tankless water purifier :

In most cases, a tankless water purifier is considered as an upgrade from the conventional tank RO purifier. Not only does it operate much faster than the tank variant, it also fits snugly into any kitchen, making it a perfect fit for the aesthetically designed modern home. However, in terms of price, it does turn out to be more expensive than tank RO purifiers.

While both tank and tankless RO purifiers are sustainable options for potable water, initial investment may be more expensive than opting for packaged water or other water delivery options.

The future of tap water in Dubai

In February 2022, the government of Dubai, under the leadership of the Crown Prince of Dubai, launched the ‘Dubai Can’ initiative, in an attempt to promote refillable bottles over single-use plastic bottles. More than 30 filling stations that used desalinated tap water were installed across the city to help people access clean drinking water on the go. This was a move that highlighted Dubai’s commitment to innovation and building a sustainable future with an environment friendly-approach.

  • While Dubai’s tap water is clearly a testament to the UAE's water desalination process, it may not be the best option for consumption due to risks associated with quality issues arising from storage. A recent study by strategic market research firm Euromonitor, concluded that over 1 million single-use plastic bottles are sold every minute, globally. This number is set to increase exponentially in the coming years.  Investing in a solution like the Waterdrop RO system not only ensures high quality of potable water, but also contributes positively towards water sustainability efforts in the region.
  • In conclusion, if you are looking for quality potable water that is sustainable, then an RO water purifier system may be your best option. Waterdrop is a pioneer in the water purification industry and provides state-of-the-art water filtration systems that include advanced RO systems. Learn more about Waterdrop products here:


Back to News