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Can we Drink Tap Water in Dubai?

Can we drink tap water in Dubai

In western countries, most people don’t think twice about drinking water from the tap. Equally, when traveling in less developed countries such as India, we know it is wise to avoid drinking tap water unless you are happy to spend your entire vacation on the toilet.

But what about a relatively rich and apparently advanced city such as Dubai? Can we avoid all the hassle, cost, environmental waste and possible health dangers of drinking from plastic bottles by simply drinking the tap water?

This article will let you know the arguments for and against drinking the tap water here in Dubai.

The municipal tap water in Dubai meets all the international standards and is rated as safe to drink, and the city authorities are proud of that.

Our water quality across the generation, transmission, and distribution networks meets the highest health and safety standards set by the World Health Organisation.

DEWA (The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority)

Unfortunately, DEWA do not control all the pipes that bring their water the 50 miles or so across Dubai from their desalination plant and into your building. Even more worrying, they do not control the condition of the tank in which water is stored for your building.

Sometimes, things that people do not often see, or even think about, are maintained in a half-assed manner. Corners are cut, shortcuts are taken, and the result could be horrifying but invisible levels of rust, algae, bacterial, animal and insect contamination by the time that water comes splashing out of your tap. Or it could fine, you just don’t know.

DEWA add chlorine but no fluoride to their water.

So, What Should You Do?

Most people visiting Dubai for a short vacation should just stick to bottled water to avoid any intestinal irritation (stomach ache) from locally prevalent bacteria which is not dangerous but that you, as a foreigner, have not yet built up a resistance to. You are also pretty safe if you boil tap water, use it for tea, cooking, etc.

You should probably also avoid ingesting tap water when brushing your teeth – just keep a bottle of water by your sink – and try to avoid getting water in your mouth while showering. There is no need to get paranoid, but it is worth being aware of this stuff.

If you are staying longer, it is probably worth building up your bacterial resistance by exposing yourself to some level of tap water, such as when you brush your teeth, because you are going to ingest some at some point anyway. Most expats in Dubai do, however, favor bottled water for regular drinking, or they use various forms of filtration.

Quite apart from the greater convenience, having a filtration system is better than relying on bottled water because you can avoid any possible exposure to dangerous chemicals in plastic, such as BPA. You also get to control the quality of filtration instead of relying on some company – again, people will usually cut corners if they can get away with it.

Many vacation rentals in Dubai already have good filtration systems installed, because the owners of apartments are more likely to care about that than the owners of hotels. You will sometimes find it mentioned in the Dubai vacation rental listings on our main site.

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