Is Tap Water Drinkable In Dubai? (DEWA Safety, Taste & Issues)

Dubai is a progressive city, and its modernization will mesmerize you at first glance.

However, at the end of the day, it is still a desert, and with everything being man-made, it is only natural to question its structures and systems. One of the questions often asked is whether Dubai tap water is drinkable.

Per the (EASA) Emirates Authority for Standardization and Authorization, Dubai’s tap water is safe for human consumption.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authorities ensure that the tap water is safe. Filters are available for taps, and not much difference exists between bottled and tap water.

With water conditions and unhygienic pipelines worldwide, it is natural to wonder about the tap water system in an “artificial” city like Dubai. But don’t worry, you will get all the answers to questions here.

Is Tap Water In Dubai Safe To Drink?


Tap water in Dubai comes from desalinated seawater. The water goes through a filter to be cleaned before reaching municipal pipes. Chlorine is added to the water through the filtration process, and the removal of impurities is ensured.

If tap water comes from the DEWA line, it goes through frequent testing and certification to ensure it is safe for human consumption.

It is noted that because Dubai’s ground is made of sand, it is highly unlikely for water to be contaminated from the ground through the pipelines.

The only way contamination of tap water can occur if water tanks are left for extended periods without being cleaned.

Dubai uses a biodegradable, biocide disinfectant to deal with any such issues. That ensures harmful residues are not left in the pipes.

Facility and management companies in the region offer to test and use consulting services. They do before and after laboratory reports with tank cleaning. They also provide sanitization certificates and water sampling to test for various bacteria.

Dubai recently came out with the “Dubai Can” initiative, where various water stations were placed throughout the city. The movement was to reduce the use of plastic bottles.

People soon started questioning if the station’s water was safe to drink since it was tap water. The answer was yes, it is safe and, in fact, better than bottled water.

The water that comes through the water stations is desalinated, where impurities are removed from its source. This is the same clean and safe water that reaches other taps in the city, like apartment and villa taps.

It was further mentioned that the water refill stations have another layer of filtration and encourage people to use reusable bottles instead of buying bottled water.

Why Does Tap Water Taste Bad In Dubai?

Even though tap water in Dubai is safe, you find many people still prefer bottled water. There is a reason for this, and I can tell you that tap water does not taste the same. Bottled water tastes so much better.

But if tap water is clean and safe, why does it taste bad? It is because, like in many regions using desalinated water, chlorine is mixed in the water, which leaves a reminiscent taste.

In addition, water companies add large quantities of minerals and sodium, allowing it to have a distinct taste compared to regular tap water.

Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap Water In Dubai?

The convenience of bottled water in Dubai gives the impression that bottled water is better than tap water.

Residents of the city, specifically the expatriates, are paranoid about drinking water out of the taps and tend to buy a lot of bottled water for drinking and cooking.  

The fact is, there is not much of a difference between bottled water and tap water in Dubai. Bottled water companies also use salinized water. The only difference is that they add minerals and salts to the water before packaging and selling.

When you consider the amount of plastic that is used and what that does to the environment, it makes sense that drinking tap water is a much better option, especially considering it is safe and clean for human consumption.

How To Solve Tap Water Issues in Dubai

There are many things you can do differently to solve the tap water problem with the possibility of any contamination or old pipes causing issues and reduce plastic from the bottled water:

Buy large gallon bottles instead of small one-use bottles and refill reusable bottles at home.

If you like the idea of cold water, get a temperature-controlled tank that fits your large gallon bottle, or place your reusable bottles in the fridge for convenience. I find this system most convenient for drinking water.

You can boil and cool tap water to give you peace of mind about killing any bacteria in the water. I also use boiled tap water for cooking.

The water is heated enough to ensure it is clean and because I don’t have to drink it directly, I’m not concerned about the taste.

Get a tap water filtration system in your kitchen. You could also get filters in your bathrooms if you are concerned about hard water damage to your skin and hair.

A water filtration system in your tap would work like the Dubai Can stations. The water is already purified but has an additional filter to ensure that it is even safer from any possible contamination.

Tap Water And Dubai’s Future

As with the Dubai Can initiative, Dubai aims at many sustainable projects to preserve water and reduce wastage and contamination. The movement reduces plastic through bottled water and encourages the public to use more tap water.

With that aim, they act strictly and thoroughly to ensure that the water is clean and safe for consumption using companies for testing and retesting.

They put rules on restaurants to ensure they undergo cleaning and maintenance of tanks regularly to ensure hygiene and safety for customers.

Dubai works towards environmental conservation, and even though they may have a long way to go, they work hard to serve their people and maintain health and safety, which they take very seriously.

Bottled water might be the choice for people because of taste and convenience, but that doesn’t change the fact that tap water in Dubai is clean and drinkable.


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