Dubai Can is a pretty big deal and a much-needed step to a sustainable future. Here’s why!

The new initiative aims to encourage communities to take action to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles in their daily lives

Aman Ali

3/7/20222 min read

One of the things I love about visiting Europe is the easy accessibility to drinking water fountains in almost every city. No one visits a store to buy a bottle of water because the use of single-use plastic bottles is frowned upon in these places and they’re also expensive.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), roughly 300 million tons of plastics are produced every year for use in different applications. About 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year endangering marine species but also contributing to climate change.

In February this year, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai launched the ‘Dubai Can’ initiative, a citywide sustainability movement designed to inspire people to make a difference through a series of sustainability-focused initiatives.

The idea was simple but the outcome is going to have an impact on all future generations of this nation. The first step was to encourage UAE residents to actively reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles, so Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism along with its partners got 30 water stations installed across the city. By the end of the year, this number is set to almost double providing the population with easy access to safe drinking water. Oh, and did we mention it’s also free for life?

All water stations across the city will provide the highest standards of hygiene and maintain strict adherence to municipal, healthcare, and federal regulations. This includes providing clean and safe drinking water, which will be tested in accordance with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), GCC, and World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism said: “The ‘Dubai Can’ initiative is one of the innovative ideas that we are implementing to create a vibrant new green economy that will offer the world a unique model for sustainable development. The initiative is aligned with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, to transform the emirate into a leading sustainable destination and the best city in the world to live, work and visit.  Our objective is to inspire current and future generations to play their part in protecting the environment and conserving our natural resources.”

“The initiative seeks to encourage citizens, residents, and visitors to be active players in building a more sustainable future and to contribute to saving wildlife and the marine environment. We hope Dubai Can set in motion a new environmental movement across our city and the wider UAE, transforming the mindsets of people so that we can achieve positive change for a more sustainable future,” Al Marri said.

The ‘Dubai Can’ initiative also complements the policy recently approved by The Executive Council of Dubai to limit single-use bags. As per the policy, a tariff of 25 fils will be imposed on single-use bags used for carrying goods, starting from July 1, 2022. The policy will be evaluated over several stages until single-use carrier bags are completely banned within a span of two years.