In a bid to improve customer experience, Dubai Municipality will update the Dubai Food Code in 2020. One of the most notable changes is that restaurants and hotels will now be offering customers tap water. Previously, customers were only given bottled water.
The bottled water is not just expensive but also does not give much choice to customers. Customers feel forced into buying expensive bottled water. Moreover, through this change, Dubai aims to cut down on its plastic waste as well. An official at the Dubai Municipality remarked: “From next year, whenever you visit a hotel or restaurant, you can select whether to have bottled water or filtered tap water”.
But customers should not celebrate just yet. Filtered tap water does not mean that restaurants and hotels cannot charge for it. According to the Code, it is the discretion of restaurants to charge for the filtered water or not. Usually, filtered tap water is not charged in most countries around the world. Therefore, it is likely that restaurants in Dubai will not charge customers for it.
The Municipality is asking restaurants and hotels to install water filters for the smooth implementation of the provision. This is not a unique provision. Such regulations exist even in the most developed nations. For example, Scotland makes it mandatory to offer customers tap water for free if ordered.
Case of Pakistan
Filtered tap water is not available in most upscale restaurants in Pakistan. Instead, customers are cajoled into paying exorbitant rates for bottled water. On the other hand, the less expensive restaurants are offering unhygienic water. Considering the interests of the customers, a similar law must be enacted in Pakistan. Pakistan is already facing unprecedented levels of pollution. Such a law can help reduce plastic waste in the country. Also, it can be a useful tool against tackling climate change.