NAT 200219 PERFUME-1582108421683
Traditional Arabic oils and perfumes have a huge demand in the UAE Image Credit:

DUBAI: Perfumes in the UAE will no longer be sold in tulas as authorities have mandated the implementation of the “gram /millilitre” unit system fopr measurement across the country from tomorrow (Thursday, February 20).

The change is being pegged as “historic” as the tula unit was being used by the traditional perfume industry for nearly two centuries.

Introduced in India in 1833, the tula system came to the UAE with merchants who travelled here.

1 tula is equal to 12 millilitres

However, Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) now seeks to standardise the unit of measurement with international systems to ensure that local products are globally recognised.

Eng Amina Zainal, Director of Metrology Department at ESMA, said the move contributes to enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE.

Zainal said: “ESMA has also launched a website in five languages used by communities in the UAE, and between merchants, suppliers and perfume sellers in the country to educate consumers about the actual values of transfer between the unit of tula and grams/ millilitre (

We have launched an awareness campaign on social media platforms, radio networks, as well as national media, in addition to an informative website for consumers and merchants.” Workshops for merchants were also conducted, the official added.

The change comes in response to the UAE’s efforts to unify national measurement units with the internationally recognised “SI units” in the interest of both consumers and merchants.

What the industry says

The local perfume industry has welcomed the move.

Mithun Johny, a sales person at Al Hamrain Perfumes in Mursheed Bazaar in Deira said, “We use the tula system for concentrated oils, traditional oudhs and perfumes. A tula equals 12 ml and we have been selling these products in half and quarter measures.”

He said there is a huge demand for these traditional products. “For example, Dehnal oudh which is extracted from Agar wood is very popular among the Arabs and also very expensive with prices starting from Dh420 for a tula. It could go up to Dh3,000 per tula.”

With the new millilitre system coming into effect tomorrow, the necessary conversions will also be made.

Iswar Kishwani of Ratan’s Perfumes in Meena Bazaar, said, “We sell mostly international perfume brands which have always used the millilitre system. The tula system is applicable to the local Arabic perfumes , concentrated oils etc. The change of measurement unit is in keeping with international standards."