Dubai Can water station at Dubai Marina
Dubai Can water station at Dubai Marina Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Can, the citywide sustainability movement launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has welcomed the far-reaching support of the city’s major stakeholders and industry partners.

Dubai Can witnessed a successful launch on February 16 with overwhelming support from industry stakeholders and partners as well as communities in Dubai, with more than 500 destinations, hotels, attractions and malls across the city collaborating towards accelerating momentum for the sustainability movement.

Residents and visitors to Dubai now have access to more than 30 water stations across the city as part of this initiative, with prime public locations including beaches, parks, malls and major attractions. The drinking water from the stations is kept cool at a temperature of 10°C offering people a refreshing, clean and safe alternative, whilst also driving a ‘refill culture’.

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.

Founding partner Talabat and key partners Accor, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, Expo 2020 Dubai, Dell Technologies, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Holding, Dubai Municipality, Dubai World Trade Centre, Emaar, Emirates NBD, Majid Al Futtaim, Merex Investment, Nakheel, PepsiCo and Shamal are early supporters of the Dubai Can initiative, with each entity installing fountains enabling the community to ‘refill for life’.

In addition, a network of key stakeholders drawn from the business and tourism sectors have pledged to install a fountain, meaning that more than 50 fountains will be in place across the city by December, which will further highlight Dubai’s position as a global liveability hub, in line with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.

Reducing plastic waste

Encouraging UAE residents as well the city to actively reduce the usage of single-use plastic bottles, ‘Dubai Can’ motivates communities, businesses, residents and visitors to undertake simple changes such as using refillable water bottles and public water stations and installing water filters in their homes, offices and schools.

Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “The innovative Dubai Can sustainability initiative is part of our visionary leadership‘s goal to further enhance Dubai’s position as a leading sustainable destination and make it the best city in the world to live in, work and visit. An essential aspect of ensuring the realisation of this sustainable strategy is the strength of Dubai’s public-private partnerships. Indeed, the successful launch of Dubai Can highlights this unique model which encourages continued collaboration between government entities and private sector establishments to deliver sustainable growth. We are truly grateful for the support of our stakeholders and partners for their role in ensuring that the Dubai Can initiative becomes a reality. We would also like to thank communities across Dubai for their overwhelming response and enthusiastic support to this novel project. Important movements such as Dubai Can will help lay the groundwork for positive change and further enhance the action plan that is in place to achieve Dubai’s sustainability goals”.

Stakeholders and partners

Tatiana Rahal, Managing Director at Talabat UAE, said: “As local industry leaders, we feel a sense of responsibility to drive change with sustainability playing an increasingly important part in our vision. We believe change starts with each individual and company leading by example. Some are small steps, some are leaps. We started by eliminating single-use plastic in our offices in 2020, saving over 50,000 bottles every year. We are proud to encourage the adoption of positive behavior at a larger scale by joining the Dubai Can initiative as founding partners, providing a sustainable water supply for the communities we operate in as well as our riders. The actions we take today impact our environment now and in the future.”

Dubai Can water station near Dubai Frame
Dubai Can water station near Dubai Frame Image Credit: Supplied

Mark Willis, CEO of Accor India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, said: “It is an honour to be part of the Dubai Can initiative, launched by [Sheikh Hamdan]. Through this partnership, which is aligned with our core principles and most particularly towards our commitment to reduce and eradicate single-use plastic from our hotels, we aim to influence our colleagues, guests and collaborators in the hospitality industry to join us on our path to promote responsible tourism. On this note, we are proud to announce the sponsoring of one of the fountains, which will be placed in the World Trade Centre area of Dubai.”

Abdallah Hageali, Group Director of Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, said: “Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, the real estate development and operations arm of Al-Futtaim Group, is committed to building a sustainable environment for the future. We have always encouraged sustainable living amongst our residents, tenants and visitors. We must make a conscious effort to indulge in activities that are skewed towards protecting mother earth. In line with this, we are proud to be a part of the #DubaiCan movement and honored to be one of the chosen destinations to provide free and safe drinking water to the community. The new water station is located at Festival Tower in Dubai Festival City. We call upon the residents, tenants and visitors to come together and be a part of the movement thereby reducing the use of single use plastic by incorporating small changes in your daily life.”

Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtaim, said: “Dubai Can is another great initiative that showcases Dubai’s efforts to be at the forefront of sustainability, best practices and innovation. At Majid Al Futtaim, we are extremely proud to continue to play a vital role in the UAE’s journey to Net Zero 2050, leading by example in reducing our footprint as well as influencing the behaviour of our customers and communities to reach Net Positive by 2040.”

Dubai Can water station at Dubai Festival City
Dubai Can water station at Dubai Festival City Image Credit: Supplied

Mohammed Amin, Sr. Vice President – MERAT, Dell Technologies, said: “Dubai has always led by example when it comes to transforming the lives of its residents and creating a society that has sustainability and social impact at its heart. This is something that truly resonates with us at Dell Technologies, as a lot of our work is focused on creating a positive, lasting impact on the planet through our Progress Made Real Vision for 2030. We are excited to join forces with the Dubai government in its efforts to reduce the consumption of single use plastic through the Dubai Can initiative. We also thank HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his vision to implement initiatives that contribute towards the development of a smart and sustainable city.”

Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), said: “Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, with single-use plastics causing significant damage to our planet. Encouragingly, a growing number of world leaders are taking action to lessen the global plastic footprint and reduce reliance on single-use plastics. Given our longstanding focus on ESG, DMCC is proud to be supporting the UAE’s sustainability agenda through the Dubai Can initiative. Sustainability will undoubtedly play a key role in advancing the future of trade, so ESG has been embedded throughout all our operations.

He added: “Our member companies and the over 600 F&B companies across Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) continue to progress their own sustainability initiatives, and we are confident that Dubai Can will complement the community efforts in this space. We are proud to be facilitating yet another sustainability initiative in the vibrant JLT district as part of our longer-term goal of becoming a 100% plastic free destination, creating a positive impact, and encouraging meaningful change.”

Mahir Abdulkarim Julfar, Executive Vice President, Venue Services Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “Dubai World Trade Centre is proud to participate in and support Dubai Can, an initiative of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Using water fountains is a positive, environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottled water and supports Dubai and the UAE’s commitment to a more sustainable future.”

Ahmad Al Matrooshi of Emaar Properties PJSC, said: “Emaar is incredibly proud to be a strategic partner of the Dubai Can initiative which aims to spread the message of conscious living and highlight the importance of refill culture across the city. Community awareness is a big part of campaigns that call for change and Emaar is committed to work with the UAE Government to play an active role in driving significant progress through innovative solutions.”

Moadh Bukhash, Chief Marketing Officer at Emirates NBD, said: “Emirates NBD is pleased to be associated with this sustainability initiative launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In order to demonstrate our deep commitment to the initiative and to pioneering a culture of sustainability among employees, partners and peers, we have implemented several internal programmes to reduce single-use plastic water bottle usage across our offices as well.”

Nadia Verjee, Chief of Staff, Programme for People and Planet, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is proud to be part of the Dubai Can initiative, launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sustainability is one of Expo 2020’s three subthemes, and we are committed to supporting innovation and driving positive change on a local, regional and global scale to create a greener and healthier planet. Expo 2020 Dubai’s Programme for People and Planet is central to our efforts, having provided a platform for 10,000 thought leaders and stakeholders from every corner of the globe to share ideas and best practices to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Our message to the 2.5 million people who have watched our programme online is that we all have a responsibility towards our planet and reducing reliance on single-use plastics, including refilling and reusing water bottles, is one step that can create a big impact as we to work together to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

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Shahram Shamsaee, CEO, Merex Investment, said: “Sustainability is a key topic on everyone’s agenda, and we should all be playing a vital role in protecting the future of our planet. We are delighted to support Dubai Can – a sustainability initiative by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, by installing free drinking water stations across our destinations – The Beach, City Walk and La Mer – to spread awareness, instil a sense of responsibility and encourage our visitors to reduce the use of plastic water bottles. As the owners and operators of the world-class outdoor destinations, we are committed to rethink the way urban spaces are designed to create clean sustainable happy spaces and the way people experience the city.”

Omar Khoory, Chief Assets Officer at Nakheel, said: “We are proud to take part in this forward-thinking initiative to safeguard the environment and promote sustainability. As part of our commitment to this city-wide movement, we have populated some of our key destinations with water stations to encourage the use of refillable water bottles. At Nakheel, we recognise the importance of implementing small acts that pave the way for bigger outcomes, and we will continue to dedicate our efforts to instill a culture of conscious and sustainable living across our assets.”

Aamer Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer PepsiCo Middle East Business Unit, said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism to provide an innovative and sustainable platform for drinking water through the Aquafina Water Station and encourage a culture of refill and reuse across the city. Through PEP+, our end-to-end transformation strategy which puts sustainability at the centre of future growth, we’re inspiring people through our brands to make choices that create more smiles for them and the planet. The launch of the Aquafina Water Stations is an important milestone in this journey. The stations have already offered millions of visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai a refreshing and personalised hydration experience. We’re now excited to offer this experience beyond Expo 2020 Dubai, and help achieve Dubai and the UAE’s goal for a more sustainable future.”

Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, Shamal commented, “Dubai is playing a significant role in championing a range of initiatives and leading the collective effort we all have to support and tackle the environmental challenges that we face today. We are proud to play a role in HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai Can initiative to protect our planet’s environment and discourage the use of single plastic water bottles across Dubai Harbour, Kite Beach and Skydive Dubai destinations. At Shamal Holding, we are committed to the nation’s vision to embrace a sustainable future and accelerate action to preserve a healthy planet for generations to come.”

With the ambitious goal of significantly reducing single-use plastic bottles, the Dubai Can platform empowers communities to take action to help drive sustainable growth. The initiative also supports Dubai’s commitment to meeting the UAE’s UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 initiative.