Mohammad A Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG with Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment at the launch of the new water station in Al Qudra, Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A new free water station has been installed in Al Qudra as part of the ‘Dubai Can’ initiative.

The installation, which has been done by GMG, a global well-being company in partnership with the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), follows the recent launch of its ‘Make a Difference’ sustainability strategy framework. With Al Qudra being a popular cycling route for Dubai residents, the water station is expected to provide a convenient bottle refill site for cyclists, which will in turn help promote healthy living.

Dubai Can is a sustainability initiative by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai that aims to reduce single-use water bottles by encouraging individuals to use refillable water bottles. Free water refill stations will be installed at prime public locations across the city as part of the project. The drinking water from the stations will be kept cool at a temperature of 10°C, offering people a refreshing, clean and safe alternative while also driving a sustainable and environmentally friendly ‘refill culture’.

Mohammad A Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG, said, “As a well-being company and responsible citizens, we are committed to supporting causes that make our communities healthier. We are, therefore, proud to be associated with Dubai Can, an initiative that will go a long way to protecting our environment by minimizing the impact of plastic waste. We look forward to continuing to work with the government and other key stakeholders to promote positive change and raise awareness of environmental issues.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “We are delighted with the support extended by GMG, a global brand, to further raise the profile of the Dubai Can initiative across the city, inspired by our visionary leadership to position Dubai as a leading sustainable destination and ultimately the best city in the world to visit, live in and work. The installation of this new water fountain in Al Qudra by GMG will provide residents and visitors with yet another incentive to let go of their reliance on single-use plastic bottles and opt instead for refillable water bottles. The availability of so many Dubai Can water fountains at key locations in the city is also testament to the unique public-private partnership model that has immensely contributed towards Dubai’s continued success and touches the heart of our sustainability strategy, which revolves around the central pillars of creativity and collaboration.”

GMG’s partnership with DET to sponsor the water station in Al Qudra builds on its existing relationship with the department following the signing of a three-year strategic agreement with DFRE late last year. The agreement underlines GMG’s commitment to the UAE’s vision of building a healthier society by enabling the two organisations to collaborate on activities and events that enhance the Dubai Fitness Challenge programme.

According to Emirates Nature WWF, the average person in the UAE consumes 94kg of plastic per year, of which a significant amount comprises single-use bottles. Plastic waste has a devastating effect on marine animals and birdlife. Efforts to reduce plastic waste support the UAE’s commitment to meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and achieving the UAE NetZero 2050 initiative.