Dubai: Food establishments in Dubai should declare in their menus the calorie content of all ready-to-eat food items, Dubai Municipality has said in a circular.
The new rule is applicable to restaurants, cafeterias and cafes with more than 5 branches from November. All other restaurants, catering establishments and hotels should implement it in the second phase in January 2020, the civic body said in a press release on Saturday.
This is a great move. Having the calories listed next to the food item will not only help me keep a track of the food I order, but also serve as a great step to watch my eating habits.
This is part of the Municipality’s efforts to raise awareness about the nutritional values of the meals consumed by diners. Dubai Municipality will be the first local authority in the country to do so, it said.
Dawoud Al Hajri, director general of Dubai Municipality emphasized that making it mandatory to declare the calorie content of food items on the menus is part of the Municipality's initiatives for a better life.
“Dubai Municipality's initiative is to oblige food establishments to be fully transparent in declaring calories on all foods to give consumers the ability to choose food that suits their health status. It is an innovative program of Dubai Municipality and through it the Municipality will encourage restaurants to provide healthy and tasty meals to consumers to achieve Dubai Municipality's visionof developing a happy and sustainable city,” pointed out Al Hajri.
He added that this initiative comes with the increasing pace of life, where consumers resort to unhealthy food choices due totheir availability and accessibility.
It depends – if it’s the weekend, I’m not going to be looking at calories. If it’s lunch on a break at work, I’ll the check the calories. If the lunch was heavy, I’ll have a lighter dinner, for example.
“It is also due to the keenness of the Municipality to encourage the food establishments to provide balanced and healthy meals to enhance the health of the community and also as their contribution to the protection of diseases caused by unhealthy meals,” said Al Hajri.