According to Dubai Municipality, in 2021, the emirate imported 7.9 million tonnes of food, which included 286,673 food shipments and more than 1.7 million food products. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Dubai Municipality today said that food safety and security indicators have remained highly positive in 2021, on the back of various measures to ensure strong quality control of foodstuff and enhance the stability of food imports.

In 2021, the emirate imported 7.9 million tonnes of food, which included 286,673 food shipments and more than 1.7 million food products.

Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said the municipality has put in place an integrated food safety system to ensure that people of the emirate have access to the highest quality of food. “Over the years, the municipality has been a pioneer in adopting innovative initiatives and programmes to integrate rapid advances in food processing and preparation into its food safety control system. Our food safety control systems follow international best practices,” Al Hajri said.

The municipality closely monitors the internal and external conditions that impact food safety in Dubai. Its efforts have made Dubai a leader on the food safety map at regional and international levels.

‘Working to further diversify foodstuff import’

Al Hajri said: “The municipality works round the clock to monitor imported food in all outlets of the emirate. The numbers show that food imports to the emirate are highly stable. In addition to that we are working to further diversify the foodstuffs imported to the local market to provide consumers various types of food. We have simplified food import procedures to facilitate the smooth movement of food trade in the current period.”

Dawoud Al Hajri

Al Hajri further said: “Dubai Municipality has also developed stringent food control measures to ensure all the food distributed in the emirate complies with the municipality’s requirements. Our smart systems such as the FoodWatch platform has food traceability features that give us the ability to verify ingredients and nutritional information for each product.

Strengthening food supply chains

The municipality is working closely with both federal and local entities to support local and national goals to strengthen food supply chains. These efforts contribute to the UAE’s broader aim to enhance food security in the country and attain the No 1 in Global Food Security Index by 2051.

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In the first quarter of 2021, Dubai imported more than 1.9 million tonnes of food, while in the second quarter it imported close to 2.3 million tonnes of food. The emirate imported 1.81 million tonnes of food in the third quarter and 1.83 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of last year.