Dubai’s Restaurants Will Soon Have to Display Their Meals’ Calorie Counts
All of Dubai’s cafes and restaurants are to start displaying their meals’ calorie counts for customers starting from January next year. The UAE’s new regulations also state that restaurants with more than five branches, such as fast-food outlets, must comply with the legislation by November of this year. The new rules aim to raise awareness among diners of their calorie consumption and to encourage smarter and healthier choices when ordering food.
The move comes as a result of ongoing efforts by Dubai’s municipal authorities to improve the health of the city’s residents and to encourage restaurants to feature more nutritious menus. Director-General of Dubai Municipality, Dawoud Al-Hajri said the “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 vision of developing a happy and sustainable city,” he added.
Results from a recent government health survey which was conducted over the last few years revealed that obesity rates in the UAE were above average. Doctors still have concerns regarding childhood obesity, as more than 40% of children are unfortunately either overweight or obese.