Survey of public attitude towards bottled and tap water quality in the UAE

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the leading countries in the per capita bottled water consumption. This seems to be in controversy with adherences of local water authorities to stringent municipal water standards. A public survey (n= 891) was conducted to ascertain the perception of people in the country regarding bottled and tap water quality. The survey form was formulated based on the stated preference approach and was furnished in both Arabic and English languages. Some questions in the survey form require rating the quality of tap water and identifying the type of water the respondent drinks. For respondents who usually drink bottled water, they were asked to choose the reason(s) why they usually drink bottled water. Those who drink tap water more often were similarly asked to choose the reason(s) why they prefer tap water to bottled water. The study revealed that a large fraction of the UAE residents classify the quality of tap water as either good or excellent, yet many of them drink bottled water. This could be attributed in part to the high standard of living where the cost of bottled water is considered by the majority of the respondents as affordable. Other influential factors include the belief that bottled water has a better taste and concerns about tap water contamination. The latter may stem from the perception that water is not sufficiently treated or contamination is induced into the water from the distribution system or the in-house storage tanks. The study shows that more people in the UAE will drink tap water if relevant authorities provide information about tap water quality and if regular inspections and cleaning of the in-house storage tanks is conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-617
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Nest Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015


  • Bottled water
  • Public survey
  • Quality perception
  • Tap water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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