Dubai Municipality delays calorie publishing requirements for food outlets

Calorie declaration on menus will be voluntary for two years

Image used for illustrative purpose only
Image used for illustrative purpose only

Dubai Municipality has delayed the introduction of compulsory calorie publishing on restaurant menus.

According to sister title Caterer Middle East, a directive in May meant that from November 2019, all restaurants, cafes and cafeterias with more than five branches would have to publish their dishes calorie counts on their menus, while all other food establishments would have to be in accordance with it by January 2020.

However, the new memo circulated to Dubai food establishments states that the calorie declaration will now be voluntary for the next two years before a further decision is made.

Did you like this story?
Click here for more

The original decision was made as part of the municipality’s efforts to raise awareness about the nutritional values of meals, in line with the National Nutrition Agenda 2017 – 2021. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 30% of the Middle East's population is obese.

But some Dubai-based chefs had been critical of the decision, with food consultant Tomas Reger telling Caterer Middle East that “adding calorie information on the menus in restaurants will not have a long term impact on the general public.” He added that it would "become just white noise on the menus and people will not even register it", preferring sugar content of dishes to be published.

While Josh Benson, founder and managing partner of Bystro, felt the original decision didn’t go far enough. He said: “The overall problem of obesity in the region as whole is far more engrained in people habits than solely linked to calories.”

For all the latest hospitality news from UAE, Gulf countries and around the world, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page.

Most Popular

Newsletter

Reports

Human Capital Report 2017

Human Capital Report 2017

The second annual Hotelier Middle East Human Capital Report is designed to explore the issues, challenges and opportunities facing hospitality professionals responsible for the hotel industry’s most important asset – its people. The report combines the results of Hotelier Middle East's HR Leaders Survey with exclusive interviews with the region's senior human resources directors.

Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016

Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016

The Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016 provides essential business insight into this critical hotel function, revealing a gradual move towards the use of automated management and a commitment to sustainability, concerns over recruitment, retention and staff outsourcing, and the potential to deliver much more, if only the industry's "image problem" can be reversed.

From the edition

From the magazine