The increasing involvement of foreign mineral water companies in the UAE has weakened the local market. Speaking to Al-Khaleej newspaper, the director general of the Masafi mineral water company, Adel Ghowth, said that 10 percent of this market is controlled by foreign companies. He added that the local market is facing increasing competition, due to the emergence of many mineral water factories and desalinizing stations in the UAE.
In the 1980s, the UAE’s water consumption needs were satisfied by seven desalinizing stations. Presently, there are 15 mineral water companies and 65 desalinizing stations operating throughout the emirates, adding to the already fierce competition conditions, and resulting in low prices.
According to Al-Khaleej, the director general of the Crystal mineral water company, Siro Kardoni, revealed that only 60 percent of the locally manufactured mineral water quantity is either consumed locally or exported, leaving a 40 percent surplus of mineral water production. Additional water supplies are imported from Oman, Saudi Arabia and Europe, leading to market dumping and very low prices. Consequently, some companies resort to using cheap raw materials in the bottle manufacturing process, which may cause a health hazard for consumers.
The director general of the Aqua mineral water company, Ali Redha, was quoted in Al-Khaleej, remarking that the consumption of mineral water in the UAE is estimated at 12 million bottles per annum, which is equivalent to 234 million liters a year. -(Albawaba-MEBG)