Dubai Municipality has reportedly delayed the introduction of compulsory calorie publishing on restaurant menus in the emirate.
In May, authorities issued a circular to all food establishments making it compulsory to show calorie content, adding that it was part of its efforts to raise awareness about the nutritional values of the meals consumed by diners.
Dawoud Al Hajri, director general of Dubai Municipality said at the time that the directive will encourage restaurants to provide healthy meals to consumers. However, according to Caterer Middle East, a new memo circulated states that the calorie declaration will now be voluntary for the next two years before a further decision is made.
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 percent of the Middle East’s population is obese.
Dubai will be the first emirate in the UAE to introduce calorie count on menus.