Quooker, the filtered boiling water tap, has released its first UAE report since entering the market – ‘Perceptions of Domestic Tap Water in the United Arab Emirates’.
Domestic tap water has been a topic of debate in the UAE for over a decade, despite the insistence of environmental and health experts that the country’s desalinated water is safe to drink.
Quooker surveyed a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers, media commentators and local authorities. Consumer respondents were categorized by demographic (locals, Western expatriates, Arab expatriates and Asian expatriates), with each group offering their own opinions on a number of topics. For example, 80% of locals indicated bad taste as the main reason for not drinking tap water. Quooker’s product – the filtered boiling water tap – features a HiTAC® filter that removes impurities, ensuring sterility and a purer taste.
Jakob Johannsen, Managing Director, Quooker UAE, commented, “There is limited awareness of water contamination at the end-point (the home or building), and we would like to see more being done to educate consumers on the importance of maintaining a hygienic water tank. Desalinated water is entirely safe and suitable for drinking when it leaves the processing plant, so there is value for local authorities in doing more to ensure the cleanliness of residential water tanks and the consumption of the high quality water their facilities are producing. We were encouraged to find that 80% of consumers would drink water from a filtered boiling water tap, so there is clearly scope for reduced dependence on bottled water.”
On the subject of water tank hygiene, the most common cause of water contamination, 40% of respondents stated that their tank had been inspected by the local authority, with 30% responding that it had not, and a further 30% unaware. Local authorities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah universally stated that inspection of water tanks was available upon request, but that there were no official measures in place for keeping water tanks clean – the responsibility lying with the homeowner, tenant or landlord. Dubai Municipality recommends that residential water tanks are inspected and cleaned at least once every 6 months, and Quooker’s report encourages tenants to make sure their landlords are fulfilling this requirement.
In the UK, where residents typically drink water straight from the tap, Quooker installed over 50,000 units from 2008 to 2014, recording a turnover of £7.5 million in 2013, following the launch of the Fusion tap, which runs both hot and cold water.
Johannsen continued, “Our strong rate of growth in the UK and Europe is a clear indicator of our product’s popularity in markets where tap water is considered safe to drink. There are now over 400,000 Quookers in homes and offices across the UK, Central Europe & Scandinavia and we look forward to seeing more installed in the UAE. Since tap water here is of such a high quality, we’re targeting strong and sustained sales growth.”
Quooker UAE launched in June 2015. The innovative product delivers instant 100⁰C filtered boiling water suitable for multiple uses in the home. The concept is safe, sustainable, energy efficient and designed to reduce household costs and environmental waste. Quooker has experienced 10% year-on-year growth in Europe for over a decade, with AED200 million in annual turnover projected for 2015, of which AED2 million is expected to come from the UAE.