Supply of Drinking Water in UAE

Introduction to Oasis Water Company

Oasis Company is a water bottling company that specializes in manufacture of water bottles, distribution and purification of water and other beverages, The Companies strives to attain internationally recognized standards that govern the Industry in the UAE and around the globe. The Company is an arm of the National Food product Company, that brands itself as the biggest company in UAE dealing with Fast Moving Consumer Goods abbreviated as FMCG. The company’s main area of concentration is in both beverages and dairy products. National Food Product Company was started in 1971 under the stewardship of Faraj Bin Hamoodah, who is the chairman of the Company and Mr. Fadi Antonios, who is the CEO and president of the Company. The company has 5 subsidiaries namely, MILCO, LACNOR, MILCOPLASTIC and ARLANFPC. Oasis being one of them was later started in 1984 in Abu Dhabi but has quickly spread its wings to set up plants in other areas such as Dubai and extend distribution to other parts of the world.(Mohammed, 12)

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Oasis offers different kinds of beverages such as Juices, milk and related dairy products such as yoghurt and not forgetting the different bottled water categories. All their products are made to international standards. They have however focused their services towards water purification, bottling and distribution. There is also the provision coolers to customers to enable them enjoy crisp clean water that is cool when compared to the outside environment. In 1984 the Company started with a production plant based in Abu Dhabi, which could service up to 400 bottles per hour. The bottles were mainly 5 gallons. As the Company grew in leaps and bounds, it necessitated the management to come up with another solution by erecting another plant in Dubai, so as to serve one of their key markets. This was done in 2002 after research was conducted as to how to bridge the demand for Oasis products.

Oasis directly serves UAE and neighboring countries through their network of distribution systems.This however does not mean that Oasis does serve all around the globe, as the company openly encourages water suppliers from all over the world to import their products.

The company maintains strict quality and hygiene standards during the processing and bottling of beverages this includes water products. Water being a necessary product needed for life, should be kept clean and its quality should be in line with set standards. It is often said that the body comprises of 75% of water hence this means that we should always mind the quality of water we drink. Unlike bottled water, tap water is known to differ from location to location in terms of taste, level of microorganisms in the water and the smell. There is no standardized means when it comes to tap water as purification techniques and systems vary from country to country, state to state. Low quality water, results in the emergence of water borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, amoeba among others. Despite efforts in addressing common water borne diseases such as Cholera by using new disinfection measures, outbreaks of other diseases are still rampant as new pathogens are appearing almost on a daily basis. This is why the Company believes that stringent measures should be in place, to ensure that water coming out of its plants is safe to drink and will lead to a healthier lifestyle for its customers. It has been noted that quality issues don’t start during the water treatment process but rather before the harvesting of water itself as the source of the water also matters. {Mohammed, 2).

Certifications Acquired by Oasis Company

Due to the hard work of the employees in ensuring that the products coming out of the plants are of the highest quality, the Company has been recognized in various forums and has been awarded several certifications. These certifications and awards include:

ISO Standards

ISO is an international body that comes up with internationally recognized standards that seek to regulate how businesses and institutions offer products and services to their customers. The institutions could be learning institutions, manufacturing organizations or other firms. The international body comes up with standards that should be followed. In our case the Oasis Company has been awarded the ISO 9001: 2000, meaning that the company follows the stringent measures required and that its products are fit to be consumed in each country on earth.

HACCP, (Hazard analysis & Critical Control Points)

The Oasis Company has also been fortunate enough to be awarded this certification. This certification involves the system whereby the water is carefully analyzed and all chemical, biological and physical hazards are checked during the manufacturing, procurement and treatment process. The certification focuses on the manufacturing and processing stages of goods rather than the final end product.

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Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Awards

The Oasis Company was awarded this award due to their effort in striving to deliver quality products and continuously demonstrate better performance on a yearly basis. This is achieved by paying special attention to best management practices. Quality is of the utmost importance and companies that are chosen for this award are primary examples of quality in the way the conduct their business and quality in the way the produce and process their products.

Halal Certification

 This certification grants that certain products manufactured by an organization are allowable under the Islamic law. This certification is very important when dealing with foods and beverages as the Islamic laws are very strict towards certain foods.

Water Industry in UAE

At present times the UAE has continuously shown a strong thirst for water and this is attributed to environmental factors such as high heat. In fact Abu Dhabi is the highest consumer of water in the world. Reports put it that the state consumes around 525-600 gallons a day per capita. Water in UAE comes from two sources, namely ground water and from desalination plants. The price of desalinated water is much higher than ground water due to the processes involved in the desalination process. Processing of desalinated water requires the use of associated gas. Ground water on the other hand is stored in reservoirs and mainly depends on the amount of rainfall that falls within a period of time. This makes it necessary for the presence of desalination plants as ground water is unreliable. Around 80 % of water in the UAE is desalinated making it the second biggest producer of such water behind the neighboring Saudi Arabia. This has brought opportunities to producers of bottled water, as sales have been rising and estimates have already put it that there was an increase in sales of by 24% last year. The demand for bottled water is set to rise in the coming years due to the rising temperatures experienced in the region. Sales of bottled water are also boosted by the sales of bulk water which is packaged in bigger bottles such as the 5 gallon bottle. Factors such as growth in population and continued increase in tourist numbers have also have had an impact in the sales of bottled water. There are sectors at present that are driving up the demand for bottled water and these are, the hospitality industry, labor industry ,that has led to an increase in labor camps all around UAE as the casual laborers work in construction sites. {Mubadala, 4)

This demand is being met by the local water processing companies such as Oasis, Masafi Mineral water, Al Ain, Nestle Pure life, Aquafina pure drinking water, Gulfa and among others. The state owned Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority is also a major player in this sector. It has been stated in the press that the national Authority delivers to approximately 225,000 across Dubai. These water companies are continually expanding with the anticipation that demand will grow steadily. The companies are coming up with newer innovations. This is driven by the high level of competition that they face from each other. A good example of innovation would be the different categories of waters such as flavored water that are always being formulated by the companies. Companies such as Al Ain have boosted production and are currently producing about 35,000 products in the form of cups and bottles per hour.

The Emirates bottled water market is tipped to become one of the most sophisticated as the technology used in the desalination process is very complex. A good example of this would be how the Nestle pure life company involves the use of re-mineralization of water (Mubadala, 3).

Quality Issues on water Companies

The quality of water in the UAE, has been strongly driven the Government’s obligation to supply hygienic drinking water to its citizens. This has been combined with a public awareness campaign that has led to a more educated public with a negative public perception about the water supplied by the Government. Many people prefer to buy bottled water from other vendors rather than drink straight from the tap. For those who do not want to buy bottled water, there is the presence of water purifier companies who brand themselves as providers of safe clean water. Quality concerns have increased over the years due to heightened pollution of the environment. Since UAE has traditionally been known to produce high quality water, then it is without doubt, that the equipments for desalination are necessary. The equipments will also include pumps that will be used to pump out ground water. All this tools are expensive and in order to keep the water safe to drink, a number of procedures are used. For example, reverse osmosis on water that has been pumped from the wells. (Cheru, 7). In this process, the TDS levels will have to generally differ as the water can be pumped from different wells having different levels of TDS.

Quality Issues internationally

When talking about international standards, Quality of the water is taken very seriously and this is one of the reasons that water companies in the UAE are respected as they try to maintain the quality levels despite being under the dessert environment. Based on FDA requirements, mineral water should at least include 250 ppm of TDS. Different countries have different water sources and standards and this fact makes it hard when trying to set up an International company. International issues such as the different pathogens that can be located within a country are bound to arise. Past cases have seen the outbreak of diseases such as shigella that affected around three US. States in the late 1990’s.This was brought about by lack of quality water that at the time was being supplied by the Municipal. Instead of chlorinating the water, the municipal officials used to freeze the water. Clean water is not only important for human beings but it is also important for animals as animals can easily carry bacteria in their body and easily transmit it to human beings as food. As Company that seeks to start up, one will need equipment that assist in the creation of pH balance in the water and to get rid of contaminants such as lead, giardia and other contaminants.(Mubadala,3)

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Regulatory Issues When opening a Water Company

When registering a company that seeks to provide quality water, there are a number of factors that should be considered and which will be assessed by the regulatory bodies. The wells that will supply the water plant are to be checked and certified. A quality study needs to conducted prior the harvesting process and this will assist in determining if the microbes in the water, can all be killed in respect to the procedures mentioned by the project founders. Also a feasibility study has to be carried out in order to come up with the true extent of replenishment of the wells and the resultant consequences to the neighboring environment. This means that environmental resources will be depleted faster than can be replenished due to the high number of water Companies. During the process of registration, various environmental bodies are needed to come up with their reports hence it will be your duty to furnish them and assist them in any way possible. (Willy, 5)

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A Practical Example of Setting up One’s Own Water Company

When setting up a water Company, one must take into consideration whether the project has the ability to generate profits on a long term basis, and if cost effective space utilization will be possible. Equipments can be positioned in a manner to increase the efficiency of each and every employee. Stages explained simply include,

Pretreatment

In this stage, the taste and odor from the water is removed through the use of carbon filters. Ion exchange softeners are also used in the removal of minerals that contribute to hard water.

Purification

In this stage, water is purified through the processes such as reverse osmosis and distillation process where vapor is collected after heating has taken place. This is further followed by filtration process using activated carbon. This will ensure the removal of unstable contaminants that present themselves in the form of gases.

Storage Stage

After all these processes, the water is stored in tanks that are smooth that eliminate the risk of bacteria through hard surfaces.

Ozone action

In this stage the water is injected with ozone in order to maintain its freshness just before bottling occurs. It is also at this stage whereby microbes that had survived previously are now totally eliminated.

Rinser Stage

At this stage, the bottles are highly sanitized as it will be useless to fill dirty bottles with high quality water that is safe to drink. The bottles are rinsed thoroughly with disinfectants. The bottles have to pass radiations in order for them to be completely clean.

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Filling and Labeling of the Bottle

It is at this stage that the bottle is filled with the water and the bottle labeled with the Company logo ready to be packed and distributed.

Works Cited

Cheru, Hakail. “Quality Water.” Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP). 2009.Web.

Mohammed, Abdi. “History.” Oasiscome2life. 2007. Web.

Mubadala, Hussein. “Gulf News.” Gulfnews Bottled water. 2007.

Willy , Peter. “Hydrosphere: Importance of Clean Water.” Water Quality. 2004.

Zang, Steven.“Setting up an Efficient Bottling Plant.” Water Technology Online. 2009. Web.

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