What are the requirements for labelling of foodstuff in Dubai Dubai Municipality Food Label Requirements

Dubai Municipality Food Label Requirements

What are the requirements for labelling of foodstuff in Dubai?

Dubai Municipality (DM) has the responsibility for regulating the importation of foodstuff and monitoring the labelling and testing of food products. DM liaises with the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) to ensure compliance with the relevant standardisation measures in the UAE.

The supplier of foodstuff products should first be registered at DM as an authorised foodstuff supplier through the FIRS system.

Foodstuff products which are new to the FIRS system need to be registered in detail first. This requires a description of the packaging type and a clear image of the label and the food item itself (maximum image file size is 10 MB).

The following labelling description is mandatory on all food packaging:

  • Commercial name/brand name - this is a summarised description of the food product - the name shall be specific and not generic and shall indicate the true nature of the foodstuff.
  • The food ingredients (listed in descending order commencing with the highest weight or volume).
  • Production & expiration dates of all products (except those which are exempted from displaying the validity or expiration dates).
  • Name of the food manufacturer, packer, distributor or importer.
  • Net weight or volume.
  • Country of Origin should be clearly stated (not the region, such as EU but the specific country).
  • Product’s barcode.
  • Lot number.
  • The language of the label shall be in Arabic.
  • Storage conditions (if the validity of the product depends on such conditions).
  • Mentioning any ingredients which may cause intolerances/allergic reactions.
  • Instructions for using the product (if required).
  • Displaying the nutritional information is optional.
  • Halal marking.
  • Genetically modified (GMO) products should be marked as (genetically modified + the name of the product) or (product from genetically modified + the name of the product) while those products which contain GMO should be marked as (contain genetically modified + the name of the product).

General UAE foodstuff labelling information

The labels for packed foodstuff products should be clear, easy to read and difficult to remove in the normal conditions of handling and use. Information should not be obscured by graphics or designs or other written/ printed words and shall be on a contrasting part of the packaging to that of the background. The letters of the name of the products shall be in a size reasonably related to other prominent printed matter on the label.

Where the container is covered by a wrapper, the wrapper must carry the necessary information, or the label on the container shall be readily legible through the outer wrapper or not obscured by it. In general, the name and net contents of the foodstuff products must appear on the portion of the label normally intended to be presented to the consumer at the time of sale.

Further details on the labelling language

Arabic is the official language for verifying the information on the label. Other languages on the label are considered as translation. The language used on packaging labels of foodstuff must be in Arabic and/or English.

The mandatory information on the product labelling should always be displayed in Arabic, even in circumstances where additional content is displayed on the label.

Companies may use stickers to translate the food labels into the Arabic Language. However, it is admissible that other labelling information on the wrapper is given in other languages.

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