DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — First, there were banana-randomberry-wheat grass smoothies. Then there’s the cold brew, the triple-shot, the one-thing milk latte, the German-style craft beers, the small-batch, barrel-aged prohibited cocktails.
Now a new bar in Dubai, the epicenter of all things Middle Eastern, is serving up “gourmet water.”
There are thirty species in it.
The Lukel Aqua Water Bar collects its water the old-fashioned way – from the tap. Although many Dubai residents prefer bottled water, tap water is safe to drink and meets international standards, the government said.
They then use a micro-dosing system designed by German water purification company Lukel to inject minerals. They cater to all types of water fans, alpine or arctic-source, and offer high-end water brands to match.
Managing Director Roya Jabari says, “Our water sommeliers design the drinks to suit your tastes and moods. “We can give you the perfect mineralized recipe.”
Rich in sodium and potassium, “Runners Heaven” is designed for joggers in the scorching desert heat. “Vegan Choice” provides minerals that may be missing from a strictly plant-based diet. Customers can fill their bottles with any mineral spirits for around 50 cents per 500 ml (16 fl oz) or pay an additional fee for a mocktail.
It is not a completely new concept.
Bottlers have been marketing water from natural springs or remote mountains. Coke and Pepsi got in on the action years ago, competing with Evian and Perrier for sweeteners and fizzy drinks. Blurring the lines between water and soda.
Such products have become popular as consumers adopt healthy lifestyles and treat tap water Often with confirmed suspicion.
Bottled water is the most commonly consumed beverage in the United States. The average American drinks 46.5 gallons a year, compared to 36 gallons of soft drinksAs a beverage marketing corporation consulting group. But it’s rare to find a bar that specializes in water instead of giving it away for free to over-drinking patrons.
In 2012, New York City’s tap water was opened in the East Village as a water bar A flood of criticism. Another was briefly opened in Washington DC in 2019 Less than stellar reviews. Neither seems to have been open very long.
But Dubai, an ultra-modern city built on desert sands, could be fertile ground for the event.
Alcohol is available in bars and clubs in the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms that includes Dubai, but the Muslim country has a large number of teetotalers. As a center of international trade, it attracts the wealthy and fitness types who support the wellness industry.
Jabari insists that the water is not just for the rich, although it is frequented by friendly merchants operating in Dubai’s Media City, selling for 2 dirhams, or 54 US cents, per 500 ml (or about 16.9 fl oz). It is not very expensive.
For sustainability, customers can either refill their bottles or buy reusable ones starting at $2.50. “For me, one of the things that’s like scraping a chalkboard is seeing people walking around with plastic bottles,” Jabari said.
Initial reaction seems positive, with the bar boasting a Google rating of 4.6 stars based on around ten reviews.
“(The water) was really different,” said Bilal Rizvi, who stopped by to try it this week. “It’s great. Turmeric water was a blast.
Jabari says her favorite drink, the Virgin Mojito mocktail, is also popular. It has a twist of pumpkin and lime, a hint of sweetness, with agave and honey.
The interior designer from San Diego, California, who has lived in the UAE for 24 years, designed the pub with a water theme. Bubble-shaped lights illuminate the blue and white tones of the decor. In an ode to her heritage, the bar also serves Persian cuisine.
She hopes to expand the business, seeing growth space in Dubai’s arid neighbourhoods.
“Saudi Arabia is a big market. I believe Abu Dhabi is our next step.