Think that sandwich is setting you back about 300 calories? It could be closer to 1,000 – that’s why the Dubai Government is set to make a huge change in restaurants…

Dine out in Dubai a lot? Well, soon you might not be able to munch on a big old burger without thinking first about how many calories are in the meal.

Why? Well the government is saying they’re about to step in and make restaurants and cafes show calorie information on their menus (right next to where the price is written).

The decision doesn’t come lightly, either: it is estimated that 47.5 per cent of UAE residents are overweight.

The Dubai Health Authority initiative will be rolled out in phases (so, perhaps, at fast food restaurants first, etc).

“The move will help promote the concept of mindful eating and will deter people from frequently opting for high calorie meals,” Dr Waffa Ayesh, director of clinical nutrition, told The National.

“More information is better than less or no information,” she added.

At the end of the day, calories stated clearly on the menu won’t stop us from eating things, but will arm us with more knowledge.

Dubai officials are currently working on the plan, but no exact timeline for the scheme has been given.  


Daily calorie recommendations range from between around 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day, depending on someone’s weight and activity.

McDonald’s Arabia has a Nutrition Calculator on its website, and counts the Big Mac as having 527 calories (apparently the Chicken Caesar Salad has around 440 calories with dressing, 190 without). Meanwhile, a Double Whopper at Burger King will set you back a hefty 850 calories. 

A portion of ‘Factory Nachos’ at Cheesecake Factory has 1,670 calories, a Grande Cafe Mocha at Starbucks has 330 calories with whole milk and a Triple Chocolate Muffin at Costa has 377 calories. 

Two Buttermilk pancakes with butter at IHOP will add up to 310 calories and Boneless Buffalo wings at Chilli’s? 1,090 calories. 

We’ve just mentioned some big chains here because it’s currently impossible to find the calories for smaller, independent restaurants – and that’s probably why the government is set to step in.

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