Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - United Arab Emirates

Official name

United Arab Emirates Dietary Guidelines (Arabic: الدليل الإرشادي الوطني للتغذية).

Publication year

The first version of the United Arab Emirates Dietary Guidelines was published in 2019. The guidelines will be revised regularly as needed or upon the release of any international dietary guideline updates.  

Process and stakeholders

In the UAE, there is a National multisectoral Nutrition Committee, composed of the Federal Ministry of Health and Prevention, other Emirate-level health authorities, related government sectors, academia, and municipalities. The Ministry of Health and Prevention developed the Guidelines based on the results of the National Health Survey 2018 and were revised by the National Committee. After which, the dietary guidelines were officially endorsed by the Minister of Health and Prevention.  

Intended audience

The FBDGs recommendations are directed at the general population. 

The technical documents are meant to:

  1. Be used by healthcare professionals and individuals involved in nutrition education in all healthcare institutions and other community settings including; sport clubs, community settings, educational settings and others.
  2. Be shared with International, Arab, and Gulf governmental and non-governmental organizations.
  3. Be included it in the school curriculum.
  4. Be included in projects, programs, campaigns, competitions, and festivals related to health awareness.

Food guide

Burj Khalifa is a famous major landmark so it was chosen to represent the graphic of UAE Dietary Guidelines. It is divided into six food groups each one represented with a unique colour (cereals, vegetables, dairy products, fruits, meat, and fat). What distinguishes UAE food guide is the addition of water as a group representing the base of the Burj with blue colour. Each group is described in detail in the fourth guideline with serving size recommendations.    


  • Support and strengthen a healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet and physical activity for all. 
  • Maintain healthy eating at all stages of life.
  • Reduce calories by reducing sugar, fat (especially saturated and trans fat) and salt intake.
  • Consume diversified nutrient-rich foods and beverages.
  • To adopt healthy eating patterns, replace unhealthy foods with healthy foods.
  • Ensure food safety.