In September 2012, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah directed the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority and Zulal water factory, to provide mineral water for free in public schools in the emirate. It was in response of His Highness to the demands of some parents via Direct Line program which is broadcasted on Sharjah Radio and TV, complaining the price hike of drinking water bottles sold to their children in school canteens and expressing resentment about the lack of control over the quality of the food sold there.
This initiative is a reflection of the framework of Sultan’s attention and care of students, and his commitment to their health, their comfort and their parents’ comfort. It comes at a time when several supervising bodies of school canteens reported that some students, from low-income category, were forced to drink water from tanks not reserved for drinking, due to their inability to buy water bottles from canteens, as the price of a single bottle in some schools has come to two dirhams and three dirhams. This has forced them to resort to water tanks, which may cause them some diseases, especially after laboratory tests by health departments in the municipalities showed that those reservoirs had been inhabited by some bacteria, and it was not suitable for drinking.