The UAE Has Banned The Advertisements And Promotion Of Formula Milk |

The UAE Has Banned The Advertisements And Promotion Of Formula Milk

In efforts to protect the women from competitive advertising

Posted on

24 December 2018

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Formula Milk

It also aims to encourage mothers to choose wisely

A new law regarding the promotion and advertising of formula milk has been applied to production companies in the country.

From now on, formula milk will only be sold in the UAE if and only if it meets the strict packaging rules, otherwise it is prohibited.

In efforts to support a nationwide promotion of breastfeeding and a move away from harmful formula milk, the UAE cabinet has been adopting these new rules since April.

Where it deemed it not allowed to market infant formula milk in the UAE anymore, including the following decisions:

  • No more advertising of Formula milk
  • Mandatory labels to state that it is not a substitute to breastfeeding


Any company that advertises their formula milk or fails to add the mandatory label will have their infant products withdrawn from shelves across the UAE.

They will also be banned from marketing their products in the country for up to a year and, be charged a damage cost and have their licenses revoked.

Importance of breastfeeding

With more and more instant Formulas being produced, the World Health Organization’s international efforts to remind mothers that breastfeeding is important and that these formulas are not a substitute.

The mandatory label to add on formula milk is also a reminder for mothers, as it says “breastfeeding is best,” to ensure fair marketing of products and to help mothers choose wiser.

Formula milk is not equal or more beneficial than breast milk and that is what the movement is trying to bring forward.

Harmful marketing

Lots of companies that produce formula milk are based in the UAE and they have harmful messages that go along with products and marketing.

Some even state that formula milk improves a child’s IQ and is better than breast milk when research has proven that breast milk is much more beneficial for the infant.

Other companies place high promotions on prices on formula milk, which removes the mother’s ability to make a fair decision.

Breastfeeding in the UAE

Back in 2014, the UAE also shifted an important on breastfeeding through a proposal to a change in the Child Rights Law, which said that breastfeeding should be mandatory from mothers.

It went further to propose that breastfeeding is a duty for every infant and is vital for their health.

And it builds a stronger bond between the mother and the infant during the nursing period.

The UAE has always tried to support mothers who do choose to breastfeed and under the UAE law, working mothers can take up to two 30-minutes breastfeeding breaks in a day for infants up to 18 months of age.

This is due to the low numbers of mothers who engage in nursing in the UAE, which was found to be lower than the global average - only 34% choose to.

Making the UAE at 6% less than the global average and 16% lower than the suggested World Health Assembly target.

However, some women in the UAE choose not to breastfeed due to various reasons besides the promotion of formula milk, including:

  • Health issues
  • Financial issues
  • Emotional barriers
  • Lack of support at home or work
  • Limited time
  • Lack of production of milk