'UAE petrol price hike will burn savings'

Bernd Debusmann Jr. (Chief Reporter)/Dubai Filed on July 23, 2015 | Last updated on July 23, 2015 at 10.40 am
"It's not fair on people with low income and get a car with their savings,"a resident said.

"When fuel prices go up, everything will go up. Grocery, restaurant, apartment rents, almost everything."

Wednesday's announcement that UAE fuel prices will be deregulated as of August 1 brought mixed reactions from local residents.

One resident, Azhar Zia Ur-Rehman, said he was worried that rising gas prices will remove some of the incentives for foreigners to live and work in the UAE.

"The main reason for living here is the savings. Most people may reconsider if savings are hurt," he said.

Basit Aman, a 37-year-old lifelong resident of Dubai, said he thinks the move will primarily disadvantage the UAE's low-income residents.

"It's not fair on people with low income and get a car with their savings," he said. "Then it gets difficult for them to arrange for petrol with the increase." 

Additionally, Aman called upon the UAE authorities to explain to the country's residents why they will now be paying higher prices than their Gulf neighbours such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

"It should increase if they import, but they have their own," he added. "There should be more explanation about the decision to increase, because in other GCC countries the prices are low and have not been increased or decreased."

Such sentiments were also common on social media.

In a Facebook post, KT reader Tariq Anwer, noted his concerns about what an increase in the price of petrol would mean for other aspects of daily life.

"When fuel prices go up, everything will go up. Grocery, restaurant, apartment rents, almost everything," he said. "They all go in one direction: up."

Some people, however, said they accepted the change.

K.K. Ashraf, a Pakistani expat and Sharjah resident, told the Khaleej Times that people should expect to pay whatever the final price is, as they do for other essentials.

"There is no question of reaction. It's very simple. Just pay and drive," he said. "The public is already paying for everything, like Salik and parking."

On Facebook, KT reader Ahmed Chohan argued that the price increase will likely encourage people to use alternative - and cleaner - forms of transportation around the UAE.

Ken Neil, a Scottish expat who has lived in Dubai for the last 20 years, said the changes are logical if they are competitive.

"Given that none of us know what the processing of oil into petrol and associated costs actually are, none of us know the real price," he said. "What does it cost to get out of the ground and delivered? We don't really know."

"But deregulation makes sense provided genuine competition exists."


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Originally from Mexico City, I've been in Dubai since January 2015. Before arriving in in the UAE I worked as a general news reporter in TV and print in Mexico City, NYC and Washington DC. I'm interested in defence issues, politics, technology, aviation and history. In my spare time i enjoy traveling and football - I'm a keen fan of Chelsea FC. I developed an interest in the Middle East traveling through Jordan and the West Bank. I have a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College in the USA and an MA in International Journalism from City University London.

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