UAE fuel prices increase: How residents are budgeting petrol expenses with unique hacks

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, getting a full tank this month will cost you between Dh14.79 and Dh21.46 more than it did in October


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 1 Nov 2022, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 1 Nov 2022, 2:54 PM

With fuel prices changing every month, UAE residents have come up with their own unique ways to budget for monthly petrol expenses. While some have a fixed budget for fuel and cut back on other expenses when prices rise, others simply deal with the fluctuations as they happen.

On Monday, the UAE announced retail fuel prices for the month of November, which increased by up to 29 fils per litre. It is the first time in three months that the fuel prices have increased, after reaching record highs in July.

Mansoor Ali runs his own landscaping business, and every change in fuel prices means changes in budgets for his projects. “When the prices hit record high[s] earlier this year, we changed our ways quite a lot,” he said.

“We would combine 2-3 trips into one. We would drive to sites only when it was necessary. After closely monitoring our petrol expenditure, we began adding a miscellaneous tab to our project budgets as a company so that we could bill our client if the cost of petrol went over a pre-determined limit.

Now that we have become used to the system, we don’t change it even when the prices have dropped. I think it’s great for the environment as well.”

Ali says he has also taken steps to reduce petrol costs in his personal life as well. “We have swapped one of our petrol cars for an electric car,” he said. “The difference in spending has been remarkable. So we are now thinking of changing our second car too.”

Starting today, November 1, Super 98 petrol will cost Dh3.32 a litre, compared to Dh3.03 in October. Special 95 petrol will cost Dh3.20 per litre, compared to Dh2.92 in October. E-Plus 91 petrol will cost Dh3.13 a litre, compared to Dh2.85 a litre last month.

Mohammed Shameem, a Dubai resident, said he budgets fuel expenses under 'miscellaneous' every month, for which he sets aside Dh750. "I get my salary on the 25th of each month. If fuel prices increase, I cut down on the weekly long drives I take with [my] family or reduce the number of times we eat out."

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, getting a full tank of petrol in November will cost you between Dh14.79 and Dh21.46 more than it did in October.

Syrian expat Faten, who lives in Ajman and works in Dubai, does not have a monthly budget, but has adopted steps to minimise her driving. “Earlier, I used to do my grocery shopping in stores here,” she said. “But now, I look for deals online, especially for items like dishwasher tablets, oil and toilet paper.

It has made a huge difference in my monthly spending. Also, as a family, we have reduced our outings since the petrol prices went up. Once you get used to that lifestyle, you don’t make changes even the prices drop.”

Fuel prices in the UAE were deregulated from August 2015 to link them with global crude rates. The move intended to help rationalise fuel consumption and increase dependence on public transport and renewable sources of energy, according to the government.

Dubai resident Noel Pselis says he does not have a budget for fuel, and hardly notices the increase in prices. “I commute to work only once or twice a week,” he said. “I also usually take the metro to go to the Dubai Mall or Marina to meet friends and hang out with them.

Therefore, I have to refuel my car only once or twice a month. The price differences don’t matter much [to me].”


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