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Oil pinch hurt growing in the UAE as Uber, Sharjah Taxi take cues

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Kumar Shyam

The pinch on the pockets of the UAE residents is starting to hurt badly by the day with rising oil prices and its knockon effects.

As soon as the petrol and diesel prices went up by at least 50 fils for the month of July, ride-hailing company Uber has followed suit.

The company sent out an email on Friday to inform about the fare hike. Uber would charge as much as 11 per cent extra for some trips, the American company added.

The hike is Uber’s second this year in the UAE, after a hike in March but the UAE’s market-linked price for the black gold has continued unabated. The country opted for a dynamic pricing with global trends in 2015. But Russia’s attack on Ukraine has messed all economies around the world.

Yet, petrol in UAE is three times more expensive than in Kuwait and almost double the average cost per litre in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, according to a Bloomberg report.

Dynamic pricing

Uber is not alone with Sharjah Taxi also deciding to base their fares with the rise or fall of fuel prices with this month.

The Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) said the meter flag down rate will be increased or decreased every month in direct co-relation with the prices. Petrol prices in the UAE have jumped over 56 per cent since January 2022.

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Also read: UAE ranks first regionally and twelfth globally in growth potential
UAE petrol price to get costlier by 50 fils in July 2022
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Early last month, Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, had admitted that prices could go higher as Chinese demand is likely to recover significantly while efforts by Opec+ to raise production were not yielding results fast enough.

The latest data showed Opec+ was running 2.6 million barrels a day short of its production target, Mr Al Mazrouei said at the Middle East and North Africa-Europe Future Energy Dialogue in Jordan.

He expects China, the world’s biggest importer and second largest economy, which has been easing its coronavirus lockdowns, to “come with more consumption”.

“With the pace of consumption we have, we are nowhere near the peak because China is not back yet,” Mr Al Mazrouei said. “The situation is not very encouraging when it comes to the quantities that we can bring. We’re lagging by almost 2.6 million barrels a day and that’s a lot.”

 

Dubai most expensive city in the Gulf

Meanwhile, Dubai has been ranked among the world’s most expensive cities to live and work in for expatriates this year, according to the Cost of Living survey by Mercer.

Dubai-expensive The study, which looks at how the rising cost of living has impacted workers’ financial wellbeing in 227 cities worldwide, placed Dubai in the 31st position.

The emirate, which has been seeing a growing influx of millionaires and demand for property recently, emerged as the costliest city in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, beating out the neighbouring cities of Riyadh, which landed in the 103rd position, Jeddah (111th place), Manama (117), Muscat (119), Kuwait City (131) and Doha (133).

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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UAE fuel prices announced for March 2024

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The Fuel Prices Monitoring Committee has given the green light for an increase in gasoline and diesel prices for March 2024. The approved hike ranges between 15 and 16 fils per liter for gasoline and 17 fils for diesel, compared to February 2024 prices.

Fuel distribution companies have promptly announced the new prices, effective from Friday, March 1, 2024. The updated pricing includes a 5% value-added tax.

Specifically, the price per liter of super gasoline “98” is set to rise by 15 fils, reaching 3.03 dirhams in March, up from 2.88 dirhams in February. Special gasoline “95” will see an increase of 16 fils, from 2.76 dirhams to 2.92 dirhams, while E-Plus 91 gasoline will climb by 16 fils, reaching 2.85 dirhams from 2.69 dirhams. Additionally, the price of diesel will experience a 17 fils per liter hike, escalating from 2.99 dirhams in February to 3.16 dirhams in March.

This decision follows three consecutive monthly reductions in gasoline and diesel prices approved by the committee for January 2024. The reduction ranged between 13 and 14 fils for gasoline and 19 fils for diesel per liter compared to December 2023 prices.

Notably, the Ministry of Energy’s approved fuel price standards are subject to monthly adjustments based on the global average oil price, incorporating distribution companies’ operating costs.

New fuel prices are:

-Super 98 petrol will cost Dh3.03 a litre, compared to Dh2.88 in February.

-Special 95 petrol will cost Dh2.92 per litre, compared to Dh2.76 last month.

-E-Plus 91 petrol will cost Dh2.85 a litre, compared to Dh2.69 a litre in February.

-Diesel will be charged at Dh3.16 a litre compared to Dh2.99 last month.

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Luxury cars showroom opens in Dubai for premium motorists

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A new car showroom dedicated to luxury supercars has opened near the Equiti metro station on the busy Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

Set up by the accomplished automobile stalwart Sarabdeep Singh Bassi with his Man Friday Walid Al Balushi, the showroom opening witnessed a range of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, Mercedes and Bentleys along with some top options in the Land Rover range as well for a rich sampling of the showroom’s USP. The inauguration ceremony was graced by UAE businessman and SJM Group chairman Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum as the chief guest.

Bassi is a veteran of Dubai’s automobile circuit with showrooms for used and mid-range cars in three emirates – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi – since 2004 when he landed from the United States, where too he operated in the similar industry but around trucks and transport for a brief while.

According to Balushi, now is as good time as any to have a cars showroom for the upper echelons of the society. “Our Emirati folks are always a keen, regular market, but we also see a lot of Russians and people from the adjoining regions looking up high-end cars.”

An attendee poses in front of a grey McLaren and red Ferrari at the Oscar Cars showroom in Dubai. Photos Joy Dasgupta / Headline.ae

This showroom is the latest addition to their Advantage Motors brand which deals in mid-range levels of cars in the three emirates.

“Already the response is very good,” Bassi said on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony amid much fanfare. “We have more expansion plans like opening other automotive businesses after this. Our customers are from all over UAE and from other countries as well like Russia, Middle East countries, China, All Over Africa, and others. We are also promoting electric vehicles sale which are environment friendly.”

The vast showroom on the Sheikh Zayed Road, diagnonally across the Mall of Emirates, is laid out over 7,000 square feet and separate parking, with the best of knowledgeable staff at hand to help buy and sell the cars, along with other services like buying premium number plates, etc.

 

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UAE sees upward surge in fuel prices for September

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The UAE has announced its fuel prices for September, following its usual practice of monthly revisions. The new rates will apply from September 1 and are as follows:

-Super 98 petrol will cost Dh3.42 a litre, compared to Dh3.14 in August.

-Special 95 petrol will cost Dh3.31 per litre, compared to Dh3.02 last month.

-E-Plus 91 petrol will cost Dh3.23 a litre, compared to Dh2.95 a litre in August.

-Diesel will be charged at Dh3.40 a litre compared to Dh2.95 last month.

After a similar rise in July, petrol prices in the country increased during August. Over the past year, prices have displayed fluctuations, yet they remain notably lower than those of the same period last year.

Take a Quick Look: Fuel Prices Throughout the Year

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