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Taxi booking will be 80% online in ‘smart’ Dubai city

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Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has endorsed a plan to shift from conventional taxis’ street-hail to e-hail services, aiming for an 80 per cent e-hail adoption rate in the coming years.

The decision stems from the success of Hala e-hailing rides, which accounted for 30 per cent of all taxi trips in Dubai in 2022.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said, “the expansion of taxi e-hail services, as opposed to street-hailing, reinforces the government’s goal of transforming Dubai into the world’s smartest city. This step also aligns with the worldwide shift in urban transportation planning, focusing on improving individual mobility, decreasing dependence on private cars, fostering happiness among residents, delivering outstanding services to visitors, and boosting customer satisfaction.”

E-hailing has emerged as the most efficient means of matching taxi supply with demand and providing customers with hassle-free, efficient taxi services.

Al Tayer said the service boosts the efficiency of taxi operations by streamlining the process of locating and booking rides electronically, which leads to a higher percentage of trips with shorter waiting times of 3.5 minutes or less, thereby increasing customer happiness and satisfaction while reducing wasted mileage, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions.

He added that customers can also benefit from other features such as seamless in-app e-payment, optimal route selection, trip-sharing options, access to driver and vehicle details, and the ability to rate both the service and the driver.

These services further support RTA’s initiatives to integrate diverse transport modes and offer first- and last-mile solutions, enabling mass transit users to conveniently reach their ultimate destinations.

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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