It’s the 28th of July. As announced earlier, the deregulated fuel prices have made their first appearance today. As they will continue to do on the 28th of every month. Each set of prices are valid for a whole month, till the next announcement. The prices for August are in the picture below.

How much is the difference

If you have been filling a 50 L tank with Special grade petrol and paid AED 86 so far, you will now pay AED 107. Those who filled a 50 L tank with Super grade petrol for AED 91.5 will now pay 112.5. The difference would be 21 dirhams.

In other words, if you are used to filling up for a 100 dirhams, you will pay 122.9 for 58.14 litres of Super and 124.4 for 54.4 litres, if your choice is Special.

The differences between Super and Special (11 fils) as well as between the old price and the new (42 fils) have been maintained as the same in absolute terms –– but as a percentage of the overall amount, from Special to Super is a shorter jump now.

You can check monthly prices here https://www.moenr.gov.ae/en/knowledge-center/petrol-prices.aspx

It’s good to know…

While it is something new in the UAE, this is how many parts of the advanced world have been tackling fuel prices in response to the market factors. Across the US, Canada, UK or Singapore, fuel prices vary based on states, oil supplier, why even on a day to day basis. There are “Today’s fuel price” boards outside stations! India has highly subsidized diesel prices so as to keep the public transport costs as well as essential commodity prices down. Here in the UAE too, like in many Gulf countries, fuel enjoyed huge subsidies to the tune of billions of dirhams – 46 billion so far this year according to one estimate. Consider this – ENOC and Emarat have been buying their fuel in the open market and then supplying it to you and me at a discount. That’s how we never had to check prices on the display boards before filling up.

Well, not any more. Now, fuel prices in the UAE too will reflect international market fluctuations, which will bring up more realistic prices, which will in turn reduce the burden on the country’s economy. Like everything new, it might take a few days to get used to, but optimistic observers feel this will lead to a change of attitude towards fuel and fuel-efficient cars in this market. So, is this finally the meltdown of hybrid-resistance?

May be. May be not.

Now, the good news is that (there are three) – one, fuel prices have not been fully deregulated. A committee will ascertain the value for the whole of the following month. So we don’t have to look daily at the bulletin board.

Two, the first hike hasn’t been significant as this is a time when world oil prices are low. In the U.S., regular petrol before tax costs around 2.2 dirhams. So our initial price rise has stayed just short of it.

Three, diesel will actually drop its price from approximately 3 dirhams to 2.05. Again, this was expected going by pre-tax diesel prices in the US (around 2.26 dirhams). The real good news is that as lorries to the vegetable market and all those RTA buses ply on diesel, the prices of essential commodities shouldn’t be affected by any of this.

Inevitably, anyone who drives a petrol car will cringe as the counter rolls way quicker from the first of August. Suddenly, paying Salik might look the wise thing to do to avoid the long detours into Al Khail Road or the 311. Household vehicle budgets will be surely squeezed, if only slightly. It might be a difficult pill for consumers to swallow but the nation will feel a lot better for it.

Courtesy: UAE Ministry for Energy, Internet snippets, DriveMe index

What does the new fuel prices mean to UAE? was last modified: February 22nd, 2016 by Sudeep Koshy

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