DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - August 12:  A customer speaks with an attendant at the Enoc Petrol station off Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai on August 12, 2008.  Enoc has introduced a trial period whereby customers must first pay for their petrol upfront and then pump it themselves. They were not offering an incentive for people to pump their own petrol as they do in other countries and reactions to this trial were negative.  (Randi Sokoloff / The National) *** Local Caption ***  RS003-ENOC.jpgRS003-ENOC.jpg
Subsidised petrol prices in the UAE have encouraged consumers to purchase larger, more powerful cars and trucks that often have poor fuel efficiency.

New petrol price rise in effect



Car dealers and economists believe plans by the Federal Government to raise petrol prices will over time push UAE drivers out of gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and sports cars and into smaller, more efficient vehicles. Today's increase of 20 fils a litre on all grades of petrol will hit specific types of buyers, said Michael Ayat, the chief executive of Arabian Automobiles, which markets Nissans and Infinitis.

"This will not reduce the number of vehicles which are sold, but the customers will move their choices, maybe to smaller cars or more economical cars," including "downsizing from eight-cylinder to six-cylinder", he said. Long-range commuters travelling alone would be most affected, he said. "For a guy who is commuting between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, that is the customer who has to take this into consideration."

The Government on Monday indicated it was working towards a "liberalisation of prices" that would push up the cost at the pump by many times today's increase, which comes just three months after a rise of 15 fils a litre. The two increases - which total as much as 27 per cent, depending on the grade of petrol - are the first time the Government has relaxed price caps since 2005. As of today, a litre of special-grade petrol costs Dh1.72, compared with an average US price per litre of Dh2.65 (72 US cents), which represents the market price plus an average of 44 fils in taxes.

The UAE's subsidised prices have encouraged consumers to buy big, powerful cars and trucks with poor fuel-efficiency. A major shift away from such vehicles "is not going to happen overnight", said Mahmoud Samara, the regional manager for General Motors in the UAE, Qatar and Oman. "V8, or what they like to call gas-guzzlers, are still very popular here," he said. "Some [consumers] will start going from SUVs to cross-overs and smaller engines, but is it going to be a big proportion? We don't think [so]."

But the recent history of the US car market, where four-wheel-drive vehicles were a dominant type only three years ago, shows that higher fuel prices can have a dramatic effect on the market share of different car models. A study last year sponsored by the national bureau of economic research (NBER), a non-profit group that provides data to the US government, found that for every $1 increase in the price per US gallon of petrol between 2001 and 2008, big 4x4s, minivans and pickups lost 17.7 per cent of their market share. At the same time, the most efficient vehicles gained 17.5 per cent.

The study, which took into account a number of factors including income and geographic location, also found that for every $1 increase in the price of petrol, the price of the least-efficient used cars dropped an average of $1,072. Lower-income consumers are generally more responsive to small price changes, but those with higher incomes are the ones buying new cars, said Meghan Busse, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois and a co-author of the NBER study.

"It could also be that low-income drivers are already in relatively economical, fuel-efficient cars, and so it is high-income drivers who are moving out of big SUVs in response to gasoline prices," Prof Busse wrote yesterday in an e-mail. Today's price increase will encourage consumers "to prick up their ears and start to look at what is the comparable fuel-efficiencies", said Len Hunt, the group director of Al-Futtaim Group's automotive division, which sells Toyotas and Lexuses.

@Email:aligaya@thenational.ae @Email:cstanton@thenational.ae

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 247hp at 6,500rpm

Torque: 370Nm from 1,500-3,500rpm

Transmission: 10-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 7.8L/100km

Price: from Dh94,900

On sale: now

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The specs

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 542bhp
Torque: 770Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Price: From Dh1,450,000
On sale: Now

Match info

Costa Rica 0

Serbia 1
Kolarov (56')

The 12 breakaway clubs

England

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Italy
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Spain
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

The Bio

Name: Lynn Davison

Profession: History teacher at Al Yasmina Academy, Abu Dhabi

Children: She has one son, Casey, 28

Hometown: Pontefract, West Yorkshire in the UK

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite Author: CJ Sansom

Favourite holiday destination: Bali

Favourite food: A Sunday roast

NYBL PROFILE

Company name: Nybl 

Date started: November 2018

Founder: Noor Alnahhas, Michael LeTan, Hafsa Yazdni, Sufyaan Abdul Haseeb, Waleed Rifaat, Mohammed Shono

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Software Technology / Artificial Intelligence

Initial investment: $500,000

Funding round: Series B (raising $5m)

Partners/Incubators: Dubai Future Accelerators Cohort 4, Dubai Future Accelerators Cohort 6, AI Venture Labs Cohort 1, Microsoft Scale-up 

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Racecard

6.30pm: The Madjani Stakes (PA) Group 3 Dh175,000 (Dirt) 1,900m

7.05pm: Maiden (TB) Dh165,000 (D) 1,400m

7.40pm: Maiden (TB) Dh165,000 (D) 1,600m

8.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh190,000 (D) 1,200m

8.50pm: Dubai Creek Mile (TB) Listed Dh265,000 (D) 1,600m

9.25pm: Handicap (TB) Dh190,000 (D) 1,600m

The National selections

6.30pm: Chaddad

7.05pm: Down On Da Bayou

7.40pm: Mass Media

8.15pm: Rafal

8.50pm: Yulong Warrior

9.25pm: Chiefdom

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Citizenship-by-investment programmes

United Kingdom

The UK offers three programmes for residency. The UK Overseas Business Representative Visa lets you open an overseas branch office of your existing company in the country at no extra investment. For the UK Tier 1 Innovator Visa, you are required to invest £50,000 (Dh238,000) into a business. You can also get a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa if you invest £2 million, £5m or £10m (the higher the investment, the sooner you obtain your permanent residency).

All UK residency visas get approved in 90 to 120 days and are valid for 3 years. After 3 years, the applicant can apply for extension of another 2 years. Once they have lived in the UK for a minimum of 6 months every year, they are eligible to apply for permanent residency (called Indefinite Leave to Remain). After one year of ILR, the applicant can apply for UK passport.

The Caribbean

Depending on the country, the investment amount starts from $100,000 (Dh367,250) and can go up to $400,000 in real estate. From the date of purchase, it will take between four to five months to receive a passport. 

Portugal

The investment amount ranges from €350,000 to €500,000 (Dh1.5m to Dh2.16m) in real estate. From the date of purchase, it will take a maximum of six months to receive a Golden Visa. Applicants can apply for permanent residency after five years and Portuguese citizenship after six years.

“Among European countries with residency programmes, Portugal has been the most popular because it offers the most cost-effective programme to eventually acquire citizenship of the European Union without ever residing in Portugal,” states Veronica Cotdemiey of Citizenship Invest.

Greece

The real estate investment threshold to acquire residency for Greece is €250,000, making it the cheapest real estate residency visa scheme in Europe. You can apply for residency in four months and citizenship after seven years.

Spain

The real estate investment threshold to acquire residency for Spain is €500,000. You can apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after 10 years. It is not necessary to live in Spain to retain and renew the residency visa permit.

Cyprus

Cyprus offers the quickest route to citizenship of a European country in only six months. An investment of €2m in real estate is required, making it the highest priced programme in Europe.

Malta

The Malta citizenship by investment programme is lengthy and investors are required to contribute sums as donations to the Maltese government. The applicant must either contribute at least €650,000 to the National Development & Social Fund. Spouses and children are required to contribute €25,000; unmarried children between 18 and 25 and dependent parents must contribute €50,000 each.

The second step is to make an investment in property of at least €350,000 or enter a property rental contract for at least €16,000 per annum for five years. The third step is to invest at least €150,000 in bonds or shares approved by the Maltese government to be kept for at least five years.

Candidates must commit to a minimum physical presence in Malta before citizenship is granted. While you get residency in two months, you can apply for citizenship after a year.

Egypt 

A one-year residency permit can be bought if you purchase property in Egypt worth $100,000. A three-year residency is available for those who invest $200,000 in property, and five years for those who purchase property worth $400,000.

Source: Citizenship Invest and Aqua Properties

DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

Heavily-sugared soft drinks slip through the tax net

Some popular drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine have slipped through the fizz drink tax loophole, as they are not carbonated or classed as an energy drink.

Arizona Iced Tea with lemon is one of those beverages, with one 240 millilitre serving offering up 23 grams of sugar - about six teaspoons.

A 680ml can of Arizona Iced Tea costs just Dh6.

Most sports drinks sold in supermarkets were found to contain, on average, five teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

MATCH INFO

Qalandars 112-4 (10 ovs)

Banton 53 no

Northern Warriors 46 all out (9 ovs)

Kumara 3-10, Garton 3-10, Jordan 2-2, Prasanna 2-7

Qalandars win by six wickets

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
SPEC SHEET

Processor: Apple M2, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Silver, space grey, starlight, midnight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W or 35W dual-port power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable

Price: From Dh4,999

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

UAE fixtures

25 April – Ireland v UAE*
27 April – UAE v Zimbabwe**
29 April – Netherlands v UAE*
3 May – UAE v Vanuatu*
5 May – Semi-finals
7 May – Final
UAE squad: Esha Oza (captain), Al Maseera Jahangir, Avanee Patel, Heena Hotchandani, Indhuja Nandakumar, Kavisha Kumari, Khushi Sharma, Lavanya Keny, Mehak Thakur, Rinitha Rajith, Samaira Dharnidharka, Siya Gokhale, Suraksha Kotte, Theertha Satish, Vaishnave Mahesh.

*Zayed Cricket Stadium

**Tolerance Oval

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Company profile

Name: WonderTree
Started: April 2016
Co-founders: Muhammad Waqas and Muhammad Usman
Based: Karachi, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Delaware, US
Sector: Special education, education technology, assistive technology, augmented reality
Number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Growth
Investors: Grants from the Lego Foundation, UAE's Anjal Z, Unicef, Pakistan's Ignite National Technology Fund

PROFILE OF HALAN

Started: November 2017

Founders: Mounir Nakhla, Ahmed Mohsen and Mohamed Aboulnaga

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport and logistics

Size: 150+ employees

Investment: approximately $8 million

Investors include: Singapore’s Battery Road Digital Holdings, Egypt’s Algebra Ventures, Uber co-founder and former CTO Oscar Salazar


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