UAE motorists will pay 10 per cent more at the pumps next month as the cost of petrol rises for the second straight month. But for some, it signals a positive economic change.
With the exception of diesel, which increased a marginal 2.5 per cent, petrol prices shot up about 10 per cent, according to figures from the energy ministry.
This means that Super will cost Dh1.78 a litre compared with Dh1.62 in April, Special will be Dh1.67 compared with Dh1.51, diesel Dh1.60 compared with Dh1.56, and E Plus is to rise to Dh1.60 from Dh1.44. Dubai resident Emmanuelle Artins, 35, said that she filled her Toyota Rav4 with Special at least once a week, averaging about Dh80.
However, the UAE fuel prices are still seven times cheaper than in her native France. “I’m happy to participate in making this economy work and be stable,” she said.
Similarly in Abu Dhabi, Wilson Craig, 47, from the UK, said although the price fluctuations have been noticeable, it was not a significant drag on his finances. For him, his Porsche Cayenne is a gas guzzler that costs him on average between Dh90 and Dh100 a week.
“I have noticed the price fluctuations, but it is not too much of an inconvenience to me so far and prices are still cheaper than the UK,” he said. “I do believe that UAE petrol prices should rise as the cost of oil goes up and agreed with the move last year.”
The UAE changed its pricing system last August, and until last month, prices had been on a steady decline. The rise in petrol prices can be linked to the price of oil, which has recently rallied.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, is now about $47 a barrel compared with last month’s close at near $40.
“If prices rise then it would hopefully introduce some shift to public transport where available,” Mr Craig said.
For Dubai resident Orla Phillips, the move was a welcome sign given that her family has personally been affected by job losses as a result of the slump in oil prices.
“My brother lost his job in Canada because of the drop in prices, so I’m happy it’s turning around,” said the 34-year old Irish national.
The global oil and gas industry had shed more than 250,000 jobs globally by the end of last year after prices dropped about 60 per cent from highs of $110 a barrel nearly two years ago.
“This shows that the market is improving and all the regular people working in the industry who have been adversely affected by the drop in oil prices can breathe a small sign of relief at the increase,” Ms Phillips said.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter