UAE fuel prices fall for September

DUBAI // Drivers will pay less at the petrol pumps from next Tuesday.

E-plus (91-octane) petrol will come down in price by 8.7 per cent, from Dh2.07 to Dh1.89 a litre; Special (95) by 8.4 per cent from Dh2.14 to Dh1.96; and Super (98) by 8 per cent from Dh2.25 to Dh2.07.

Diesel will fall 19 fils to Dh1.86 per litre, a drop of more than 9 per cent. This is on top of the drop in price at the beginning of this month, by 29 per cent in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and 12 per cent in Abu Dhabi.

The changes on September 1 will be the second since the price of fuel was deregulated in July. It is now set each month by an independent committee chaired by a Ministry of Energy official and including the chiefs of the fuel companies Adnoc and Enoc, which decides on retail prices based on international markets.

The new prices announced on Thursday are a partial reversal of the committee’s first decision in July, when petrol prices rose by about 24 per cent from August 1.

Drivers welcomed the September price cuts, although many said they had not been concerned about price deregulation. “It really did not make much difference to me, and I don’t think it’s individuals who are greatly affected by such decisions,” said Samar Mohammed, 26, who lives in Dubai.

“I think these decisions have more effect on big businesses that need large amounts of fuel. In turn, however, these businesses might raise prices to cover operating costs and, in turn, that will affect us, the consumers.”

Samar Othman, 25, who lives in Ajman, had also not been affected by this month’s increase, but she hoped prices would remain constant.

“I work at a university in Ajman and I also live there, so you can imagine that whether they increase or decrease the fuel prices, it won’t have a direct impact on me,” she said.

”People who drive long distances would definitely benefit from next month’s decrease.”

American expatriate Michael Atmeh, 26, who lives in Dubai, said the price drop next month made him consider using his car more often.

“Right now, I find it more convenient to take public transport,” he said. “The increase in fuel prices did not affect the costs of public transport, which remained a better alternative for me.”

Relying on his car to take him outside Dubai, however, meant the price drop would have an effect on him.

For Rana Ibrahim, 32, who commutes from Ajman to Dubai for work, the drop will ease the strain on her monthly outgoings.

Now, she spends about Dh50 on her daily commute.

“I really felt the difference, because Dh65 would last me for two days. Whereas now, I fill gas on a daily basis,” she said.

“The decrease is a very good thing not only for motorists but residents, in general. With the increase of fuel and diesel prices, operating costs will increase, and then we can end up paying more for many things, including electricity.”

The pricing committee has not said which benchmarks it follows to set the prices, but the cut for next month reflects the average decline in petrol and diesel futures prices in New York over the past month.

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