UAE's new petrol prices: 3 things to watch

Following last week’s announcement regarding deregulation of fuel prices in the UAE, the Ministry of Energy announced new prices of petrol and diesel in the country earlier this week.

Today, July 31, 2015, marks the last day of the subsidised fuel regime in the UAE.

Starting midnight tonight, 95 octane petrol (special grade) across fuel stations in the UAE will cost Dh2.14 per litre, up 24.4 per cent from the Dh1.72 per litre that we pay.

The super grade of petrol (98 octane) will cost Dh2.25/l, up 22.9 per cent from Dh1.83/l that residents currently pay (until July 31, 2015).

The ministry’s move to deregulate the fuel price came as per a decision issued by the UAE Cabinet based on a study submitted by the ministry. 

Before the clock strikes 12 midnight later today, here are 3 things to keep in mind.

#1 Don’t wait until the last minute to refuel your car. As the clock inches towards midnight on Friday, there might be a queue at the fuelling stations of people trying to top-up their car tanks at the pre-deregulated price for ‘one last time’.

You don’t have to wait until the last minute – if you haven’t already, do get it topped up as early as possible to avoid getting stuck in a midnight jam at the fuel stations.

In any case, the pumps ought to stop refuelling about 15-20 minutes before midnight in order for the system to be revised to the new pricing, and you may end up not getting that one last top-up at pre-deregulation prices at all.

Moreover, as the Ministry of Energy has pointed out, the price to completely refuel cars with four cylinders will increase on average by nearly Dh18, for 6 cylinders on an average by nearly Dh25 and 8 cylinders by Dh45. Which means that if you’re going to top-up on a half-tank, you’ll be saving about Dh9 for a four-cylinder car, Dh12.5 for a 6-cylinder car and Dh22.5 for a 8-cylinder vehicle. See if that’s worth the trip to the pump on a Friday night.

#2 The price changes every month. Do also keep in mind that this new price – Dh2.14 for Special and Dh2.25 for Super – isn’t set in stone.

The UAE’s newly formed Fuel Price Committee will monitor the global prices of gasoline and diesel on a daily basis and will announce the prices for the following month on the 28th of each month based on average global prices during that month.

Which means that, depending on the global price of oil, UAE pump prices may change every month. And they may be revised up or down, depending on the movement of the global prices.

#3 The price is standard across emirates. There was a time when Dubai residents driving across the emirate’s border into Abu Dhabi would wait until reaching the capital to refuel as petrol used to be slightly cheaper at the Adnoc stations there. That is no longer the case, and price of petrol and diesel is now standardised across the UAE and across all distribution companies.

So, it won’t make sense anymore to run your vehicle on a nearly empty tank to benefit from the fuel price-differential.

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