Seven days on and the fuel crisis continues to plague residents of the UAE, which is now stretching its tentacles from Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain to petrol pumps in Dubai.
The anger and even the fear is spreading like wildfire, what with many wondering if their cars might breakdown on Emirates Road in this intense heat with no gas station in sight, or worse, fuel prices might just leap frog their way to the top and burn a further hole in their pockets.
If there was ever a call for conserving this natural resource and utilise it efficiently, this wake-up call should jolt even the most ardent cynics out of their slumber and set the wheels in motion for a gameplan to combat this crisis diligently.
Emirates 24|7 gives a few handy tips to take the fuel shortage predicament head on and still emerge with that little bit left in the tank to go that extra mile.
Call for carpooling
If you are living in Sharjah and enduring a daily commute to Jebel Ali, which is emptying your fuel tank faster than a Steven Seagal movie marathon does with patrons in the cinema, you just might be a prime candidate for carpooling during this crisis.
Ring around friends and colleagues who endure a similar work route and take turns in driving each other to work. Not only does this stretch your fuel for that few extra days in the week, but it also gives you someone to chat with through the tedious morning gridlock and is gentle on the wallet too.
Agreed, residents of the Northern Emirates don’t have as easy an access to the metro as commuters in Dubai do, but the park and ride facilities at many of the major stations should be an invitation for the long-haul commuters to take advantage of.
Meanwhile, residents of Dubai should certainly cut a ticket for the public transportation system that is accessible to us and utilise the comfort of the increased frequency of feeder buses that transport commuters from stations to different parts of the city.
Those who aren’t comfortable with the public transportation may find the going tough for the first few days, but to master the route now is better than facing the alternative of seeing this fuel crisis stretch further and further to petrol pumps across the city and leaving us with no other alternative.
Midnight fuel runs
If driving your car is a necessity, then get a little time savvy when heading towards your neighbourhood gas station to top up that tank.
Well, maybe midnight fuel runs are taking things to the extreme, but desperate times do call for desperate measures. Standing in long queues for hours at a gas station will only increase your frustration at a situation that is out of your hands.
Pick a petrol pump that is still in service near your home and head out in the late evening or early morning to top up the tank and save yourself the angry outbursts.
Making a run to the neighbourhood supermarket, which is three blocks away? Maybe it is time to leave the car keys at home and walk over.
Yes, the blazing heat outdoors doesn’t make this cause appealing by a long shot, but if the shopping can wait till evening, then try and combine your errands to complete it on the ride home from work.
Also, the lower mercury post sunset makes a short walk endurable. And if you really want to get into a fitness mode, then ride a bicycle over to grab those groceries and tone those shins and hips simultaneously.
Get that foot off the accelerator if you really are trying to stretch that fuel tank that extra kilometre. In simpler terms, the faster you drive automatically increases your fuel consumption, so maintain speeds between 70kph and 100kph, depending on where you are driving.
And while you are at it, avoid rapid acceleration because the harder you step on the gas, the faster you use it up. Slow acceleration will conserve that fuel a little bit longer, just enough to probably get you to the closest open petrol pump that is still servicing customers.
If your company offers you the alternative to tele-commute a few days a week, try and utilise this facility until the fuel crisis tides over and stretch your tank out for that little bit longer.