Taxi fares to increase in some UAE cities after fuel prices soar

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The United Arab Emirates’ Sharjah announced variable-monthly taxi fares to align with the rising prices of fuel, a social-media statement from the emirate’s road and transport authority said on Friday.

The announcement came after the United Arab Emirates increased fuel prices for the month of July by $0.13 (49 fils) compared to June, to match the rising prices globally.

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This new rule allows the emirate to increase or decrease the tariff based on the month’s fuel price.

A similar change in rates is being followed by Dubai’s RTA, according to a statement shared with Al Arabiya English.

The transportation body will reportedly alter the per kilometer rate based on the month’s fuel prices, with no impact on the base fare that is currently $3.27 (AED 12).

“Any change in taxi fares is a dynamic change based on the fluctuating fuel prices in the local market and is calculated based on fuel usage per km. We have implemented a forethought increase without any impact on the opening/booking fare charges,” the statement said.

The UAE shifted in 2015 from a system of fixed, subsidized fuel prices to one of adjusting prices monthly in response to global trends with officials saying at the time that prices would be “based on the average global prices with the addition of operating costs,” Reuters reported.

Now, the UAE fuel price committee sets the petrol and diesel prices monthly.

The fifth increase in petrol prices this year further widened the gap with other oil producers in the region who subsidize fuel.

Petrol is now three times more expensive in the UAE than in Kuwait, and more than double the average price per liter in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, according to a Bloomberg estimate.

In the UAE, motorists are feeling the pinch, as Al Arabiya English learned in interviews with various long-term residents.

Some local media reports also suggest a near $1 increase in the cost of Sharjah-origin bus trips, as confirmed by some passengers.

The high cost of fuel has also prompted ride-hailing company Uber to raise fares in the UAE twice this year.

With agencies

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