The cost of cooking dinner at home just became a lot more expensive.

Effective yesterday, cooking gas cylinder prices jumped by about ten per cent. The price of the largest gas cylinder increased by 6.5 per cent.

Emarat and Emirates Gas announced the increase as a result of the hike in the cost of liquid gas.

However, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) officials were unavailable for comment. SEWA currently supplies piped gas to houses and restaurants at the rate of Dh2.5 per cubic metre.

With the new rates, the price of a small gas cylinder (11 kg) increases by Dh3 to Dh31, the medium gas cylinder (22 kg) goes up by Dh5 to Dh53 and the large cylinder (44 kg) jumps Dh6 to Dh98.

The increase in gas prices follows the recent increase in the prices of fuel oil and petrol.

Resident said it is unfair to pay that much more.

"We already pay Dh33 to Dh35 for the small gas cylinder its original price is Dh28. The gas agents, however, charge that much. With this new increase, the small one will now cost me Dh40," said Sana, a Syrian housewife and mother of five.

Salma, an Indian woman who lives in Sharjah, said nowadays everything is expensive. "It is unfair to increase the gas prices that much. The gas agency charges more than the original price of the gas cylinder and now they will increase it even more," she said.

Salma charged that every now and then water, electricity, gas, petrol, house rent, school fees and food prices increase. "Everyday life has become so expensive."

Ebrahim Bin Tahir, a UAE national who is head of the public relations department at Biosaline Centre in Dubai, said the increase of fuel prices worldwide encourages industries to increase their prices. "Gas, fuel, petrol and house rents have increased by more than 20 per cent in recent years. All have a negative effect on the lives of the middle class which in turn will have a bad effect on society," he said.

"Gas is used daily. It is important for people and it is already expensive. Why add more burden on medium- and low-income people's lives?"

He suggested that the Federal National Council and the Cabinet should intervene to discuss price increases.

"Hike in prices should be followed by hike in salaries," he said.

"It seems that what is going on is like asking low-income expatriates to leave the country immediately or at least send their families back home. That would affect the stability of the society."

Gas delivery agents said they also increased the prices of gas cylinders as of yesterday.

A gas agency manager in Ajman, who requested anonymity, said he will charge a little bit more as usual.

"We already charge more than Dh33 for the small gas cylinder because we deliver it to the customer and we install it, so we plan to hike our prices also," he said.