auto petrol
Rising petrol prices have prompted residents to mull several sustainable lifestyle changes. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: UAE motorists are resorting to practical and resourceful ways to save on fuel costs. Carpooling and use of public transport, bicycles and e-scooters are some of the readily available alternatives which they have begun embracing. Some say they will still use their cars but will now get more easy on the throttle for fuel economy. A few are preferring to work from home.

Petrol prices in the UAE have crossed the Dh4 mark since June 1 and the UAE fuel price committee announced on June 30 petrol and diesel prices for the month of July as follows: Super 98 petrol is now Dh4.63 per litre, up from Dh4.15 a litre in June; while Special 95 is Dh4.52/ litre, as compared to Dh4.03/ litre last month. E-91 is Dh4.44, from Dh3.96/ litre in June, while diesel is now Dh4.76/ litre, up Dh4.14/ litre the previous month.

This month’s fuel prices have jumped by around Dh2 per litre, when compared to prices at the beginning of this year, when Super 98 and Special 95 petrol were only Dh2.65 and Dh2.53 per litre, respectively.

‘Play smart’

UAE residents like Nitin Gandhi said one has “to play smart” to achieve fuel economy. He said he will be ditching his SUV on short trips and use public transport instead. “I’ll take public transport during peak hours, especially when traffic is congested. I’ll also try to walk if it’s really just a brief distance,” he added.

Nitin Gandhi

Gandhi, 40, born and raised in Dubai who currently works as operations manager in a company, told Gulf News he will also go easy on his “old habit of driving around the city” for leisure.

Carpooling now

Abu Dhabi resident Hafeed OP, 32, who works as a sales manager, said carpooling is the immediate solution that he and his three friends will do now.

“We all live in Abu Dhabi city and work in Musaffah industrial area. So, instead of us using our individual cars, we will now go in one vehicle to work. Three cars will be left at home at any given and that’s actually good not just to save on fuel but also to reduce traffic and lessen pollution in the environment,” he explained.

Hafeed OP

Hafeed said: “In the past couple of months, I have been spending around Dh800 for petrol. Now, even with the price increase and monthly fuel cost would go up to Dh1,000 or even Dh1,200 per month, individually we would only pay around Dh250 or Dh300 each. That’s still a big savings monthly.”

Hafeed, who drives a sedan, added: “We will just take turns in using our vehicles.”

Cycle to work

Indian expat and Dubai resident, Nidhin Nandanan, 26, who works at an events and media company, said he and his colleagues are also thinking of carpooling. But he is also planning to buy a bicycle or e-scooter so that he can use it go to office from his home in Karama.

Nidhin Nandanan,

“We have been discussing carpooling and we need to sort out the route plan,” he said, adding that a cycle or e-scooter would also be helpful.

More public transport

Nita Cyril, resident of Skycourts Towers in Dubai, meanwhile, is hoping that there will a new bus route from her residence in Dubailand to Oud Metha, where she works.

“Currently the only bus from here goes to Dubai Mall, and from there we can take the Metro to Karama."

Nita Cyril

"It would be faster and more convenient if there will be a new bus route because public transport is the best option given the rising cost of fuel,” Cyril noted.

Work from home

Egyptian Reham Eldidi, who works as head of corporate communications at a company, said: “Definitely with the fuel price hike over past few months, I am looking for ways to minimise my commute and decrease my fuel consumption.

Reham Eldidi

"I am lucky to be working in a company that offers agility and work flexibility. I will definitely work from home more.”

Easy on the throttle

Filipino expat Romeo Duque Jr, who works as chief structural engineer, said he will still not give up his crossover vehicle but instead will get lighter on the gas pedal.

His rationale for using his car is convenience and the time he saves.

Romeo Duque Jr

He explained: “I spend around Dh20 daily on fuel. Apparently, if I take the Metro from my residence in Discovery Gardens to Business Bay, I would spend around Dh15 on Dubai Metro. That’s a savings of Dh5 daily, Dh25 weekly or Dh100 monthly. But I woud have to spend an additional one to one-and-a- half hours on commute. So I will just go easy on the throttle and save some fuel.”

He explained: “I spend around Dh20 daily on fuel. Apparently, if I take the Metro from my residence in Discovery Gardens to Business Bay, I would spend around Dh15 on Dubai Metro. That’s a savings of Dh5 daily, Dh25 weekly or Dh100 monthly. But I woud have to spend an additional one to one-and-a- half hours on commute. So I will just go easy on the throttle and save some fuel.”

Expert advice

Sri Lankan expat and motoring expert Mitch Perera earlier told Gulf News that motorists can ease the impact of rising global oil prices – and make it easy on the pocket – by improving their driving habits.

Mitch Parera

He said simple daily saving tips will do the trick to help reduce fuel consumption, including “going easy on the throttle and brake pedals; driving at slower speeds; using cruise control when possible; regular engine and tyre pressure check; reducing load vehicle; and careful planning of trips.

“Checking your car constantly and doing regular maintenance is the key. Do a full car inspection on wheels, tyres, engine, oil, filters and other parts – and the car will not only be in good condition but will also have solid fuel economy,” he added.

Perera continued: “On highways, maintain a constant speed between 80km and 100km. Anything lower or higher leads to high fuel consumption. The rule of thumb is – the harder the car engine works, the more petrol it’s going to take. High-speed and rapid acceleration make the engine work harder. So, ease up on the gas pedal and be gentle on the brake pad.”

Other experts have constantly advised motorists to always plan their journey. They should anticipate traffic conditions and avoid rush hour traffic whenever possible. Between highways and routes with frequent traffic lights and turns, drivers should choose the highway if the distance is comparable. And whenever possible, especially on the highway, engage cruise control to save petrol.