Rising gasoline prices in the UAE prompt a search for alternative modes of transport

Rising fuel prices are prompting motorists in the UAE to seek alternative modes of transport and favor short-term rentals for daily trips.

People have had to pay more at the pump in recent months as global oil prices soared, with a 13% increase in June after peaks of 10% in March and 16% in April.

Jaideep Dhanoa, co-founder and managing director of Fenix, a micromobility operator in the United Arab Emirates, said more and more commuters are turning their backs on cars to avoid fuel and parking fees.

“Globally and regionally, we are grappling with rising inflation on a range of personal expenses, from fuel costs to grocery hikes, which are eating away at our disposable income,” he said.

“More and more people are looking to save on expenses for day-to-day tasks like commuting.

“From a mobility perspective, people are turning to car sharing and for those looking to buy, electric cars have become much more attractive from a cost perspective. But the challenge is that there is not enough supply to meet the demand.

“That’s where other modes of micromobility come in, like e-scooters and e-bikes.”

Last month, Fenix, which has 10,000 light vehicles spread across 10 GCC cities – its largest share being in the United Arab Emirates – recorded its best month to date since its launch in late 2020.

“For our scooters and e-bikes, we offer one-way rental,” he said.

“We also offer a personal subscription vehicle for Dh150 per month where we deliver a scooter to your doorstep, you have unlimited rides, a smart app to monitor the ride and battery life as well as maintenance service and insurance coverage.”

Operating on a Dh1 per minute basis, he said users are opting for micromobility vehicles to make short trips to work, to transport them to and from public transport stations, or to connect with people. colleagues or friends at a meeting point to carpool longer. trips.

Dubai teacher Alexandra Gordon, 37, said she occasionally shares a car ride to work with friends because it’s more economical than buying and maintaining a car. She runs a short distance from Motor City to Remraan.

“When I lived in the UK I always used public transport or carpooling,” she said.

“When I first moved to Dubai my house was within walking distance of my work, but I have since moved and started taking taxis to and from work because I didn’t know the public transport routes.

“I now take him to work by bus and bring him home by taxi. With the rising cost of fuel, I would like public transport in Dubai to expand because I want to try to be as sustainable as possible with my travels.

Some motorists have taken a long view and traded gas-guzzling SUVs for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Christopher Creek, 53, who lives in Abu Dhabi, drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee before switching to a Nissan Micra 18 months ago, saving Dh500 a month.

“I switched because of the general ease of hiring a car, including lower fuel costs,” said the UK aeronautical engineer. The Nationalahead of recent increases in UAE forecourts.

Maria Sobh, 26, sold her Jeep after realizing she was spending more than Dh1,300 a month on fuel.

According to an Audi Abu Dhabi survey released last month, around 52% of UAE residents plan to switch to hybrid or electric cars as rising fuel prices increasingly influence how consumers perceive transport.

According to the research, which surveyed 1,000 UAE residents, 25% of respondents are waiting for more electric vehicle options to be launched before buying.

UAE residents now plan their car journeys more carefully, with around 25% saying they use public transport a lot more, while 14% of drivers have bought a scooter or electric bike to use on the road. short distances, the survey found. .

In April, Dubai allowed the use of electric scooters in 10 districts and on cycle lanes as part of plans to expand the electric vehicle network in Dubai.

Two thousand vehicles, operated by four companies, have been made available for hire in areas identified as most likely to benefit from greater access to e-scooters.

The network covers 167 kilometers across Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Internet City, Al Rigga, 2nd of December Street, The Palm Jumeirah and City Walk.

Updated: June 03, 2022, 04:30

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