Dubai mulls minimum salary for car owners

Municipality could also increase parking fees, fuel costs or insurance prices to tackle road congestion problem

Image for illustrative purposes only

Image for illustrative purposes only

Dubai authorities are considering introducing a scheme that would restrict car ownership to those earning above a certain salary, a top official was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper, Dubai Municipality director general Hussein Lootah said that “soft” regulations such as encouraging car pooling and other awareness programmes had failed to curb soaring use of automobiles in the emirate, which often sees gridlock traffic during rush hour.

“Everybody has their luxury life,” Lootah told the newspaper in an interview. “But the capacity of our roads cannot take all of these cars without ownership laws.”

A salary limit scheme, he said, would limit ownership to those earning above a certain salary. This is currently just one idea, Lootah added, with no current timeline for implementation.

Lootah said that authorities may also increase charges for those who choose to drive via indirect means. “We should increase parking fees, increase fuel costs, insurance prices,” he said. “It costs AED30 ($8.20) [in Germany] to park for half an hour — AED1 per hour in Dubai.”

Dubai has plans to expand its metro system, opened in 2010, and will also launch its first tram network later this year. Lootah said that the municipality hoped to encourage more residents in the emirate to use public transport. “There are other alternatives — taxis, buses, metros. I will build more metros,” he said. “We will expand the metro, station by station. We have buses, luxury buses - but the people don’t go for it because their cars are very cheap.”

A number of countries around the world apply steep taxes to residents who choose to drive rather than use public transport. In Singapore, to obtain a Certificate of Entitlement to purchase a car, buyers must first pay a government charge of between $48,000 and $92,000.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: johar

What the govt should also consider is that how rich the public transport system is, it is currently not available on the same level of density as it is in countries like Singapore or HK where easy public transport is available within 5 minutes walk of almost everybodys home. Also second thing to consider is the harsh weather in UAE, in summer it is impossible even to walk outside for 5 minutes, the govt should also keep this aspect in mind while enacting new laws

Posted by: islam

Come oooon guys!
Why are you so upset?
Let them cheat, lie, play games to fulfill their need. Let them do whatever they want, and very soon you will see how gradually blessings will go from the land. They are throwing it out with their own hands!
Besides all this price hikes are to cover so called projects and pay debts... And of course 2020 will be also from your pockets dear expats. Be happy.

Posted by: A Reader

Take it or leave it? What a stone age attitude to society! If only the system there did not attract people who thought like that, perhaps it would stand a chance to be more than a glossy advert to the rest of the world.

And subsidized petrol for "locals"? I take it that card would extend to the driver of every pick up, truck, tractor, crane, forklift, labor bus, motorbike and other commercial vehicle working for every "locally" owned enterprise? What about the inevitable black market for "local" fuel between poorer nationals and drivers, perhaps on the way to the northern emirates' liquor stores?!

Sad to see people advocating apartheid style policies on the roads to solve a basic (and universal) problem in 2014.

Posted by: Benny Thomas

Traffic snarls is majorly between Dubai and Sharjah.
pls open more roads between Sharjah and Dubai and let the vehicles travel without spending hours on the road. For Eg, the al mamzar road (from sharjah to Dubai) road which was constructed years before, is still NOT open to public, but only buses and taxis can go this way....those violate will be penalized by AED 600!! Constructing more Saliks and increasing taxes, only will make the public go more upset and helpless...especially those who are travelling between Sharjah and Dubai. Am doubtful, to what extend the authorities have personally traveled in this traffic snarls to experience the difficulties daily.
....and Dubai has 1 Dhs parking nice, if it was the case!!

Posted by: A Reader

In 1997 a taxi from Al Ghurair Center to Dubai College was Dh 20 (worst case Dh 30). A taxi from Mall of the Emirates to Dubai College is now Dh 20. This inflation came the day they metered taxis and phased out the white ones in 1998, I know I was paying at the time.

Meanwhile, the price of the fuel/vehicle/insurance/driver has remained largely the same (except for the arbitrary 50% increase in petrol, unlike ALL other GCC states, and beyond).

Fuel & parking in smaller, more highly populated European and Far Eastern hubs is no benchmark for a large spread out metropolis that resembles Vegas or Florida, where fuel and parking are half the price of the former.

Build an inter-emirate Amtrak style cargo train for all the trucks going along Emirates Road, get rid of Salik, go back to large employers to offer free company minibuses, stop mimicking other cities and the situation will be improved for everyone's benefit.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
The cost of the US laptop ban

The cost of the US laptop ban

Aviation analysts and airline bosses are warning of significant...

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Couldn't a laptop with a bomb inside still pose a danger within...

After all the hype, what's the future for Hyperloop One

After all the hype, what's the future for Hyperloop One

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One may have struck a deal this month...

Most Discussed