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Sun 9 Feb 2014 10:42 AM

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Dubai mulls minimum salary for car owners

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

Dubai mulls minimum salary for car owners
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.

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JohnA 5 years ago

And how big is Singapore compared to Dubai? Dubai is more than 5 times bigger than Singapore, while Singapore has 2.5 times more population.
The issue is still the same here. Weather, connectivity and parking. You cant expect people to move from their homes to a bus/metro station while being in 30+ degrees heat. You want to increase parking? Then you remove the incentive for people to drive and park their cars to the nearest Metro station.

James 5 years ago

Another element missing here is the use of motorcycles. In the vast majority of modern cities, regardless of whether in warm or cold climates, you will see many hundreds use them for community, not only the more typical courier and food delivery use we see in the UAE.
The motorcycle takes very little road space, barely any parking space and has the potential to reduce traffic considerably.
Some will no doubt comment on his unsafe the motorcycle is. This is totally incorrect as it is usually the lack of observation from drivers that increases the danger, not the motorcycle itself. But, as is typical in these debates, that logic is lost in the lack of any real study.
On the bright side, I do see more people moving from home to the metro on motorcycles, scooters, Vespa and the like, so maybe the more enlightened folks out there are already doing their part.

Dmitri 5 years ago

Crazy ideas! Most of peaoples came to UAE because of this good life style. Why to come here if it will be the same as Eourope or Singapore???;) Turn ON your brain, please

Paul Lambert 5 years ago

Have all white coloured cars drive one day then the rest the next. Problem solved. If that fails just create a new car tax system. Simples.

IAK 5 years ago

We cant compare to Germany and Singapore or any other country which gives citizenship to expats for working and living there. If Germany charges 30AED for half an hour then in return there welfare, retirement, job loss etc are also comparably that effective and worth looking at. Majority of the expats have lived here for more than 40 years or 60 years while paying more in terms of dewa and government charges for the welfare of the country and consider UAE as their home country.

I also agree and second @JohnA comment.

patrick 5 years ago

I agree that some steps should be taken:
1-the solution is the bicycle / there should be bicycle parking in the metro stations parking and in each building it should be mandatory like in all new building in Europe. also the internal roads should be safe for bicycles. and there should be bicycles for rent at affordable prices.
2- lower max speed to 110 km on all UAE main roads thus reducing accident /saving lives and times. also internal roads to 60 and 40km/h.
2-Increase registration fees for big cars mainly 4x4, V8 and V6. thus reducing fuel consumption and pollution.
3- Additional premium cost for registering the second car, then third, etc...
3-make enough, free and convenient parking spaces next to metro stations.
4-Change parking fee slab to half an hour rather than one hour.
thank you

defensivedriver 5 years ago

How about not letting income define permit to drive but sharpen the criteria to be allowed to drive.

The vast majority of drivers in Dubai has no clue about defensive driving and the rule of 'stiking to the right' and 'prohibition to pass on the left' rules.

If driving behaviour would be monitored on camera, then it would be easy to filter out the rotten elements and leave the roads open to courteous, skilled and safe drivers.

Gradually as people learn to drive, the traffic will become more fluid and the roads will be able to take more cars.

I would really like to have a word with these decision makers because they seem to make the wrong decisions time and again regarding traffic.

DNS 5 years ago

You dont really know what you are talking about. Dubai is smaller than Singapore, unless you are comparing the Emirate (state) of Dubai. Then in that case, it is bigger.

DNS 5 years ago

How about putting more metro stations and more pedestrian bridges in Abu Dhabi and Dubai? And create more water transport options too?

Pete 5 years ago

Please visit Singapore and experience their metro system before comparing. Such seamless and connected is their system that you would feel comfortable to use public transport than cars.