The recent decision of UAE government to liberalize fuel prices is negatively received by the public. Most of the expats who form the majority of the country residents believes that the increase will result in considerable rise in the cost of living. This might be true however what people are missing here is the positive impact that the petrol prices increase will have on the environment and the quality of life in UAE.
As the prices go up, many car users will find it more convenient and cost effective to use carpooling and public transport – Metro and public buses hence reducing the Traffic congestion and accidents that become a daily nightmare for UAE residents. According to WHO, residents of UAE are 7 times more likely to die in car accident compared to those in UK. Road accidents are the second major cause of deaths in UAE. According to statistics from the UAE Ministry of Interior 712 people lost their lives in accidents during 2014 - An average of two people per day. With 2.94m vehicles on the UAE roads in 2015 – up from 2.67m in 2013, the commuting time between the different emirates will keep increasing. According to statistics, driver spends an average of 21 hours a week in traffic between Dubai and Sharjah. In addition to the health issues, wasted time behind the wheels cuts from their family time that will otherwise be spent in quality time with the children. Although the government is adding to its world class roads infrastructure by continuously adding roads and interchanges however this is a short term solution to ease traffic or improve safety only for drivers, and in time will only stimulate more growth in car use, a need for even more roads, and more overall traffic issues. Therefore, increasing the fuel prices that will reduce car ownership is much needed surgery that might seem painful in the beginning however its positive impacts will be tangible to public in the near future.
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