The last place you’d expect to run out of gas is Dubai. Sure, it has a bit of a financial issue and its gas reserves are pretty much gone. But it’s part of the U.A.E., the world’s fourth largest producer of oil. As one Twitterer posted: “How can you run out of petrol if this is where it grows?”
Yet, that’s exactly been the case this week as drivers turned up to Emarat fuel stations only to be waved away by attendants. Yesterday, my friend L.Y. called from the Emarat station on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road just outside of Dubai, where she had pulled in to fuel up. “They’re out of gas,” she said. “It’s so strange.”
Emarat, along with Enoc and Eppco, are the three gas companies in Dubai. Only Emarat was having “technical issues” that prevented the black gold from making the trip from the refineries in neighboring Abu Dhabi. The company, which never officially announced that there was an issue in the first place, said Wednesday evening, pumps should be back in action by the weekend. This is good news for me, as I think the Tiguan’s gauge is pointing at empty-ish.
Dubai blogger Alexander McNabb writes that this has happened before , most recently last September. He cites a Gulf N ews story at the time that said the U.A.E.’s subsidized price for gasoline meant it literally couldn’t keep up with the demand. “Emarat is finding it difficult to get bank loans to enable it continue to sell petrol below cost, so it’s trying to ration the limited quantity of gasoline it has. The company is incurring a daily loss of about Dh2 million due to the subsidy on the fuel and compensation from other businesses such as convenience stores isn’t enough to cover the losses,” an Emarat source toldthe newspaper.
In case you’re wondering, gas is not as cheap as in, say, Saudi. But, at $1.82 a gallon, it’s a mite less than what most of you are paying.