Dubai civic chief calls for tough curbs on car ownership



Dubai’s civic chief has called for tough curbs on car ownership as the city’s economic rebound clogs its roads and a booming population and spike in car sales lengthen rush-hour queues.

“Everybody has their luxury life,” said Hussain Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality. “but the capacity of our roads cannot take all of these cars without ownership laws.”

A salary limit scheme that would restrict car ownership to those earning above a certain monthly income is one of several options that could be considered.

“We should increase parking fees, increase fuel costs, insurance prices,” he said. “It costs Dh30 [in Germany] to park for half an hour — Dh1 per hour in Dubai.”

Mr Lootah dismissed the idea that residents could be encouraged to reduce car use through awareness programmes, or carpooling.

“There are more than 200 nationalities in Dubai,” he said. “I can’t see [education and awareness] having an effect, and soft [regulations] don’t work any more. Even in Europe and America it doesn’t work. Unless you go hard, no one will obey.” More info