x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

End of road for imperial gallon as UAE switches to buying fuel by litre

One of the last UAE links to the British Empire system of weights and measures will be severed on January 1 when service stations stop selling fuel by the gallon.

ABU DHABI // One of the last UAE links to the British Empire system of weights and measures will be severed on January 1 when service stations stop selling fuel by the gallon and begin selling it by the litre. Mohammed Saleh Badri, the acting director general of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), yesterday announced the conversion from imperial gallons to litres of unit sales by all oil companies and corporations operating in the country, according to WAM, the state news agency.

The change in units of measurement, Mr Badri said, is in line with common international practices and also reduces the possible margin of error in measurements. An imperial gallon is approximately 4.5 litres. The litre is the standard measurement for petrol at service stations across most of the world. It is expected that oil companies will need four months to complete the shift from measuring in imperial gallons to litres, according to ESMA.

The Government was quick to assure consumers that the change in measurements will not mean it costs more to fill a vehicle's tank. "We have not received any circular but the price will remain the same," said Bipin Sharma Ghimire, 30, a shift supervisor at an Adnoc service station on Airport Road. "We anticipate some confusion among motorists who are used to gallons instead of litres." Jojo Ambooken, 40, an engineer at a construction company in Abu Dhabi, expects few problems in the shift.

"There won't be any major difference at all," he said. "It's quite simple; when motorists ask to fill up their tanks, instead of five gallons they'd be asking for 20 litres." rruiz@thenational.ae