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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

For Abu Dhabi drivers, the new road toll means higher monthly bills  

Abu Dhabi residents have said the introduction of a new road toll will help develop the emirate's roads, but also expressed concerns over the rising costs associated with driving.

On Sunday it was announced that the capital is to bring in a system of road tolls. Although the exact details of how it will be implemented are yet to emerge, one father of three has already said he is now considering moving his family to another emirate to conserve his finances.

Abbas Khairy, 41, a Jordanian travel agent and father of three, said he'd like to see public transport improved before a toll was introduced.

“Dubai has the metro and tram so they have other alternatives if they wish to leave their cars at home and use public transportation to avoid paying tolls and save petrol. Here in Abu Dhabi, we don’t have that option.

“After introducing VAT and the new fuel prices we had to change our lifestyle in order to cover all the expenses. It’s getting harder and harder and salaries are still staying the same,” he said.

Mr Khairy said he is considering sending his family to another emirate to cut expenses.

“I don’t want to send them back to Jordan, but I am thinking of moving them to Ajman or Ras Al Khaimah where there is less traffic, cheaper rents and affordable schools,” said Mr Khairy.

“I will keep my work in Abu Dhabi, stay in a relative’s house and visit them once a week.”

Another resident, Waled Mousa, an Egyptian sales director, 35, said that his monthly commuting cost had already risen significantly and that the new toll will affect him even further.

“I drive to Al Ain four or five times a week in my Mercedes car and it costs around Dh150 to fill the tank. With the continued increase in petrol prices and VAT, I now pay Dh300 to Dh350 extra each month on transportation,” said Mr Mousa, adding that the toll will further affect his finances.

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However, some residents said that as long as alternative roads were kept toll-free then the impact of the new move on drivers would be minimal.

Shahin Al Harbi, a banker from Lebanon, 37, said: “[the toll] might be installed on the E10 road and maybe the Corniche. If they provide alternative routes than it should not affect us badly."

He said the Government has the right to seek various sources of income to keep the country at its best and to provide the best services.

“We have great roads and infrastructure that need money for development and everyone should play a role in developing the country."

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