Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy, the government entity setting energy policy, has announced that utility tariffs would remain at current levels for the next several years.
The decision, which includes both water and electricity prices, was welcomed by the emirate’s businessmen.
Abu Dhabi Deloitte regional energy consultant Hannes Reinisch said, "If you're saying come to Dubai, we guarantee you energy prices will not rise, that's music to the ears to people who have very energy-intensive industries. All the businesses who are looking to build up their manufacturing capacity can do their business cases with a fixed energy cost… That's what industry wants, they want security," The National reported.
The fast-food industry, one of Dubai’s fastest growing sectors, was gratified by the announcement, as rising food costs have cut into their profit margin. Subway sandwich chain UAE development agent Marwan Al Hamar said, "This is especially good news for us, we are feeling a lot of pressure on the food price inflation and costs. It's definitely a significant amount. It is very positive to have that cost fixed so we know what we are dealing with."
Subway currently operates 104 outlets in the Emirates and is seeking to expand.
Emirates Fast Food managing director Rafic Fakih, which operates 90 McDonald's outlets in the UAE, also supported the announcement, saying, "We are not a huge consumer of energy compared to other kinds of business, but in general it's good news. The price of food is going up, so this will be one less issue to worry about."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com