Dubai residents not in any rush to give up gas-guzzlers

While the government of Dubai is testing in Chevy Tahoe Hybrids as taxis, ordinary drivers aren't being quite so conscientious. So far record high prices for crude oil aren't being felt at the pump by drivers. While Americans are now paying over $4/gallon for gasoline, people in Dubai are paying only $1.36. Dubai itself has limited oil supplies and is getting only six percent of its revenue directly from crude. Nonetheless, the high price of oil benefits Dubai as people from more oil rich areas of the Middle East invest and spend their money in the emirate. That means residents of Dubai have cash to spend and manufacturers of big powerful vehicles are the beneficiaries. GM may be having trouble moving HUMMERS and Escalades in the US but they are still extremely popular in Dubai as are big Mercedes, Bugattis and Nissan GT-Rs. Sales of full-size SUVs grew 40 percent in the Middle East in the first quarter of 2008. Unfortunately for GM, the absolute numbers are still far too small to keep the U.S. factories that build those big trucks running.

[Source: International Herald Tribune]

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