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UAE to scrap fuel subsidies from August

The United Arab Emirates will stop subsidising petrol and diesel in order to save billions amid falling state revenues
UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei speaks during the Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum (AFP)

Leading oil producer the United Arab Emirates will scrap subsidies on petrol and diesel from August to cut spending as low crude prices hit revenues, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.

Pump prices for the two fuels will now be set on the basis of world prices and adjusted each month, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

The move is expected to save billions of dollars a year.

The International Monetary Fund said in a report released on Monday that the UAE has been spending $29 billion a year subsidising petroleum products and electricity.

"The decision to scrap subsidies was taken to support state finances, rationalise fuel consumption and protect natural resources and the environment," the ministry said.

Fuel prices in the UAE are already the highest of any of the six Gulf Arab states.