Another Fuel Hike For Jordanians

Last night, cars lined up at gas stations across town, with some lineups stretching for nearly a kilometer. And this was all around 12 and 1 in the morning, mind you. The anticipation for a fuel hike the next day was not taken lightly. People would stop and ask a car in the queue what was going on, and upon hearing the answer they put their car in reverse and joined the crowd. I too joined in but luckily the gas station near my house is a bit isolated from the maddening crowd, and I was out of diesel anyway. To put this in a more personal context, when I first bought my lovely pickup truck (dubbed the “irismobile”) a full tank of diesel would cost me around 26-28JDs. Now, it’s around 35. It lasts me exactly a week without having to travel outside Amman.

In light of the fact that Amman has a terrible public transportation system, I think people have to start taking control of their own fuel-destiny. Companies should start encouraging car pool systems; especially the larger corporations. It’ll even save them on the limited parking space they usually have. Private schools should start doing the same thing next month. If international oil prices keep up like this, I’m thinking of investing in a nice scooter by next spring; at least for the short trips around town.

The price of gasoline 90 (octane number) was hiked by 4.2 per cent as of today, a government panel decided yesterday. The committee, which meets every month to adjust fuel prices according to changes in international oil prices, raised the price of this type of gasoline to JD0.735 per litre, from JD0.705. It also decided to raise the price of gasoline 95 to JD0.84 per litre, from JD0.805 per litre last month, with an increase of about 4.3 per cent. The prices of diesel and kerosene were also increased from JD0.705 to JD0.77, a 10.2 per cent increase. [source]


  • Very worrying indeed!!
    Problem is that it is a worldwide issue right now. Even here in the UK the soaring record fuel prices are causing everybody to complain! Especially that it is causing inflation, food and commodity prices to rise as a consequence. I can’t imagine how the poorer people in Jordan are coping, because it should affect them the most! Whilst most people around the world can manage with a more tightened budget, some in Jordan will find it harder to cope. in a rich country like the UK, it should mean giving up some luxuries, when it might hit hard on the necessities of the poor Jordanians!
    This issue should be the major topic on G8 summit’s table this year, hope they come up with some form of miracle!!!

  • ‘If international oil prices keep up like this’

    The problem is that international fuel prices have dropped in the past week. And how is that having an effect on fuel prices in Jordan?
    I just wrote a post about this,
    I believe that fuel prices should be changed according to the daily change in international oil prices.

    PS. I have a pickup too, and when I first got it, a full tank cost me like 21 JDs, and I swear last time I filled it up, it cost me like 43 JDs. What will happen now with the extra 9.2% increase?! I am ******.
    Excuse my french.

  • S N. the problem in Jordan, is the fact that the rich are not affected by the rise in prices, and the poor are destroyed, and the middle class is ever so shrinking!
    Don’t forget that Jordan, unlike other Arab countries in the region, does not have oil reserves of its own.

  • I had no clue there was going to be another price hike, until I went to fill up gas last evening, and the guy who always fills it up for me says “isma3i minni, fallilleeha el yom 2abel bokra”…

    At the beginning of this year, the mayor promised that we’ll start seeing some significant improvement on the public transportation system in Amman by the end of this year. I always have these day dreams of being able to fully rely on buses in Amman. {sigh} But really, I don’t think the government should subsidize oil so that someone with 4000cc car can buy cheap fuel… they should invest that subsidy money in a decent public transportation system. Isn’t it absurd that while fuel prices keep going up, the streets of Amman have more Jeeps and Hummers?!

  • Can we ever get a break from these prices? what if the oil prices go below 140$ point, will we see a decrease of price at the gas station?

  • Isn’t it also absurd that while oil prices keep going up, our streets are getting wider, longer, and , our tunnels beautified!

    i find it enraging to see so little space for pedestrians and bikers, and so large of a space for our cars (and hummers). A railway system and a reliable public transportation system are long overdue!

    Five to ten years from now, we might not be able to use our cars, even to buy humus from a 3-block away restaurant, what are we going to do then? Ask the Israelis for a ride?!

  • I have seen piles of SUVs, 4 wheelers, Mercedes, BMWs and Audis standing for more than 30 minutes just to save 10 piaster per gallon of 95 unleaded. If they can afford to buy such cars and pay for their insurance, why the hell they waste all that time for saving a total of 2.0 JDs?

  • SN: the G8 is a waste of time (and fuel, if you think about it)

    Yazan: daily changes in international oil prices cause a ripple and trickle-down effect that sometimes take a while to reach the third world. if jordan adjusted its prices on a daily basis i think that would cause more fluctuations to an already fragile economy.

    Lina: I think certain cars should be banned from the country. seriously. I know there are arguments of civil liberties and “if i can afford it why can’t i buy it”, but we live in a society, not on individual islands. We live, operate, and abide certain social rules, and these dire times demand dire actions. This is to say nothing of the fuel-coupons which everyone should hand in.

  • I am pro-scooter and seriously considering buying one. Although generally I am surprised more scooters are not used here, the consensus I get is that drivers are so bad scooters are largely considered unsafe.

    I think we should encourage their use for simple things like driving to work. Who needs a big car for one person?

  • Fuel prices are a worry in many countries now, including here in the UK. It’s not so long ago that a full tank would cost around 35 pounds, now it’s usually in excess of 50 pounds. I’ve also purchased a smaller car recently with better fuel economy.

    However, when I was studying Arabic some years ago in London, we spent quite some time (a month or so) in Amman to have daily contact with Arabic speakers and were encouraged to spend our time outside of the classroom mixing as much as possible with ordinary Jordanians, particularly those who did not speak a foreign language – on the principle that we would ‘sink or swim’; it’s hard at first, but it works! 🙂 All of us (a group of 7) did this separately, so we wouldn’t be tempted to fall back into using English.

    One of the ways we found to do this was to travel around Amman using shared taxis, which seemed to be everywhere and there always seemed to be one that would pass by and take us where we wanted to go. It cost next to nothing, but from our point of view it exposed us to people who could not speak a word of English and so we were forced to practise our Arabic if we wanted to communicate at all.

    Sitting it cafes in the evening with some of our Arab friends, in one of the wealthier suburbs of Amman (near our hotel), we used to notice expensive-looking cars and 4WD’s (SUVs) cruising around the same old circuit every ten minutes or so, the young-looking drivers and their friends obviously bored out of their minds, showing-off, hoping to meet up with friends/girlfriends. I thought then, and I think now, that it would be a lot healthier for some of these people to get out of their SUVs and to mix with ordinary people a bit more – and in the context of fuel prices today, save themselves quite a bit of money. OK the clothes some of the people you meet that way might not be freshly-laundered, but I always found them extremely friendly and helpful. And I could get a shower afterwards, if necessary.

    By the way, at the time I was not some impecunious student, short of money; I was a highly-paid thirty-something executive who was asked by his company to acquire reasonably-fluent spoken and written Arabic because of the job I was going to do, just as were the other people on our course. It was a valuable experience for me and I have tried to emulate it since in countries where things like shared-taxis or decent bus services exist, because not only do I save some money, I get to meet a lot of interesting people (I had the same experience when I lived in Vietnam for a couple of years and wanted to improve my Vietnamese).

    I’ve been reading your blog off-and-on for several years now and always find it very interesting. Thanks.


  • Companies should start encouraging car pool systems; especially the larger corporations.

    Or they can give their employees free bus-ride passes too. That’s what a lot of companies do in the US.

  • Finally… someone mentions “scooters” as a viable (and probably the only meaningful) alternative for transportation in Jordan!

    I’ve been on one since i settled back in Amman last feb, no regrets… 40 JD a month on petrol doing some 2,000km a month, can’t get any better, car is nicely tucked away for family ventures ones a week.

    Most misconceptions about their use is overrated to say the least, be it terrain, weather, bad drivers or the illusion of lack of “safety”… if anything i found to be annoying, is the bad odor a scooterist get cologned with due to diesel guzzling vehicles (especially old ones) polluting the streets.

    In fact, scooters is at the heart of the new company I’ve started.

  • I would really like to know if Jordan is getting any preferential rates, they have an agreement with Iraq and Kuwait i guess. Anyway, i like how people fill their tanks the night before, mainly taxi drivers who have to fill every day. I’m looking for cheap, relatively big, engine cars. Maybe now it would be easier to find!

  • Expressed amazement at how other Gulf countries do not help Jordan, which has the longest border with Israel and has limits with one of the wealthy Gulf states you know all which country i mean …….

    Expressed surprise and be surprised with those we protect from many of the most significant threats to the problem of drug smuggling …. and arms smuggling ….

    Suggested only condoned protect this Gulf state for a month, only to learn the meaning of assisting sister States which is jordan

    With thanks

  • Bashar,
    I assume you are talking about Saudi arabia, if so, then they give an undisclosed amount every year the latest of which was uncovered last month, the amout totaled-if I recall correctly- more than 200 million JDs. Furthermore, the US has increased its aid to over 900 million for the year 2008. Where does this money go? Well..

  • mr. mohannad

    i think we must both ask His Excellency the Minister of Finance

    I think that there are many commitments to Jordan goes to such assistance and aid can not support this bill oil …

    We must get the oil directly as an aid ….

    And this is what i commented upon previously, why not responsive and responsible emerges a question where did that aid goes so we does not even open area in front of rumors??

    Our problem is the silence before rumors Why do not we close the door of rumors or missing information by Periodically publish the answers ???


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