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Dubai considers minimum salary requirement for car ownership

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Want to reduce traffic? Don’t let poor people drive.

That’s one scheme being considered by the Director General of Dubai, Hussain Lootah, as the Emirate looks for ways to ease increasing congestion on its roads, according to The National.

“This city is growing very fast and everyone is buying their own car,” he told the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. “If we keep going in this direction we’ll just have roads and bridges everywhere.”

To solve the problem, Lootah said he is considering establishing a minimum salary requirement for car ownership, hoping to encourage more people to use Dubai’s public transportation.

“There are more than 200 nationalities in Dubai,” he said. “I can’t see [education and awareness] having an effect. Adding that, “unless you go hard, no one will obey.”

Lootah, a civil engineer by trade, also suggested increasing parking fees, insurance costs and the price of fuel, which is currently sells for about $2.00 per gallon in Dubai. The Gulf nation has seen its population double over the past decade, in large part due to an influx of low-paid foreign workers, but is also home to one of the largest concentrations of billionaires in the world.

Whether or not any of these policies go into effect is yet to be seen, but February 19th marks the fifth annual “car-free day” in Dubai, an event aimed at promoting mass transportation and raising awareness of global warming that’s voluntary to participate in, for now.