Most businesses I have spoken to about it haven’t got around to thinking about their policy regarding the Salik congestion charge yet. Which is possibly slightly strange.
Does your company intend to pay the Salik costs of business travel? Will you get an allowance? Or is the company simply ignoring the additional charges and expecting you to pay them out of your pocket?
If companies intend to pay it, it’s possible to envisage the charge contributing an additional cost to service businesses of anything up to 1%. In other words, Salik is a significant potential addition to the cost at the bottom line – and an inflationary contributor.
The costs soon mount up, by the way. And if, as I suspect, we will be seeing a lot more Salik Tollgates springing up, we’ll be looking at the potential for Dubai's busy business types to relatively easily rack up the full daily Dhs 24 per day charge (6 passes) with ease. At Dhs 24 for 5 working days and 11 months (say you spend your four week leave out of the country), that’s a cool annual Dhs 5,280 ($1,444).
So what is the policy? Pay reasonable business travel, pay an allowance to offset the effect on staff pockets or let them pay it themselves? Companies will undoubtedly find staff asking about it over the coming week.
Look on the bright side. One point of view is that it should at least cut down on the useless and frustratingly unnecessary meetings we all suffer from. :)