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Money Saving - Tyre Tips


Car tyres in the UAE typically deteriorate faster than their tread life. Why you ask, well it’s hotter than a blacked out FJ cruiser sitting in the July sun with all the windows up, and the massage parlour business cards’ ink are etching the images on to the window.

No but seriously why, because the heat of our summer temperatures dries the tyre out, once that occurs the shoulders, where the tyres expand at higher speeds (100 kms and above) stretch at the shoulders of the tyre, and thus crack. As you have noted in summer the amount of debri on the 140km limit highways increases, mostly it is from burst tyres of trucks that are loaded to the limit of the tyre, and the trucks are perhaps using poor condition tyres. Below is a picture of a cracked tyre, if you have similar tyres then consider changing your tyres soon, using moisturizer cream does not solve the issue below...don’t ask me how I know.

So that’s probably why the RTA asks that tyres are changed every 3 years, as the ambient temperature, exposure to UV light causes premature aging of tyres and any rubber parts on a vehicles, have you noticed how infective your wipers are after a couple of weeks of the summer heat, seems like the wipers were designed to shift the dirt from the edges to your direct field of vision.

So how do I get the best possible deal in the UAE on tyres you ask, because they are expensive? Here are some tips to reduce your buying price:

  1. Don’t buy from your service centre, authorised dealership, as they will charge harder than a wounded rhino. Petrol stations tyre dealers are also charging higher at times you have no choice, as you have a puncture and are incapable of changing to the spare tyre or filling with the foam, or driving at the lower speed on your run flats because you need to get to that meeting that you are already late for in typical Dubai fashion. I will assume that people are able to change a tyre on this forum, and can do this simple car ownership task in their sleep, if you can’t then LEARN NOW!
  2. Buy tyre brands from the official tyre distributor of that brand, sometimes this tip can be contradicted, as the independent tyre dealers in Sharjah, Al Dhaid, Al Wagan, Madinat Zayed are lower, why, because their overheads are lower. But you don’t have the 5 hours to spare for a round trip to Madinat Zayed, as you have to get a manicure for your golf game that day. See my notes for list of popular brands that I have bought from the official dealers. I tend to prefer the dealers, as the technicians are better trained, yes that can happen in the UAE, and the equipment is in better condition...oh and the customer waiting room has a better selection of magazines, but the tea and coffee are reconstituted engine oil at best.
  3. Don’t drive to the tyre shop and ask for the price, they will not offer a good discount if you are there, as they know you want to get this over with quickly, instead call them, phone calls are cheaper than crawling in traffic. And on the phone you can squeeze them on the price, the amount of squeezed discount is dependent on your background, if you are from the West, a 10% discount will probably suffice, if you are from the East you will ask if you can get the tyres for free as you have to save up for your son’s education or daughters wedding, and then work your way up the discount slabs, and you consider this is a national sport.
    Do you need to replace the same brand of tyre...the short answer NO!, you can match the size of the existing tyre, pricing depends on country of origin, so from lower to higher, China, Thailand, Korea, Japan, American, Europe. I will assume that the audience can quote their tyre dimension in at least 2 languages, if not then you need to learn this, use youtube, google and stop watching that other nonsense on youtube.
  4. So if Adam Smith were a Dubai resident, and wanted to change tyres, when would he do that? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand Supply and demand prevail here in the city of trading. So summer presents more opportunity for tyres to combust whilst on the highway, thus putting the fear of god into them, and they all rush to the tyre dealers for some new tyres. This fact is well known by tire traders, and they know they can squeeze an extra 10-15% out of the resident. So if you check your tyres, and think that they need to be changed based on the quality image above, then do it before May, as prices will remain higher until September.
  5. Do rotate your tires, keep the pressures up, infact you can increase the pressures around 3-4 psi higher on all tires than the car manufacture recommends, this will increase your fuel economy. But the car manufacturer recommends a lower pressure I hear you ask, sure they do, but to maintain a smooth ride and we really don’t need this here in the UAE as our roads are very smooth, exception is the rubble they used to surface Motorcity’s main retail stretch.

Note:  Sole Agent Tyre Dealers, use www.atninfo.com and www.yellowpages.ae to get the number.

Bridgestone: Alserkal Bridgestone or Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal Est.

Yokohama: Juma Al Majid

Dunlop: Al Gurg Tyres (Dunlop Pro Shop)

Michelin: Central Trading Agency (They have Tyre Plus shops, which are expensive and have found that Michelin are cheaper at the independent shops, so buy your tyres from the independents and have them fitted at a good tyre fitting shop)

Pirelli: Al Hawai Tyre company

Continental tyres: Emirates For Universal Tyres LLC (I think, and I see that this brand is not widely used here)

Hankook: Al Dobowi Tyres

Kumho: Ideal Tyres Trading (not sure if they have fitting facility, and rely on 3rd party to fit tyres)

Cooper Tire: Renaissance Trading

BF Goodrich: Tyre Express (but maybe same as Michelin, independents are cheaper)

Toyo: Tyre Express (but maybe same as Michelin, independents are cheaper)


Thank you and I hope you make it to your work, golf game or the school run safer and a few dhirhams more in your pocket, if we bump into each other say you read my advice and found it useful, if you didn’t I don’t care.

Customer Feedback

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Nice tire tips Vanhack, just wanted to add my experience below.

  • In Michelin tires it's worth checking pricing from sharjah shops next to sahara center as those irani boys bring same tires through parallel import from oman and bahrain and sell cheaper than snoobish central trading agency.
  • Always get tires with Temperature rating A, for UAE weather so that they can last good number of years. Tire shops says B rating is acceptable, but you will get less life and more prone to tire burst at high speed for long duration.
  • Tasjeel have 3-5 years of passing on tires depending on grooves, tire tread and tire overall rubber condition. I got passed my 4 years old tire just last month, as those tires are on my hardly used car which is parked under the covering parking and those tires must have done less than 15000 kms in 4 years.
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Agree on Michelin....back in 90s they used to be cheaper from central trading agency...now like many Dubai being on the map equates to adding more margin. 

Good tips on the temp rating, I find the RTA testing inconsistent, seen tyres with low tread and large chips on sidewall failed, whilst a perfectly good tyres, but old by age fail on low mileage that is less than 5000kms per annum, and no sidewall cracking. RTA "engineers" are my first submission for the Darwin award. If questioned about the decision, they employ the technical reasoning of glazed look and inform you that this is the rule and speak to RTA inspector.

Edited by vanhack

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