The United Arab Emirates has done the unthinkable among many rentier economies by reducing petrol subsidies and tying the price of fuel to international markets. The exact mechanism for pricing, still to be controlled by the state, is not entirely clear. A new government committee has formed, the Gasoline and Diesel Prices Committee, to meet monthly to set prices. The UAE is bridging state planning with growing fiscal pressures and long standing advice from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and regional economists that fuel subsidies are limiting economic diversification. In choosing to reduce the subsidy now, when oil markets are in a year of decline, the UAE is seizing a political moment when the public accepts that fiscal budgets are tighter and some changes are necessary. Interestingly, the government has couched its reform decision in the rhetoric of environmental conservation, rather than fiscal prudence.