UAE fuel retailer Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) said it will trial self-service across its network of ENOC and EPPCO-branded service stations as part of a recent cost-cutting drive.
The company, which is wholly-owned by the Dubai government, said it will initially roll-out self-service between 12:00 and 06:00, but was "exploring the option of introducing self-service" at other times.
ENOC, which recently cut operating hours at some of its service stations to save costs, said it had invested AED50m in modernising and automating its service station facilities. The company is anticipating a loss of AED2.7bn (US$735m) for the 2012 financial year, blaming the gap between international fuel prices, which it said were at their highest since 2008, and local retail rates that are set by the state.
“We are evaluating the option of introducing self-service as a new customer-focused initiative to provide our customers the opportunity to familiarise with the concept," said Burhan Al Hashemi, managing director, ENOC Retail.
"The self-service concept is popular in most countries and we are looking at bringing in global best practices to our network to further strengthen operational efficiencies.”
ENOC said that the decision to introduce self-service, which is uncommon among the GCC states, would not lead to any staff cuts or restructuring.
In August last year, ENOC entered a US$12m joint agreement to open 40 service stations across Saudi Arabia.