UAE's ENOC trials self-service petrol stations

Fuel retailer will trial self-service at nighttimes before possible wider roll-out

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.

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Posted by: Ziggy

They tried it before and it did not work......and it will not work as long as the customer can get gas at the same price from somewhere else with full service....

Posted by: Billy

For goodness sake Hisham.....why is this such a big deal for people like you. In most other places in the world, including hot humid countries, drivers happily fuel up themselves. In reality you should not have your engine running whilst refueling anyway, so no a/c on but I can guarantee that you are one of the fools who ignore this fundamental safety rule.
The solution......add 20 dirhams to the cost of every tank fill up if lazy people can't be bothered to get out and do it themselves. Separate these people on separate pumps, enforce the turn off the engine rule and leave the rest of the pumps free for less arrogant, sensible people to do it themselves.
For this to work though payment must be possible at the pump and not require a trip into the cashier otherwise the queues would be too long.
Perhaps ENOC should offer free payment by credit card at the pump. Incentive and payment solved in one go.

Posted by: procan

Just for information very few Fueling station in North America pump fuel of course there is rare exception self serve is the norm. Safety is the No. 1 thing here. Engines off ,no Cell phones in use at the pump area of course this a no brainier and its the law . Any way that's what 400 million North Americans do over here.

Posted by: Hisham

First of all "most other places in the world" are not the UAE, second, I doubt that that is the regular system in "most" countries in the world. I have been to quite a few places where the fueling up is done by staff. Apparently you haven't travelled much, as in most parts of South America, Africa, the Middle-East and Asia there is no self-service. Plus, the "safety rule" in Europe and the US in indeed to turn off the engine, but I know to things: 1) I haven't heard of any incidents while refueling with the engine on, 2) On average, people in this region refuel a lot more often than in Europe (so if there would be any risk, 1 wouldn't apply anymore after all the years I've been here)
@wildwine: the mobile phone thing is a total myth

Posted by: Wildwine

@ Billy, yes, I think your solution should work. Pump attendants can be available for an additional fee.
Most people do not care about the turn-off engine rule as well as the no-mobile rule at filling stations!

Posted by: Hisham

Yay! Pumping gas in 50 degrees heat. Or 90% humidity. What's not to like right? I think most people will happily pass up on an ENOC station and make their way to an Emarat or Adnoc if they really implement this.

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