Self Service

Credits: GN (Sunita Menon)
Dubai: From next week motorists will be filling up their cars themselves as Enoc is introducing a self-service system at selected stations in Dubai and the northern emirates.
The pilot project will start at three sites in Dubai and seven in the northern emirates on August 12.

The ten Enoc service stations where the self-service scheme will be introduced include Al Bada’a, opposite Jumeirah Prison, Al Hashimi behind the Sahara Centre, Al Rafia on the Dhaid-Sharjah Road, Al Gharafa on Ajman Main Street and Thouban on the Sharjah-Fujairah highway.

Under the system customers will need to park in front of the pump, switch off the engine, go inside the store and pay the amount they want after mentioning the pump number and desired product. The cashier will then give a receipt for payment and the customer can fill up. The pump will automatically stop when the authorised amount is dispensed.

A company spokesperson said: “We are pleased to be introducing this new initiative to our customers. In the initial stage, we will only introduce the project to ten of our sites.”

The self-service concept will allow for payment by cash only. As a safety measure smoking and the use of mobile phones while filling up are strictly forbidden.

In Abu Dhabi, some 14 petrol stations run by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) have already introduced self-service fuel filling terminals.

The concept generated a mixed reaction among a cross-section of motorists in Dubai. The majority were of the opinion petrol stations should focus on the safety aspect when the concept is implemented next week.

Alisha Fikri, a British national originally from Pakistan, said she had often come across motorists lighting up a cigarette at petrol stations right next to the petrol pump.

“Imagine the disaster that such motorists can bring when they are allowed to put fuel in cars. I did reprimand one of them but was bluntly asked to mind my own business. Self-service is quite good as it will not only save time but make people more responsible. Having said that, I think an awareness campaign of do’s and don’ts need to be launched before the concept of self-service is fully implemented.”

Ali Abdullah Jasem, an Emirati, thinks the concept will not go down well with Arab women.

“I am an Arab and I am sure women from this part of the region will make a big fuss about the entire thing. The majority would prefer the attendant to fill their fuel tank.”

Jasem who has completed his higher education in the UK said a lot of Western countries had a self-service fuel system implemented a long time ago and it was time the UAE stopped pampering those who live here.

Similar views were highlighted by Sukhwinder Pal, an Indian businessman who said: “We are pampered a lot over here. At every petrol station, grocery store and supermarket we have people employed to serve customers. This has made us lazy. I went to Kerala for a vacation last month and was quite surprised to see motorists filling fuel by themselves. It’s high time people living here became more active. They need to get out of their cars at petrol stations and fill fuel. I am very happy about the service and looking forward to use it.”

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