Archive for August, 2008

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.”


Dubai Police Chief in Manama Bahrain


Lunar Eclipse on Aug 16, 2008

A partial lunar eclipse — the last eclipse of the year 2008 will occur on Aug 16, 2008.

Local timings for various places are as follows.

UAE: Dubai timings (local timings)
22.25 to 3.55

Celebrity Murder

A Lebanese singing star was found stabbed to death in her Dubai Marina apartment.

Suzan Abdul Sattar Tamim was also disfigured by her attacker. Dubai Police said the 31-year-old singer was stabbed several hours before her body was discovered.

Police had received a report from one of her relatives who lived in Sharjah, and went to her apartment at Burj Al Remal building in Dubai Marina Monday night where they discovered her body.

Suzan had been living alone in the building for the past eight months. A former winner of the Lebanese talent show Studio Al Fan in 1996, Suzan enjoyed many hit singles during her early career. Suzan Tamim (late)
Suzan spent most of her short life between courts, police stations and hideouts. Her problems started with a long and unexplained absence period that she spent in France, even before her first short marriage to Ali Muzannar and their divorce in 2002.

Shortly after her divorce, Suzan met the man who would become her second husband, Adel Matouk. She was introduced to Matouk by star maker Simone Asmar, director of Studio Al Fan, who asked Matouk to take care of her.

Matouk took care of Suzan’s 10-year contract with Asmar, and started an extensive campaign to re-launch her music career with his company, Arab-European Production. He also signed a 15-year exclusive contract with the singer.

Less than eight months later, problems erupted between the couple. Matouk asked his wife to stop singing and become a housewife, which she refused. He obtained a court order banning Suzan from travelling outside Lebanon.

Dubai Taxi

Just read on that Cars Taxi has added 400 more taxis to their existing fleet of just 800 taxis.

My personal experiences with Taxis in Dubai at large is that you have to wait for something around minimum of an hour to get hold of a taxi. Either there is not taxi, or if there is a taxi, the driver does not stop to allow you to board it.

As the taxis move on, you have the other option of bus — the Dubai Bus. Now this also comes under RTA as the earlier one (the taxis). The buses are ON time — but not on all places. The site declared on all buses does not open at all !!! The RTA site has a link to dubai buses but the routes displayed there do not mention the stops at all.

The RTA needs a rewamp.

Accident at Ibn Battuta Mall

Tourist & Shoppers at Dubai’s Ibn Battuta Mall had a narrow escape on Sunday when two decorative panels fell from the ceiling at the building’s Egypt Court.

Nobody was injured in the incident, which occurred at approximately 2pm, but debris was left strewn across the floor.

Egypt Court, is closed for visitors.

Any readers have pictures… Please post

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