Monday, 10 March 2008

Self-service pumps fuel controversy in Abu Dhabi

Self-service pumps fuel controversy in Abu Dhabi
By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: March 10, 2008, 00:32

Abu Dhabi: Some say it is hazardous, while others feel it is a simple task.

Residents were reacting to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (Adnoc) move to install self-service pumps that allow motorists to refuel their cars.

The service has started at Adnoc filling stations on a trial basis and is expected to be eventually introduced at all stations.

Latheef A.M, an Indian, said the climate here was not conducive to such an initiative.

"It will be unbearable in the summer to get out of the car and fill gas. People are very busy here, and this will just be wasting time."

He said as it is the stations are congested and one has to wait in a queue to get petrol and the self-service move will only add to the problem.

There are a large number of vehicles on the roads and the number is growing. The queues at the petrol stations will only become longer, he said.

Jean-Marc Suter, a Swiss businessman, said almost all petrol stations in Europe had self-service terminals.

"In the UAE, it is a very convenient service having attendants. There is also the additional service - attendants clean the windscreen. I certainly would not want the stations here to become self-service," he said.

Shahina Ajmal, a Pakistani, who has been driving in the UAE for the past 17 years, said: "I don't think too many women would like to leave their cars to fill petrol when the stations are crowded. Children also may decide to get out of the car, and this is an additional problem.

"I don't think self-service petrol stations are a good idea because many people may not know how to refuel their cars. This will raise the question of safety. Only trained staff should refuel because it can be a dangerous operation."

Hussain Al Saeedi, an Emirati IT professional, however, welcomed the idea. "I have already seen the system while travelling in England."

He has used the service in Abu Dhabi and finds it convenient.

"But too many people may not like this. Unlike in the West, people here are not very educated and hence they may find it difficult to accept such a self-service system. If the company gives handsome discounts for self-service, people may opt for it. Otherwise it may not work," he said.

Lalan Purnama, an Indonesian, is in favour of the service.

"I have not used it yet, but I don't think people will have any trouble filling their cars with petrol themselves. It may be a bit inconvenient, especially during the summer, but people will cope eventually," he said.

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