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Self-service pumps were first introduced at Adnoc petrol stations three years ago.
Self-service pumps were first introduced at Adnoc petrol stations three years ago.

Self-service fuel pumps given another chance in Abu Dhabi

Half the pumps in each Adnoc petrol-station forecourt will be converted to automatic.

ABU DHABI // Fuel retailers are considering a relaunch of self-service petrol pumps in Abu Dhabi.

Half the pumps in each Adnoc petrol-station forecourt will be converted to automatic. At the moment there are five automated machines at different petrol stations but none is in operation.

No deadline has been set for the change, said Khalid Mubarak, the company's Abu Dhabi retail sales manager.

Drivers will still have the option of being served by attendants but Mr Mubarak said the new system would be more convenient for customers.

Adnoc will introduce a redeemable point system to tempt more drivers to use the self-service pumps. Points can be redeemed at Adnoc stations for food and water.

Adnoc introduced self-service pumps in Abu Dhabi about three years ago but they proved unpopular and were converted back after a few months.

An Adnoc superintendent said many people exploited a flaw in the old self-service machines by removing their credit cards before the transaction was complete, thus getting fuel without paying for it.

Self-service is common in Europe and the US, where the culture and climate are different. In the region, only Turkey has full self-service fuel stations.

One attendant at the forecourt of an Adnoc station said: "If it's implemented, I am not afraid of losing my job. I am someone who believes that if one door closes other opens. But I don't think it's workable in this climate as many people prefer to remain in their air-conditioned car."

In December 2008, Enoc announced the end of a three-month self-service experiment at 10 petrol stations in Dubai.

And a supervisor at the Emarat petrol station on Al Wasl Road in Dubai, said: "Three or four years back we had self-service but currently we do not have it at any of our stations."

anwar@thenational.ae

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