x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Self-service at Enoc and Eppco outlets

The Emirates National Oil Company is introducing self-service petrol pumping at its Enoc and Eppco outlets.

As part of a Dh50 million modernisation plan, the Emirates National Oil Company is introducing self-service petrol pumping at its Enoc and Eppco outlets.

When announcing the initiative, Enoc Retail managing director Burhan Al Hashemi noted that self-service "is popular in most countries". However, doing-it-yourself was not a choice that customers in these countries made, or necessarily would have made; it was introduced as a way of cutting costs. Might a similar calculus be at play here? We certainly hope so.

The good news for people in the UAE is that there will still be a full-service option, which is often lacking elsewhere. The self-service scenario will apply only from midnight to 6am - not in the heat of the day - and there is no indication that Adnoc stations will follow suit.

Labour is still comparatively cheap in the UAE, but it is an economic inevitability that the level of service we take for granted will eventually disappear, or come at premium prices. One implication is that industry becomes more efficient, needing fewer staff for each unit of output or profit.

And there are worse things in life than having to pump your own petrol. Enoc is promising to have staff on hand to show you how to do it, and it's a perfect opportunity to stretch your legs - perhaps, even, to take a stroll into the shop to part ways with some more of your money.