x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Summer holiday exodus eases Sharjah petrol queues

Lower demand and wary consumers have shrunk lines at petrol stations around Sharjah even as Enoc and Eppco stations remain shuttered.

Lower demand and wary consumers have shrunk lines at petrol stations around Sharjah even as Enoc and Eppco stations remain shuttered.
Lower demand and wary consumers have shrunk lines at petrol stations around Sharjah even as Enoc and Eppco stations remain shuttered.

SHARJAH // Queues at Adnoc and Emarat petrol stations have shortened over the past month since the Sharjah Executive Council ordered Enoc Group to close down all of its centres.

Eppco and Enoc stations in the Northern Emirates began running out of fuel about a month ago, creating long queues at stations run by other companies.

The Executive Council ordered all Enoc stations to close after it received no response to a 72-hour ultimatum for the company to resume selling petrol.

But visits to about 20 Adnoc and Emarat stations in Sharjah City yesterday mostly found queues of only five cars or fewer about midday.

The most congested petrol station was the Adnoc on Al Dhaid Road, with queues of up to eight vehicles.

Drivers said the number of people on summer holidays had helped to ease the crunch but if nothing was done, long queues could return after Ramadan.

"About 10 colleagues of mine are on holiday and you can imagine how many people are away throughout the country," said Umar Khel, 35, a motorist at the Adnoc station on Al Khan Road.

"I am certain by the end of Ramadan when everyone returns to work, there will be another long wait."

Mr Umar had to wait behind four cars at the station yesterday. He said that only a month ago motorists faced lines of more than 30 cars.

Motorists have also learnt to live with the shortage and many were refilling outside of the emirate or at night, said Mohammed Jalal, a Pakistani living in Sharjah.

"I have not refilled in Sharjah for the past month," Mr Jalal said. "I work in Dubai and always find time to refill before arriving back in Sharjah."

An attendant at an Emarat petrol station on Al Arouba Street said there were still long queues in rush hours.

"In the morning from 7 to 10 and in the afternoon from 5 to 7 we are very busy with a lot of clients," he said. "Also, on the weekend our service bays are extraordinarily full."

Zubairi Syed, a driver with Union Taxis, said he still faced waits at most of the Adnoc stations he used for daytime refilling.

"The congestion is still hurting our work, as it was not like this before," Mr Syed said. "Waiting in queues for even 10 minutes will affect my daily income target."

In Ajman, Eppco and Enoc stations have continued to provide maintenance services and their stores are open, but petrol pumps are still dry.

ykakande@thenational.ae