x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAQ feels strain of petrol shortage

Drivers are facing massive queues for petrol in Umm al Qaiwain, as all but a handful of stations have shut down.

UMM AL QAIWAIN // The emirate's roads are rarely congested but fuel queues are now among the longest in the Northern Emirates amid the continuing petrol shortage.

On Sunday morning, the Abraj fuel station on King Faisal Road, the emirate's busiest route, had queues of more than 50 cars, which spilt out into the road. All were waiting for the station's four pumps.

"Sunday morning is always our nightmare," one attendant said. "More people are returning to work from the weekend, and in all this neighbourhood we are the only petrol station refilling."

King Faisal Road has three other Eppco stations, but they have been out of fuel for months. However, their supermarkets and service bays are still operating.

Queuing motorists said they were getting used to the situation as there were no alternatives.

"If you are in Sharjah, you can go and refill in Dubai, but here, where will you go?" asked Nasr Al Din Mohammed, a motorist waiting at the Abraj station. "Seeing my fuel arrow going down is one thing that used to worry me, but I am now used to waiting, like one gets used to anything else."

Other congested stations included the Emarat and Adnoc stations on Al Ittihad Road and an Emarat petrol station in Salaama.

Eppco and Enoc stations in the Northern Emirates stopped refilling petrol about two months ago. In Sharjah, the Executive Council forced all Enoc group stations to close after the company ignored a 72-hour ultimatum to resume selling petrol.

ykakande@thenational.ae