View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramadan Reflection on Giving up Serving Petrol

Mention was made earlier of the ENOC experiment currently in the UAE in which they are trialing self-service petrol stations.

The rationale behind conducting this experiment in the hottest and harshest months was to receive the reactions of consumers in the United Arab Emirates in the severest time of the year.

But is there further rational in doing this over the month of Ramadan? That in addition to giving up food and drink they have instituted a ‘petrol service fast’ in which people deny themselves this convenience and put the gas into their cars to achieve a spiritual blessing.

According to my earlier survey drivers were voting about this innovation with their cars and simply filling up at service stations that were real service stations.

On a trip last weekend from Fujairah to Dubai the do-it-yourself petrol stations were absolutely deserted. I stopped at one to talk with the attendant on duty and he said that sales of petrol (and presumably food) were down by 50%!

It would be good to receive from ENOC a progress report on how they think the experiment is going.

They still have not come up with an effective way in which motorists can offer detailed feedback.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: ENOC filling station