ABU DHABI // Motorists have welcomed newly implemented self-service petrol stations – but said it would take time for people to get used to them.
A pilot programme at four Adnoc petrol stations introduced earlier this week allows motorists who use the Smart Self-Service Fuelling stations to fill their own cars with petrol.
Customers register for an Adnoc Wallet account that allows them to pay at smart-service stations in three ways: Adnoc Plus cards and either a smart chip or Emirates ID card linked to the Adnoc Wallet account.
Emirati Sarah Al Senaani said most of her friends who used the stations found it difficult because they were not used to it, and they wondered what it would be like in summer.
“What my friends and I were discussing is that if we need to fill up over the summer we will do it at night, and hopefully it will be OK as the weather cools down. But still it might be crowded,” she said.
However, she said, if the argument was made that it was hot or uncomfortable, “then you can say, what is the difference between me and the petrol station worker who has to endure eight hours in the sun?”
People may find the system was an improvement once they understood how to use the petrol pump, said Ms Al Senaani.
“At the beginning I felt it was a bit difficult for ladies and I think for men it’s easier, since some of us are already used to having a man pump our petrol, be it the person at the petrol station or a brother,” she said.
“For me now I have someone to help me fill up, but I am sure that there will come a time when I’ll have to do it myself – and I think it will be OK. But we as a society just need to get used to the idea.”
Farah Al Qaissieh, 26, from Abu Dhabi, agreed. When she tried it on Thursday, an attendant gave her a quick rundown of how to do it.
“Summer is where I see when the challenge will be, especially in Ramadan,” she said.
“But I think by then we would have got used to the system and it won’t be any different from going to the supermarket or anything, especially with the smart payments.”
Some expatriates found the experience to be nothing new.
Lesley McPherson, from Scotland, said: “When I moved here five years ago, I found not having to get out of my car bizarre at first, but now I struggle to pump my own petrol when I go home to Scotland in the summer.”
K L, a teacher from the UK, looked forward to using a smart system. “If the tap-card payment works, then that would be really convenient. It could be even quicker than what it was before.”
Mariam Al Meraikhi, 25, an Emirati who works at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, said the adjustment would take time.
“Unless you’ve lived abroad and filled petrol yourself in countries where self-service systems exist, you wouldn’t really know how it works,” she said.
Emirati Saeed Al Obaidly, a resident of Abu Dhabi, said he got the staff to assist him. “We don’t have to carry cash. We can transfer amounts in our Adnoc cards.”