The Dubai-headquartered fuel retailer is currently operating 129 service stations in the UAE and 14 in Saudi Arabia, taking its tally to 191 across the UAE by 2020 and 124 in KSA by 2030.
Zaid Alqufaidi, managing director, Enoc Retail, attributed strong expansion to meet growing demand for the fuel in the lead up to Expo 2020.
The fuel retailer will be foraying back into the Northern Emirates after its exit in 2011 by opening five stations each in Dubai and Sharjah and one each in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah this year. In addition, it plans to open three mobile fuel stations in 2019, taking its tally to 144 by year-end. Enoc intends to open 15 stations in Dubai, 25 in Sharjah, one each in Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain and three mobile stations in 2020, bringing its tally to 191.
Alqufaidi said the company invests on average Dh20 million to set up a fuel station.
Enoc Retail manging director said that an average petrol station requires around 100 people to operate 24 hours in three shifts which means it will be adding around 6,200 people to operate its 62 upcoming fuel stations in the UAE.
“People work in three shifts around the clock people; they work in store, to pump fuel, change oil in cars and auto wash sections of the station.”
Abu Dhabi-headquartered Adnoc Distribution has also embarked on major expansion in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Saeed Mubarak Al Rashdi, acting CEO, Adnoc Distribution, had said that it has an extremely compelling investment proposition that expects it to continue into 2019 and beyond with up to $300 million of capital expenditure earmarked for further growth 2019.
It opened 17 new service stations in the UAE, including first three locations in Dubai. It also opened first two service stations in Saudi Arabia last year. Enoc’s Alqufaidi also revealed that the fuel retailer is reviewing to offer the cheaper 91-octane petrol, which is currently offered by Adnoc only. However, he didn’t give any timeframe for its sale. The UAE market is now catered by three fuel categories – 91-octane, 95-octane and 98-octane and they are priced accordingly as well.
“The UAE has one of the highest fuel consumption of around 60,000 litres per day compared to global average of 30,000 to 35,000 litres a day, serviced through 566 service station. It means there is a clear demand for more services stations. We need to double to 1,200 service stations,” Alqufaidi said.
“Our priority for expansion is to reduce the pressure on existing network. With Expo 2020 expecting another 25 million visitors coming to the UAE, this will put even greater pressure on existing stations, hence, we are accelerating expansion to cope up with the demand,” he said.
In Saudi Arabia, Enoc said the new service stations will be strategically spread across different locations across the Kingdom covering east, west and central regions. Over the next five years, it plans to open 45 new service stations and another 65 from 2024 to 2028, providing 500 new jobs across the Kingdom.