Newspapers in the UAE reported that after four weeks and two deadlines, Sharjah ran out of patience with oil retailer Enoc and ordered the closure of all its petrol stations in the emirate on Friday, according to Sharjah TV.
An SMS from the Sharjah government-owned channel, said the decision followed the expiry of a 72-hour deadline set by the Sharjah Executive Council on Tuesday, asking the retailer to resume normal operations at its pumps or close shop.
“A lack of response from Enoc to adhere to the deadline has forced the closure of all Enoc pumps in Sharjah,” the message said.
There has been a lot of buzz on the social networks in the UAE. SocialEyez analyzed social media conversations and found that a huge number of the UAE residents expressed dissatisfaction over the closure of Enoc and Eppco petrol stations and said that it resolves nothing but only brings more difficulties.
Shalie Alegarme, a resident of Sharjah, expressed concerns over motorists who store petrol in plastic containers.
This would pose danger considering that the containers were fragile. “I was curious to find out why it took so much time for the motorist ahead of me to pull out from the queue. I later saw that there were many passengers inside the vehicle, and each carried big plastic containers to store petrol,” said Alegarme.
What people are saying?
Alexander: “In fact, The National (James Bond’s favourite Middle Eastern newspaper, dontcha know) leads with ‘Empty filling stations and the great fuel mystery’, gleefully reporting that retailers Enoc and Eppco (two brands of the same company, in fact) have cited pump upgrades to their 167 stations across the country as being the cause of their empty forecourts. The newspaper’s reporters visited a number of the stations and confirm what you already possibly suspect: there is no sign of any work going on to upgrade anything in any way whatsoever. I have personally seen closed stations opening again once a tanker has visited, so there must obviously be some degree of indecision regarding which stations to upgrade”.
Anonymous: “This is an embarrassment for the UAE who are an oil exporter, not an importer.”
Anonymous: “ As the month-old petrol crisis continues at pumps across Sharjah and Ajman continues there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. According to media reports 25,000 tonnes of petrol may soon be delivered to Sharjah. It’s unclear when the fuel will be delivered.
News Agency Reuters says multinational oil firm Total has won a contract from UAE fuel retailer Emarat to buy an extra 100,000 tonnes of gasoline from June to September. Reports also emerged that petrol prices would increase in the Emirates by up to 33% however officials deny the claims.”
Ashish: Double Standards: Petrol & Consumer Rights – Something is seriously wrong here and if as expatriates we are to feel comfortable or if Dubai as an Emirate hopes to rope in more international investment, there has to be a certain sense of transparency. Such headlines and lines outside petrol stations send the wrong message to potential investors in the country and despite all the progress that the country has made, a few negative headlines like this, tarnish the reputation of Dubai and the UAE internationally. Lines outside petrol stations is something that you expect to see in third world countries and the UAE is definitely not a third world country.
There needs to be an end to the double standards that exist. If as consumer we are to have rights, then we have the right to demand an explanation from the petrol companies. If the existing petrol companies can’t operate profitably, then open the market to competition and let petrol retailers enter the market and let market forces operate. At the moment we’re seeing clearly that protectionist policies aren’t working. Changing all of this is something that can happen in the long term but in the short-term, please open up, make a statement and stop acting as if it is business as usual.
On Micro-Blogs & Discussion Forums
- “Can’t get over the fact that Dubai / UAE are facing fuel crisis.”
- “The people of #UAE deserve a public apology from #Enoc for the fuel crisis which remains unexplained. #Petrol.”
- “They were still operating their convenience store, the only income source as per ENOC and Emarat, since they are losing on every gallon sold… “
- “The stations were closed anyway, so what is the point? I don’t see how this action will help solve the issue.”
- “So I’m wondering why they don’t do this little by little, to minimize the disruption.”
- “It’s a real problem, I see long queues everywhere for fuel, and i fuel up the tank anytime I find it a bit empty…”
- Imagine that! A country sitting on 20% of the world’s oil having fuel problems, who’d thunk it, eh ?
- “I am all for electric cars, but that electricity has to be produced somehow, coal can do that imagine….we empower a nation of electric cars with coal/natural gas and in about 20 years we slowly move to solar/wind/etc…. as they become REAL OPTIONS”
Comments in Arabic
- مشكله بسيطه و ان شاء الله تنحل …
- الاغلب يعتقد انها سياسة لرفع سعر البترول ..!؟…
- انا اتفق مع الناس ان هذي وسيلة جديدة لرفع سعر البترول في نهاية السنة الحالية مثل ما هم مخططين له من زمان !!!!!!!!!!!! يبون يدرون طرق ووسائل لخداع الجهات الرسمية والناس لافناعهم بضرورة زيادة البترول ….
The daily average direct mentions of UAE fuel crisis in English on social media increased from 648 to 1141 during the first week of June 2011 to the third week of June 2011.
Arabic mentions also increased from 167 to 374.
48% of social media conversations have been found as neutral because a huge volume of buzz about UAE fuel crisis is being created by sharing content published on newspapers and blogs.
Share of Voice
62% of social media conversations about UAE fuel crisis are taking place on Message board forums like Facebook and Twitter.
This Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that buzzed on various social media platforms during the last two weeks. The search was conducted on all social media platforms in Arabic & English. The focus of the research was on UAE and the conversations and social media trends reflect the sentiment from the residents of the UAE. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report Compiled by the SocialEyez Content Team