Inderscience Publishers

Self-service at UAE petrol forecourts: marketing in unfamiliar terrain?

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This paper presents initial findings of a preliminary examination of self-service at petrol stations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Informal discussions were held with 30 taxi drivers in four of the largest emirates in the UAE and a diary account was kept over a period three months. This fine-grained approach combines conversation, discourse and narrative analyses to conclude that self-service marketing at petrol forecourts was not yet a practical reality owing to a variety of cultural nuances in the country. However, there are indications that self-service can be better marketed in this sector, but would require further research into the underlying attitudes towards the concept and the development of marketing strategies towards changing these.

Keywords: consumer behaviour, culture, marketing strategies, petrol forecourts, self-service, filling stations, garages, UAE, United Arab Emirates, taxi drivers, diary accounts, diaries, conversations, discourse, narrative analyses, cultural nuances, underlying attitudes, Ajman, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, business, globalisation

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