Dubai introduces new app to deliver petrol directly to your car
By Jacob Greaves
It's not new to order food at the touch of a button, but have you ever tried to order petrol for your car with your phone? Fuel delivery service provider CAFU introduced a petrol-delivery app in Dubai, which allows consumers to fill the tank anywhere without queuing in line at the petrol station.
As convenience has become a commodity which consumers are increasingly willing to pay for, this "on-demand" fuel delivery service is designed to sell convenience in petrol area – filling up the vehicle with petrol while consumers are at home, work, or play.
"Obviously there are certain segments in the market where people pay for convenience," said Rashid Al Ghurair, CEO and founder of CAFU.
The app is aiming to save people's time from driving to the gas station and waiting in line.
"What I've realized in Dubai is every time I want to go to a petrol station, I have to wait 10-15 minutes in line, and I have to drive, like 10 miles. I live in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the closest one is 10 miles away for me. This is time-consuming and I'd rather sit in my office and order it and the car will be refueled automatically," said Shadi Attieh, a customer of CAFU in Dubai.
The process calling for petrol on CAFU is like ordering food online. After downloading the app, one can get the car refueled by setting up time on the phone, leaving the petrol tank unlocked and proposing a location in the app. The consumers don't even need to be present during the delivery.
The app was developed in collaboration with Emarat, one of the largest suppliers of petroleum products in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The petrol prices that the CAFU charges are in line with all the petrol stations, the company only requires a small delivery fee.
"We relate our prices to the pump price and then the fuel station price, we charge a convenience charge which is the charge for getting the fuel delivered," said Rashid Al Ghurair.
Although in the driving seat for now, CAFU faces future competition from UAE oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). It is testing a service dubbed "call to fuel," which provides residents with the option of having their petrol delivered to their cars.
While CAFU is road-testing the business model in Dubai and hoping to roll out the idea across the UAE, whether this could fuel the latest delivery craze around the world may still be open to doubt, given UAE is an oil producer which has low prices at the pump. In countries where petrol seriously pinches the pockets, this business model might stall.