Al Maha Petroleum Products Marketing Company plans to revamp its filling stations across the country with a focus to improve retail sales experience for consumers along with traditional auto-fuel sales, and is also looking at expanding operations beyond the country’s borders.
“We want to give a better feeling to our consumers when they drive to our filing stations. We want them to experience our hospitality also. Future filling stations will not only sell petrol and diesel, there will be a food and beverages section along with other services such as tyre, oil-change or services, car-washing, battery maintenance and replacement,” Eng Mohammed Farid al Darwish, CEO of Al Maha Petroleum Products told Muscat Daily.
Going forward retail services is going to be the driving force to push sales for all filling stations across the country, he said while adding that they have roped in a strategic investor for this purpose and are using the services of experienced professionals for the whole revamping exercise. He, however, declined to divulge the name of the strategic partner.
The company has recently opened its first branded store under the name ‘Souq al Maha’ at its filling station in Al Mahaj area in Al Amerat, and plans to replicate the same at various filling stations across the sultanate. He said the company is not going to open the same branded stores in all of its 208 filling stations spread across the country.
Rather it plans to follow a mix model where some fuel stations along the highway or express way with larger areas will house number of facilities while those inside cities will have limited facilities due to space constraints. And specifically for operating these retail operations inside filling stations, the company will most likely adopt a franchise model, or will be provided to other parties on rental basis.
On future projects, Darwish explained that they are working on a number of initiatives, ranging from increasing the number of fuel stations in the country, using renewable energy to reduce cost and making their filling stations to adjust to future demand either from the advent of electric vehicles or from introduction of alternative fuels.
On possibility of expanding operations outside Oman, he said they are definitely looking at opening filling stations in other countries but said currently, they are more focused on domestic market.