Highway fuel centers’ revamp to make road travel pleasant
Some good news for those who regularly undertake long journeys by road: Service-cum-rest centers (istiraha) along Saudi highways are likely to adopt world standards.
The Saudi Automotive Services Company, Petromin and Emirates National Oil Company have won the government’s tenders to revamp the fuel stations.
Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Prince Mansour bin Miteb will present final qualification certificates to the companies on Tuesday. The ministry has set out a comprehensive plan to develop the stations with other departments.
The project will take two years to complete. In the meantime, existing service providers on the highways have been given two years to correct their status by aligning themselves with licensed companies.
“The committee will continue to receive applications from new companies intending to provide the services,” an official statement said, adding that they could apply through the ministry’s website.
Saudis and expatriates have welcomed the move to improve services along the Kingdom’s highways. “At present the services are very poor and do not reflect the progress achieved by Saudi Arabia,” said a Saudi blogger, who called on the government to carry out the revamp quickly.
In April last year, the Council of Ministers took a landmark decision to improve fuel stations and service centers on the Kingdom’s highways. It gave owners two years to improve their quality.
The Cabinet said it would extend the period if a supervision and follow up committee found it necessary. The Cabinet instructed the ministry to develop programs to attract investors.
An experts committee comprising representatives from the ministry and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities held talks with existing service providers on ways to improve their services.