Emirates National Oil Unveils Futuristic Service Station


DUBAI—This week, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) marked a major milestone in its plans for Expo 2020 Dubai, which will open October 1, 2021, when it unveiled its “Service Station of the Future,” a fully functioning station that harnesses the power of renewable energy sources including solar and wind, the company announced.

The official Expo energy partner has incorporated futuristic and energy-conserving elements in the station, which received the world’s first LEED platinum certification for such a project. Platinum is the highest rating a green building can receive. EXPO 2020 Dubai, originally planned to open in 2020, will run from October 2021 to March 31, 2022.


The most striking feature of the station is a uniquely designed canopy, shaped to resemble the exoskeleton of the Ghaf, the UAE’s national tree. The canopy has 133 individual layers and was constructed with 37-plus tons of carbon fiber, a lightweight, sustainable alternative to steel.

The canopy encloses a leaf-shaped ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushion canopy, said to be 100% UV-ray-protected and corrosion proof. It has more than 3,800 LED light modules that can change color as needed. The nine tree “trunks” that support the station were built from carbon fiber.

In addition, the canopy holds 283 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels capable of generating 143 megawatt hours of solar power annually. The station is also the first in the region to use an on-grid wind turbine for power generation, which will produce 12.7 megawatt hours of wind energy annually. The station will provide hydrocarbon fuels (petrol and diesel), plus offer electric charging stations. Non-commercial users will be able to use free electric charging services until Dec. 31.


The station relies on carbon filtration technologies to recycle and reuse grey water for irrigation. Drinkable air units use ozonation techniques to convert water molecules from humidity in the air into drinkable water for onsite. The service station also features several applications of advance machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies that help customize services and retail offerings, manage waiting times at the forecourt and enhance the customer experience.

Vehicle mapping surface lighting helps manage the traffic flow, directing vehicles to the fueling area. Occupation sensors and signals also direct vehicles to empty fuel dispensers. Digital signage in the station consists of 12 million LED chips to illuminate the digital screens onsite, instead of using conventional printed stickers.

The service station also includes several applications of advance machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies that play a role in customizing services and retail offerings for customers, managing queue and waiting times at the forecourt, and improving the overall customer journey, ENOC said.

Highlighting ENOC’s drive to “Reimagine Energy,” His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC, said: “ENOC is proud and honored to be the Official Integrated Energy Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai. We recognize this unique opportunity to represent our industry and our country on the global stage.”

He continued, “We’ve always taken pride in our ability to make bold decisions, and the unveiling of this first-of-its-kind service station in the world, which harnesses the power of renewables, is a stepping stone in a new era for the future of fuel retail.”


Marjan Faraidooni, chief pavilions and exhibitions officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Using next-generation technology, ENOC’s Service Station of the Future will directly contribute to two of Expo 2020’s subthemes: Mobility and Sustainability. We see these areas, alongside our third subtheme of Opportunity, as fundamental to collectively addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Construction of the facility took more than 400,000 manhours, and according to Zaid al-Qufaidi, managing director, ENOC Retail, the cost was “around three times the cost of a regular station.”

The Ghaf station will serve the logistical needs of Expo 2020’s fleet ahead of the global event and the public both during and after the event.