One of Doha’s oldest and busiest petrol stations is set to close next month, joining more than half a dozen others that have shut around town in recent years.
The Arabian Gulf (Al Khalij Al Arabi) station on Al Rayyan Road, opposite the HMC ambulance station, will permanently close around the middle of July, an employee there told Doha News.
The reasons for its closure have not yet been confirmed.
This week, the Peninsula reported that the fuel station’s license was due to expire at the end of June and has not been renewed.
Meanwhile, an attendant at the station told Doha News that the station was shutting down because the roads in the area were being expanded.
Indeed, Qatar’s public works authority has been working to overhaul Al Rayyan Road in the past few years.
Part of that mandate is the final stretch of the road heading toward Msheireb, which includes the site of the petrol station.
The Arabian Gulf petrol station, at the northern end of the busy residential district of Bin Mahmoud, has been serving drivers for at least 50 years.
A photograph from 1966 shows the same gas station filling up vehicles before undergoing its many face-lifts.
Just a few months ago, the station was also fitted with Woqod gas pumps, causing many residents to believe that it would stay open for months or years to come.
The petrol station is located in a busy part of one of Doha’s older districts.
It sits near Hamad Hospital and C-Ring Road, and is on the way to Souq Waqif and the under-construction Msheireb downtown.
During busy times, vehicles are often backed onto the main road as they wait for fuel.
Arabian Gulf is the latest in a series of privately-run gas stations that have closed down in recent years, leaving drivers flummoxed about where to fill up their tanks.
In April, the petrol station on C-Ring Road between Gulf Cinema and Toyota signals shut down, apparently without notice.
It was followed just weeks later by the closure of Doha Petrol Station opposite Jaidah tower in Musheireb – formerly Qatar’s oldest petrol pump. It had been in operation for 63 years.
Meanwhile, facilities near Landmark mall, Villaggio mall and Burger King signal have all closed their pumps in the last few years.
Apart from the old Al Andalus Petrol Station on C-Ring Road, which has remained shuttered since an apparent underground explosion in September 2013, there are no obvious reasons why so many of the private facilities keep closing.
Building new ones
To help meet demand, Qatar Fuel (Woqod) has been expanding its branded stations, with new facilities under construction including at the interchange with Al Rayyan Road and the Expressway and behind the Radisson Blu hotel on C-Ring Road.
Woqod said it opened eight new sites last year and has another 18 in the works.
It has also been rolling out mobile filing stations around town.
While conveniently located for drivers, concerns have been raised by some authorities in the country about the safety and necessity to upgrade the facilities at some private stations.
Will you miss Arabian Gulf station? Thoughts?