Smartphone self-service vending machine launched - GulfToday

Smartphone self-service vending machine launched


The first machine is available at the Adnoc Distribution service station located on the Abu Dhabi Corniche. WAM

Etisalat has launched a smartphone self-service vending machine that is a “first-of-its-kind” for the UAE by partnering with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) Distribution, the leading fuel distributor and convenience store operator in the UAE.

The machine will allow customers 24/7 access and a five-minute turnaround time to buy a smart phone automatically.

The launch is part of a pilot project implemented by the two entities to ensure the provision of high-quality services and deliver an enhanced customer experience. The first machine is available at the Adnoc Distribution service station located on the Abu Dhabi Corniche (No.933).

The vending machine provides a range of selected handsets and accessories for both Android and iOS. When prompted, a customer inserts his or her Emirates ID card, checks the personal information displayed on the screen, enters or modifies the mobile number, and selects the item and the payment method. Both cash and credit cards are accepted. The machine will dispense the product and receipt at the end of the transaction.

Sultan Mohamed Al Dhaheri, General Manager, Etisalat Abu Dhabi, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Adnoc Distribution in this pilot project to promote and make the availability of Etisalat mobile products and services at a prime location in Abu Dhabi. Etisalat has continuously focused on creating an efficient and enhanced the retail environment to provide digital services to give our customers an enriched experience. The launch of the UAE’s first self-service vending machine at Adnoc Distribution’s service station reaffirms our strong commitment to innovation and adopting the latest retail technologies to deliver digital and a seamless shopping experience for customers.”

Engnieer Saeed Al Rashdi, Acting CEO, Adnoc Distribution, said: “We are always looking to provide our customers with innovative services through our national network of service stations. This vending machine is a great example of a new fast-track service being made available to serve the needs of today’s digital world. Our customers are not just filling up with our range of fuels - they are shopping in our Géant Express and Adnoc Oasis stores, eating in our Oasis Café s and are using our range of additional services from lube change to car wash. Innovations such as this smartphone vending machine are retail additions that we welcome at our service stations.”

In an unrelated development, Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of the Federal Tax Authority, FTA, revealed that the FTA approved 390 requests to refund housing tax worth Dhs17.52 million, in implementation of the vision of the UAE’s leadership to create a modern housing system for UAE citizens and provide them with the best living standards.

In statements, Al Bustani revealed that the number of registrations in the VAT system exceeded 300,000 while the number of registrations in the excise tax system totalled around 724.

The FTA also highlighted the positive outcomes of partnerships agreements signed with relevant authorities and noted their key contributions to the successful adoption of the tax system while stressing that the e-connectivity systems used jointly by the FTA, the Federal Customs Authority and the local customs departments have ensured the easy adoption of the tax system while the e-connectivity system used jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the UAE Central Bank have facilitated the payment of due taxes.

The UAE Central Bank’s “UAEFTS” system is the country’s main tax refund system, includes several payment options, and offers tax payment services in 77 bank branches, exchange offices and financial companies through their “GIBAN” reference. Payments can also be made through the “e-AED” platform.

The FTA also began implementing a VAT refund option for visiting foreign businesses” in April, and launched 60 manuals on VAT and excise tax, as well as e-learning programmes, short awareness films and over 50 flyers.

The Authority noted that it provided 266 workshops for instructions related to taxation in the business sector. It also organised 95 seminars attended by 30,000 specialists from various business sectors.


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