On the eve of December 31 before heading home, hubby and I stopped by in the small grocery store nearby to buy soft drinks. To our surprise, there were no available soft drinks at all. As we look around, we got even more curious. The shop was half empty and the shelves on the walls were taken down.
We thought that perhaps the shop would undergo some renovations.
So we headed to the other grocery store. Again, there were no soft drinks available and the shop was half empty too. Almost of the shelves were already cleared. In my mind, it was not making any sense at all. The two shops were half empty on the eve of December 31. Maybe a coincidence? The probability was slim, that’s what I thought.
So I asked the guy in the counter. We came to know, to our shock, that it was the last day of existence for small grocery stores. It is due to the rules implemented by the local authorities. New standards are set and those who are unable to comply will face closure. The deadline was set on 31 December.
This explains the half-empty scenarios of the stores that we visited.
While reading more about this topic in the internet, I learned that the intention of the local authorities is to raise the sanitation standards for more hygienic shops. It is actually good and it is for the better welfare of the consumers like us.
There are many small grocery shops here in Abu Dhabi. In the area where I am staying you can find 7 shops nearby, a 2-3 minutes walk from my house, and their delivery service makes your life really convenient.
Imagine, you are in the middle of your cooking and you run out of gas. You can just call the grocery store, provide your building name and flat number, and in few minutes the delivery boy will be on your doorstep.
And they deliver almost everything regardless of the amount or quantity. A pack of cigarette. A can of soda. A box of powder soap. A bottle of soy sauce or vinegar. Chips. Sanitary napkins. Shampoo.
The only trick here is that you should know the brand of the item that you wish to order. It reminded me of my friend’s funny experience. Their flat was a company accommodation. So there were 3 or 4 people staying and since it was weekend there were more. They called the grocery store to order for delivery.
When the delivery came, the found one item called “Dettol”, a brand for cleaning and disinfectant products, which was not in their order list. My friend asked her flat mates if anyone ordered Dettol. Later they realized that no one actually ordered for it. The storekeeper somehow misunderstood her when she said “that’s all” after enumerating her orders.
Anyway back to the topic, I am somehow saddened for the closure of these small shops because I will surely miss the convenience that it offers. Now if we run out of drinking water, I am not even sure where to order. Will they still do delivery?
I am just thinking. If there are few shops who managed to comply with the new rules, for sure they are few of them only. It means that the competition nowadays has trimmed down significantly. Thus I am not expecting anymore for efficient delivery services.
These small groceries really play a big role in our day to day life here. They serve like a rescue when you are in desperate need of something or when you are just too lazy to go out and buy.