You could soon be trusted to pay for your own groceries in Dubai
Picking up fresh fruit and veggies could soon be good for your soul as well as your body thanks to an added morality test.
Unmanned stalls selling organic produce may sprout up around Dubai in the near future, and the concept relies on shoppers popping payment in a “honesty” cash box.
Emirati farmer Abdullah Al Qaydi launched self-service kiosk Vegetables Without A Seller in Sharjah earlier this year, and the project has been so successful he now wants to bring the business to the rest of the UAE.
Al Qaydi says in the five months his Maliha stall has been open, he hasn’t lost a dirham.
“I want to show that the UAE is a secure country. I want to make these shops for all the world to see that we can trust all people,” he told The National.
The idea first came to him when he heard about similar set-ups in Europe.
“When I discussed the idea with friends, they said I was crazy, that people would take my vegetables and just go. I thought, ‘it’s OK if people do that’. It is theirs to keep,” he said.
The trusting farmer stocks his stall several times a day with fresh organic produce from his private land. Items are clearly marked with a price, and there’s a small box where shoppers can drop in money.
Nearby sits a calculator and notepad, so customers can tally up their bill and register what they’ve bought, as well as a phone number if they have any queries.
Something you won’t find though is a security camera – Al Qaydi puts total faith in his customers to cough up.
The concept, which completely cuts out the middle man, is already popular across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, where it’s common practice for farmers to have roadside stalls outside their land.
“I am thinking of extending this project and opening other branches across UAE and also targeting popular shopping malls to implement the project,” Al Qayidi told Gulf News.
He later added that he hoped to bring the stalls to Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Dubai.