DUBAI: In a regional first, a Spanish expat has joined hands with an Emirati to launch a 24/7 unmanned bookshop in Dubai Sports City.
Book Hero, which stocks more than 20,000 titles across various genres, doesn’t have any staff. Instead it runs entirely on public trust. A payment drop box called Trust Box has been installed at the exit where customers are required to make their payments.
“All books carry green and yellow stickers indicating their prices which range from Dh10 and Dh20,” said Montserrat Martin, who has partnered with Emirati Mohammad Al Qubaisi to come up with the novel idea.
“We don’t employ staff simply because we trust our customers. I visit the place once a day to replace stock and collect money,” said Martin who claims to sell over 100 books daily.
“Nobody would steal a book and even if someone does it would cost me just Dh300 which is nothing compared to what I would spend on hiring staff and paying for overheads like visa and insurance,” she said. Wide range
According to Martin, 85 per cent of their stock comprises English and Arabic books while the rest include titles in French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
Book Hero is also running a mini pop-up stand at Marina Walk in Dubai Marina through May. Unlike the Dubai Sports City outlet, this store is manned by a staff but customers are still required to make their payments in a trust box installed here.
“We also have a mobile book truck that does the rounds of various communities on weekdays. “It’s stationed near Zabeel Park on Fridays and Barsha Pond Park on Saturdays,” she said.