Abu Dhabi to Convert Unused Plots to Parking Spaces
In what could ease the perennial parking woes of Abu Dhabi residents, unused lands and commercial plots will be converted into paid or valet parking zones, it has been announced.
The Abu Dhabi Integrated Transport Center, represented by its Parking Division Mawaqif, has decided to invite private investment to provide parking solutions in the capital city that has long been affected by a severe parking shortage.
Private investors – individuals or businesses – can covert unused plots into paid parking zones or offer valet parking services against prefixed fees, said the parking regulator, Mawaqif. It will set terms and conditions that investors have to comply to get permits.
“It is great news,” said Arab expat Mohammed Majid, 46, who lives in Al Zahiyah (Tourist Club) area where finding a parking is like hunting a needle in a haystack. “Sometimes, I spend hours looking for an empty parking near my house but without luck. It is a daily horror we face,” said Majid, who works for an insurance company.
Indian Gopakumar Mukundan, 31, who stays in the Al Nahyan camp area said his residential parking permit is of no use because taxis and pick-up trucks claim empty parking spaces in his neighbourhood.
“Having a car has become a burden, not a convenience, due to the parking shortage. I pay Dh800 for my permit but still cannot get a spot when I come back from office. I think it is a great idea to make use of empty plots for parking facility,” said Mukundan.
Mawaqif said the move can help achieve two-fold objectives; increasing the parking space allotted for cars in the city, and generating investment opportunities for individuals and the local business community in this field.
To alleviate the parking crisis in the emirate, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT) has in the recent years built several multi-storey parking facilities, the latest being the 182 women-only parking bays introduced in August 2016.
But parking woes persist and the city’s business district and residential areas are swelling with vehicles.
As of September 2015, there were 98,000 paid parking slots in the city. Last year, an estimated 10,500 more parking spaces were introduced.
Things to know
Paid parking was introduced in Abu Dhabi in 2009
Residential parking permit cost: AED 800 for a single car
Premium parking lots cost AED 3 per hour
Standard parking lots cost AED 2 per hour