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Abu Dhabi parking meters reject new coin

Motorists in the capital say they are lucky to find a parking space and luckier if they have the right coin

  • By Anjana Sankar, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 22:53 January 2, 2013

  • Image Credit: XPRESS/ AHMED KUTTY
  • Double trouble: With parking becoming a headache, motorists now face double trouble as some of the parking machines in Abu Dhabi are not accepting the newly launched one dirham coins
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ABU DHABI: If finding a parking was not hard enough, Abu Dhabi motorists have to now contend with another challenge - finding a coin that could be accepted by the parking meters.

Residents said the parking machines installed by the Department of Tourism (DoT) are not compatible with the new one dirham coins.

“I was slapped a parking fine just because the machine kept on rejecting the new coins. I crossed the road and went to a restaurant to exchange my new coins for old ones. But by that time I had already got a fine,” said Egyptian Abdullah Omar.

An Indian woman recounted a similar experience. “I tried four coins but they all got rejected. I thought there was something wrong with the machine so I walked down to another machine at the far end of the road. Here too, the coins got rejected. I rushed back to my car but it was too late. There was a fine slip stuck under windsreen wiper,” she said.

The UAE Central Bank issued the lightweight one dirham coin on October 30 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first shipment of oil from Abu Dhabi.

The new coin weighs exactly 6.4g and has a diametre of 29mm. It is lighter than the older coin which is still in circulation.

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“The new coins are available everywhere. Most supermarkets give new coins as change. “If we cannot use these coins in parking metres, then they are of no use because parking is a big headache for us,” said another resident, Prahlad Unni.

Parking costs Dh2 per hour and Dh15 for the whole day.

Grocery and supermarket staff said customers approach them throughout the day with requests to exchange their new coins with old ones. “We get at least a dozen people asking for exchanges. By evening we have only new coins left in our cash box, Faisal Cheriyakunithala of Desert Rose Cafeteria said.

The Mawaqif call centre said the machines are being updated to suit the new coins. “We are getting complaints from a lot of people. And we are already in the process of updating the parking machines so that the new coins are accepted,” the customer care staff said. 

Comments (12)

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  1. Added 11:04 January 3, 2013

    This happens in Dubai too. I have been struggling with new coins and parking metres in Oud Metha area. What should a person do, if he has no credit in the mobile phone (parking for Dubai Registered Cars) and no credit left in the NOL card as well. Coins are the only option then and the machine refuses to accept those.

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 09:36 January 3, 2013

    New coins are not excepted even in Sharjah and Dubai!

    Almas, Daubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 09:14 January 3, 2013

    This is a classic example of no communication between inter-government entities. Mawaqif should have been advised of such changes well in advance, giving them sufficient time to implement the process to accept both Dh1 coins. I hope the two departments can have better communication and planning.

    Mohamed Naeem, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 09:12 January 3, 2013

    DOT - Department of Transport

    Muthalib PS, Abu Dhabi, India

  5. Added 09:11 January 3, 2013

    It's really a big trouble and a headache...hope this will be sorted soon..

    karthick, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:00 January 3, 2013

    I am a resident of Dubai and I faced the same issue when I wanted to park my car near Emarat Atrium on Shaikh Zayed Road. The parking meter kept rejecting the coins and finally I had no option to call someone from the office with coins. Something has to be done.

    Prachiti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 08:50 January 3, 2013

    The new coins dont work in any parking meteres in Dubai and Sharjah too. They dont work in vending machines or any other machines!

    A, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 08:31 January 3, 2013

    Yes we understand that the machines will be updated soon. I just hope we won't be fined till then!

    Naren, abudhabi, India

  9. Added 08:04 January 3, 2013

    I had the same experience with the new coins being rejected by parking meters in Sharjah. What was worse was that the shopkeepers nearby refused to exchange cash for coins to help me out. I had no option but to take a chance and finish my errand quickly and rush back to the car before the inspector came around.

    Sam, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 07:57 January 3, 2013

    Not only in Abu Dhabi. We face the same problem in Dubai. The new coins also not working in children's rides.

    Saqib, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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