Dubai: Residents in several areas across Bur Dubai and Deira have complained that owners of tyre service centres and car accessories shops illegally block series of parking slots and intimidate motorists who try to park in these slots.
“It is difficult to find an empty parking space near my building in the evening and to make matters worse, more than a dozen slots are illegally blocked by tyre shop owners. They keep their tools, like car jacks, in the parking spaces in front of their shops,” said Ahmad, who is a resident of Hor Al Anz.
He added that most people don’t dare to argue with the shop owners as they are scared.
“The area is dominated by these shops and they work in unison so people don’t want to create enemies, many who have dared have faced consequences like punctured car tyres and scratches on the cars. So people prefer to avoid trouble,” he stated.
But there are a few who continue to see the shop owners in the eye, with many taking up the matter with the authorities. However, nothing seem to have deterred the shopowners.
“It’s shocking to see these people practice their illegal activities undeterred. I have complained to Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) several times but nothing has happened. For some reason even the parking inspectors seem to be ignoring the issue,” Shafi Mohiddin, a resident of Abu Hail, which is another affected by the issue.
The issue could also be seen in Satwa, Karama and Naif, where there are abundance of car accessories shops but serious scarcity of parking spaces.
“There are altercations and fights every day but there is no change in their attitude. How can somebody block a public parking space without paying for it? I think its high time authorities took some action. If this will continue to be unnoticed then these people will get bolder,” said a Satwa resident on condition of anonymity.
However, there is another side of tale. Interestingly, shop owners are not allowed to reserve the parking slots legally by RTA.
According to information available on RTA website, parking reservations are allowed only for banks, hospitals with ambulance service, hotels, constructions sites and mosque imams.
An establishment can reserve a maximum of four parking slots, with each costing Dh5,000 a year.
Speaking on condition of anonymity a tyre shop owner said that he has approached RTA to request for parking reservation but was turned down every time.
“I think RTA needs to reconsider their rules, reservation of parking spaces should be allowed for auto workshops and car accessories shops, without which we can’t run our businesses. Even if we create space inside the shop, we need a way in front of the shop for the car to come in. If we allow somebody to park in front of our shops than we will lose business,” said a shop owner from Iran.
Comments from RTA on the issue weren’t forthcoming, but a parking inspector said on condition of anonymity that no parking inspector has the authority to issue fines against shop owners.