Pre-paid parking cards on way out

Drivers to use Nol cards or mparking in Dubai.

Image Credit:Gulf News Archive
Pre-paid parking cardsare the cheapest optionto pay for parking vehiclesin paid parking zonescompared to using coins,Nol cards or the mParkingservice, which costs themost
06 Gulf News

Dubai: The number of pre-paid parking cards available for sale have been reduced and many motorists have been forced to use Nol cards or coins to buy parking tickets from parking meters.

Pre-paid parking cards are the cheapest option to pay for parking vehicles in paid parking zones compared to using coins, Nol cards or the mParking service, which costs the most.

The pre-paid cards are typically used by motorists to pay for parking for short periods and were available in denominations of Dh30, Dh50 and Dh100.

Motorists were able to save money by using these cards because a card with Dh100 parking credit is available for purchase for Dh85. Cards with Dh50 credit are sold for Dh43 and a card with Dh30 credit can be bought for Dh26.

Curious customer

"I am just wondering why these cards are not available in the market any more," said Chris, who always prefers to use the cards instead of carrying coins.

"It was the cheapest mode to pay for parking using these cards," he noted.

He said that he was forced to buy a Nol card as he was unable to find the pre-paid card for sale any longer.

It costs a motorist Dh2 per hour to pay for parking using the Nol card while those who opt to use the mParking service pay Dh2.30 per hour. An official at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said that the cards are still available at some places but he could not say where.

"We reduced the supply of these cards because the demand has been quite low," he said.

However, another official said the pre-paid cards would gradually be replaced with Nol cards to pay at the parking meters. Currently, Nol cards are used by commuters on public transport in Dubai.

"Why should I buy a Nol card when I don't use public transport and commute in my car only?" said Lahiba, an Indian manager. She said that RTA should keep all the options open especially the cheaper ones.

Apart from Nol Cards, coins, and mParking, motorists can also use long term parking cards to park their vehicles in the paid parking zones. The long- term seasonal parking cards are available in two different categories.


Motorists must fix these cards to the windscreen of their cars. They can be used to park cars round-the-clock without purchasing tickets from parking meters. Cards in Category A can be used to park cars all over Dubai including zones A and B and cost Dh700 for three months.

In the Zone: Ticket renewal

Renewal of parking tickets is limited to four hours using the mParking service in Zone A of paid parking but motorists can renew mParking for up to ten hours in Zone B parking, a senior official clarified.

Gulf News reported yesterday that many motorists were upset over not being able to renew their parking tickets for more than four hours using the mParking service and demanded the Roads and Transport Authority improve the service. However, the RTA official said that the limited renewal hours policy was followed to give other motorists a chance to park but he could not explain why motorists are able to park for days at the same parking space using the coins at the parking meters or long- term seasonal cards.

Do you use pre-paid parking cards? Have you had a hard time purchasing new ones? Would you consider switching to the NOL card option?


  • Fernandes

    23-Nov-2010 16:48

    The Nol cards do not work at all parking areas. The parking cards were much better especially when one had to park for more than 02 Hrs.

  • Maria Ozaka

    23-Nov-2010 16:05

    I bought a prepaid card few months back but I did not save any money because stores are giving same price as what is the amount on the card.

  • Mathew Litty

    23-Nov-2010 13:13

    We will not know when one of the system faces glitches so it is very imperative to keep all the systems on. I do agree with Amyn that NOL Cards needs to be used in taxis . that was a very good suggestion. it will clear the problem of change that makes most of the taxi drivers get rude and frustrated. Come on RTA. Be creative and innovative. Put on your thinking caps. You need to keep topping up the amt in the NOL Card in order to have sufficient funds for travel. I once used the NOL Card for my parking and it did work. I think near by supermarkets needs to start selling more of Pre paid cards and NOL Cards too so that more motorists can make use of this service. Certain supermarkets stop selling the pre paid cards making it very difficult. At times M parking technology hardly works so i have purchased an A parking card for 3 months to solve this problem. It costs 700dhs but you dont have to keep heading out to renew your parking when you purchase this card.

  • Amyn

    23-Nov-2010 12:12

    I think Nol card should be used even in taxis, as it will become extremely convenient for people and they don't have to carry too much cash.

  • Wilfred

    23-Nov-2010 11:47

    Prepaid cards were my only preferred mode of payment for paid parking due to the unreliability of mParking and the inconvenience of carrying coins. However, despite searching a lot in supermarkets and even the Post Office, I am unable to buy prepaid cards any more, which is extremely disappointing. Two of the regular grocery shops where I used to buy these cards gave a consistent answer that RTA has stopped paying commissions on these cards and hence no shops are interested in carrying these cards anymore. Whatever is the reason, it is unfair for RTA to deny this convenient mode of payment for customers. I am curious to hear what is RTA's official response to this issue and I hope RTA makes prepaid cards available through different channels for the convenience of all the public who are relying on this mode of payment.

  • Uday Menon

    23-Nov-2010 09:08

    Its always better that RTA should should keep all the options open especially the cheaper ones. RTA should look into the NOL card but it should function same as the prepaid parking cards and they should only charge Dhs 2.00 and not Dhs 2.30 fils.

Latest Comment

The Nol cards do not work at all parking areas. The parking cards were much better especially when one had to park for more than 02 Hrs.


23 November 2010 17:31jump to comments