All the main and internal parking spots in Dubai Silicon Oasis have been designated under the ‘H’ category, meaning they are charged at Dh4 an hour, a rate many find too steep. Image Credit:

Dubai

Paid parking has been introduced in the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) recently, which was a welcome step. But, the issue is that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has designated all the main and internal parking spots in this area under the ‘H’ category at a rate of Dh4 per hour.

Although it is a free zone area, majority of the buildings here are residential, especially in the internal areas with narrow roads. Up until last year, it was free to park in DSO. And despite that it was never an issue to find a parking spot. Even if you returned late at night, you would manage to find a spot. It’s not like those busy, packed areas around Dubai. There is also no issue of commercial vehicles being parked here, too, as is the concern amongst many residents of International City.

Within our building, we only have one parking spot. Since we have two vehicles, one has to be parked in the paid parking zone. When my son tried to get an annual parking card, there was none available for the ‘H’ category. How are the residents expected to pay for parking from 8am to 10pm? Where do we park our cars? This is making living here difficult. If it was a commercial area, I would understand.

Ever since the paid zones were initiated, I have noticed a decrease in the number of vehicles parked in the area. I don’t know where the residents are parking now, but it is obviously not in these paid zones — they seem deserted. You’ll only find some cars parked close to stores or supermarkets, which I assume belong to residents who are shopping. Apart from that, you’ll find cars around the office buildings, which I’m sure belong to the commercial visitors or office employees.

I lived in Bur Dubai for many years, which is largely a commercial area even though a lot of people live there. There are several parking categories in that area now and the rates are different. On some of the main roads, you have to pay Dh4 to park for one hour, but on the internal roads, you only pay Dh2 for one hour. This I believe is a good system, otherwise you would never be able to find a spot in this area.

I hope the RTA will consider doing the same in DSO and introduce cheaper categories in the residential lanes. They could charge Dh2 per hour, with ‘B’ or ‘D’ category, for the roads that strictly cater to residential complexes.

— The reader is based in Dubai.

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The reader’s concerns were raised with the management of RTA. They immediately investigated the issue and responded.

They stated: “The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and the Integrated Free Zone Technology Park with the aim of streamlining the parking lot experiencing high occupancy rate, and availing the largest possible number of parking slots for motorists.

“There is a pressing need to streamline the parking spaces in the area to bring them in line with RTA standards. The process will curb the high occupancy rates, fend off casual parking and prevent the misuse of parking for prolonged times. The step would also encourage the use of public transport means and ensure the availability of parking space for disabled individuals.

“This strategic partnership, is to enhance the efficiency of traffic services in the Dubai Silicon Oasis, and offer solutions to several challenges relating to mobility and parking. Through this partnership, RTA seeks to achieve streamlined traffic flow within the Dubai Silicon Oasis in a way that meets the ambitions of investors, employees and residents. The move is in line with the strategy of providing an ideal community for living and business, and taking the Dubai Silicon Oasis to the next level of growth and development.”