Stock RTA Dubai parking
RTA Dubai parking Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: In Dubai, you can pay for public parking using a parking meter, your mobile phone or even WhatsApp.

Over the years, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has developed many ways to make paying for public parking easy, with motorists not required to place a paper ticket on their car’s dashboard anymore. So, whether you prefer to pay for parking through online options, or offline, here are 10 ways you can do so.

1. Coins

If there is a parking payment machine nearby, you can insert coins into the parking meter to pay for the ticket. According to RTA, one dirham and 50 fils coins are accepted.

Previously, the parking machine would issue a paper ticket, which you would need to place on the dashboard. Now, you are required to enter your vehicle’s plate number when paying for the ticket after which you receive an SMS confirming your parking ticket, on your registered mobile number.

2. nol cards

In case you do not have enough change in your wallet, you can use your nol card at parking payment machines.

All you have to do is insert the nol card into the card slot and enter the details as required. Once that’s done, select the parking duration and the amount will be deducted from the nol card's balance.


3. Credit or debit cards

Parking payment machines in Dubai also accept bank cards, which you can either insert or scan at the parking payment machine.

Information you need to enter at payment parking machine
You can use coins, nol cards or credit or debit cards to pay at a parking payment machine in Dubai. Regardless of the method you choose, you will be required to provide the following details:
- Vehicle plate source (the emirate where your car is registered)
- Vehicle plate code
- Vehicle plate number

4. Seasonal parking cards

If you frequently use public parking and want to avoid making a payment every time, you can instead opt for a seasonal parking card, which come for durations of one year, three months, six months or one year.

In 2022, RTA announced that motorists no longer need to place a physical card on the car’s dashboard as proof of having paid for parking. Instead, they can simply activate the permit through their phones, on the RTA app. If you want to understand how to apply for and activate a parking card online, read our detailed guide here.


5. mParking (sms parking)

You can pay for car parking in Dubai using the mParking service . The SMS number for RTA parking is 7275. You would need to send an SMS to this number in the following format:

Emirate/Country code <space> plate code <space> plate no. <space> area no. <space> and duration in hours

For example, if your vehicle is registered in Dubai, with a vehicle plate number as A 0000, and you wish to park the car in the parking area with a zone code 343A for two hours, you would need to send the following SMS to 7275:

DXB A 0000 343A 2

The mParking service is available for number plates registered in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

If you do use the mParking service, you will charged 30 fils from telecommunication service providers.

6. WhatsApp

If you want to avoid the 30 fils fee, you can instead pay for parking through WhatsApp, by sending a message to number +97158 8009090. However, you will need to make sure you have enough balance in your mParking account first, as the amount is deducted from this online account. Here is how to pay for public parking in three simple steps:

• First, add the number +971 58 8009090 to your contact list.
• Then send a message to this number in the following format:
[Plate Number] Space [Zone Number] Space [Duration]

For example: If you wish to park your vehicle, which has a plate number A00000 in parking zone - 000A - for two hours, you would need to send the following message on Whatsapp: A00000 000A 2

• Then you will receive an SMS confirming your parking ticket. Your plate number and parking ticket will be automatically linked.


7. Apple Pay through ‘App Clips’ - for iPhone users

Newly installed signs at paid parking areas in Dubai now provide iPhone users with the option to scan a Quick Response (QR ) code and use the ‘App Clips’ feature on iPhones to pay through Apple Pay.

With this method, you do not need to download an additional app, to complete the payment. Here are steps to follow:
• Scan the QR code with your iPhone.
• A pop-up screen will appear. Tap on ‘Open’.
• Next, enter your vehicle details and select the parking duration. You can then pay using Apple Pay.

8. RTA Dubai app

You can pay for parking with your debit or credit card or your phone wallet – Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Huawei Pay – if you have the ‘RTA Dubai’ app installed on your phone. It is available for Apple, Android and Huawei devices.

The app also includes a unique feature that provides an auto-renewal option for paid public parking, which ensures that you do not get fined for forgetting to renew your parking ticket. To know more about how you can use the auto-renewal feature, click here.

9. DubaiNow app

You can also pay for parking through the DubaiNow app, which is available for Apple and Android devices. It is a unified app for all government services and allows you to pay all your electricity or phone bills, top up Salik, and check your UAE residency visa status.

The parking service is available under the ‘Driving’ section on the app’s homepage.

To pay for parking, just enter the parking code (which will be stated on the signboard), and your vehicle plate details and pay for the tariff online through your credit or debit card.

10. Digital wallet apps

Parking payment machines in public parking spaces and multi-storey car parks also accept payments through smartphones with near-field communication (NFC). All you have to do is open your phone’s digital wallet app and tap against the Point-of-Sale (POS) machine to pay for parking.