Dubai: Hate spending time looking for a parking spot? Next time, before you go out, check in advance how many parking spaces are available near your destination if you are in Dubai.
The ‘Dubai Drive’ app by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) provides an online service through which you can find out the exact number of spots available around a place that you select on the map and the hourly tariff for the parking location.
While this service does not cover all parking spots in Dubai, it does cover some key neighbourhoods and commercial districts that are popular like Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Internet City, Deira’s Creek area and Expo City Dubai.
Here is how you can check for available parking spots ahead of time.
Step 1: Find the service on the ‘Dubai Drive’ app
• Download the RTA ‘Dubai Drive’ app from the Google Play Store, Apple App Store or Huawei AppGallery.
• On the homepage, select the ‘Parking’ category.
• Next, click on ‘Search for Parking’.
Step 2: View the map and select your parking spot
• You will then be presented with a map of the available parking spaces in the city, and have two options to choose from – public parking or multistory spaces.
The map is interactive, and specific areas have a pinned parking sign. The sign is colour-coded in red, orange and green.
If you zoom in on the map and the pin is red, it means that the number of parking spaces is low.
• Once you tap on the pin, a box will appear stating the parking code, the tariff of the particular parking spot, and the percentage of spots available, for example – ‘14 per cent availability, nine empty spaces’.
Step 3: Pay for the parking on the app or through SMS or WhatsApp.
• Once you arrive at the parking zone and get a parking spot, you can also pay through the Dubai Drive app. Simply tap on ‘Pay’ if you want to pay and the app will automatically detect your location. Alternatively, you can also enter the parking code in the search bar.
• Enter your vehicle plate number.
You can only pay for the parking on the app if you have a parking account with sufficient balance. You can tap on ‘Top Up’ and select the amount from anywhere between Dh10 to Dh500, and pay for it with your debit or credit card online.
You will get a notification and SMS confirmation once the parking fee is settled.