Stock Paid parking Sharjah
Paid parking meter in Sharjah. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Do you find yourself often hitting the road, whether for work or for leisure? If your office or home falls within a paid parking zone, you may have considered buying a paid parking card to manage your costs better.

While many parking spots in the UAE are free to use, some parking spaces may come under a paid parking zone. Municipal and transport authorities in each emirate clearly mark paid parking zones, with motorists having the option to pay for the duration of use through payment machines located around the paid parking zones or smart payment options like mPay, which allows a person to pay through SMS. However, if you regularly visit an area which comes under a paid parking zone, parking cards can be a good option.

For example, in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority has divided the parking zones into eight categories – Zones A to G and a separate category for multi-storey parking. The cost for an hour’s parking can vary from Dh2 to Dh5 or even Dh10 in some areas. This is why getting a paid parking card or permit makes more sense if you visit an area with paid parking for long hours.

While paid parking is charged by many emirates in the UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah offer parking cards or permits for a few months to a year. Here is all you need to know about the parking cards in these emirates.


The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) provides parking cards for public parking areas in Dubai. While the long-term parking permits are essentially of two types – Category A and Category B, the RTA also issues special parking permits for Al Khail Gate, Silicon Oases and Tecom. However, to apply for these parking permits, you would need to visit the website here.

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For the regular parking permit, which is referred to as a ‘Seasonal parking card’ and can be used in most areas of Dubai, follow these steps.

Step 1: Log on to the RTA website

Visit the RTA website and enter your card and vehicle details.

You will be asked to select the card activation date. As plastic cards are no longer being issued, and the permit is updated on the RTA’s system, you can get the card for the very next day from the date of application.

You would then be asked for your vehicle details like your plate number or the traffic file number.

Step 2: Select card category and duration

Within RTA’s parking system, there are two categories for the parking card.

Category A – this card allows the individual to park in zones A, B, C and D.

Category B – this card allows the individual to park in zones B and D only.

You would then need to select the duration of the permit that you wish to apply for:

Category A:

One month – Dh500

Three months – Dh1,400

Six months – Dh2,500

12 months – Dh4,500

Category B:

One month – Dh250

Three months – Dh700

Six months – Dh1,300

12 months – Dh2,400

However, it is important to note that there are some areas that the card cannot be used in. The exceptions include Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Deira Fish Market, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Gold Souq.

Step 3: Enter your personal details

You will then be asked to fill in a form with some personal details like your full name, mobile number and email address.

Step 4: Confirm and pay

Once you review the details of the parking permit and your vehicle and personal details, you can then make the payment using a credit or debit card.

As part of its strategy to go paperless, the RTA is no longer issuing plastic parking cards. Once you receive a confirmation via SMS and email from the RTA on the parking permit being issued, you can start using the registered vehicle in the parking slots for which you have paid.

Abu Dhabi

In Abu Dhabi, the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) provides special parking permits for residents as well as limited term parking permits, which were announced in March this year.

The limited term parking permit can be used by vehicle owners to park in public parking spaces. The parking permit is available for individuals and companies that regularly use public parking spaces.


The limited-term parking permits are for standard parking spaces and are issued for the following time periods:

One month - Dh391

Three months - Dh1,174

Six months - Dh2,348

12 months - Dh4,695

Companies and individuals can issue the permit for each of their vehicles.

Different entities, mail delivery companies and service providers may also issue the permit for their vehicles or motorcyles.

How to apply

1. Visit the ITC website and enter your traffic file number. You can find the traffic file number on your vehicle registration card.

2. You will then receive a one-time password on your registered mobile number.

3. Select the vehicle for which you want to apply for a parking permit.

4. Select the duration – one, three, six or 12 months.

5. Make the payment online.

Once you have made the payment, the vehicle will be registered on the online system and you will be able to park in the paid parking areas.

However, it is important to note that the limited-term permit does not replace resident parking permits, it replaces the daily parking ticket for standard parking which costs Dh2 per hour and Dh15 a day.

Resident parking permits are linked to a resident’s tenancy contract, and only allows the permit holder to park in a specific area around his or her place of residence.

Also, the limited-term parking permit does not allow the user to reserve a parking, use reserved parking spaces or park in prohibited areas.

The permit is issued within the same day, once the fees have been paid.

Before your permit expires, you will receive an SMS on the registered mobile number, notifying you of the date of expiry.


Sharjah Municipality offers motorists what is called paid parking subscriptions, which you can apply for online. The municipality has standard parking charges across the emirate, regardless of the area you are parking in. If you wish to apply online, you would need a soft copy of your Emirates ID as well as your vehicle registration card.

1. Visit the Sharjah Municipality website –

2. Got to the ‘Smart Services’ page and select ‘Public Parking Department Services’

4. Click ‘Parking Subscription’.

5. You will then be asked to register as a user. Enter your mobile number and click ‘Next’. You will receive a one-time password via SMS on your number, which you will be asked to enter. Once you enter your email address, mobile number and set a password, you will be registered on the municipality’s portal.

6. Click on log in and enter your mobile number and the password you have set.

7. You will be directed to your personal dashboard.

8. Select ‘Apply for parking subscription’.

9. Enter your permit details and select the duration for which you wish to get the card.

10. Enter your personal details and upload the copy of your Emirates ID and vehicle registration card.

11. Enter your vehicle details.

12. Make the payment.

The cost for a parking subscription for a single vehicle is as follows:

Three months - Dh850

Six months - Dh1,400

12 months - Dh2,300

13. Confirm payment and delivery address.

Once the payment has been made the card will be delivered to the address provided by you and needs to be placed on top of your dashboard, where it is clearly visible.