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Residents, workers adjust to new paid parking system in Abu Dhabi

Areas such as Al Muroor and Al Bateen finally coming under paid parking system

Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Khalid Beloushi who works in Al Muroor, said paid parking will make things difficult for those with long work hours.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: With new areas being added to the Department of Transport’s (DoT) paid parking system, residents and workers who are adjusting to the new system, say it will be difficult and more costly for them.

Free parking in the capital officially came to an end on September 8, with areas such as Al Muroor and Al Bateen finally coming under the paid parking system. New parking regulations introduced by the DoT means all public parking spaces on Abu Dhabi island are now paid parking zones. The DoT says the new regulations will put an end to improper parking practices and ensure smoother traffic flow on the roads.

Mary Bouery, a French resident who has been living in Manaseer for 14 years says her main concern is the lack of new available parking spaces near her residential building.

“After having free parking outside my building for all these years it’s something very different to now have to pay. I think it’s normal to have paid parking in commercial areas, but not for residential areas,” she said.

“Regardless of that, we are all going to pay, but in return I do believe we should at least have a guaranteed parking slot as something in return as a service for paying for this residential permit,” she added.

“Parking spaces near my building are very limited, there are around 36 parking slots for eight different buildings, and so there aren’t enough parking spaces. If we have no place to park our car then what are we supposed to do? If we park in some of the sandy areas we are going to get fined,” she said.

Ebrahim Mohammad Ebrahim, an Emirati resident in Abu Dhabi said that making all public parking spaces paid zones was making it harder to visit friends and family.

“If I want to visit my relatives or friends it’s difficult because everywhere is a paid parking area in Abu Dhabi. There are now designated parking spots where you have to park, and if there isn’t a parking space available outside the house you’re in trouble.

“Before, when you wanted to visit a friend’s house you didn’t have to think twice. Now you have to think about the parking situation and make plans for that beforehand. Many times now instead of meeting at a friend’s house, we will catch up at a coffee shop or some other public place.

Workers have to pay up

Deepak Sequeira, an Indian mechanical engineer who works in Al Muroor, said his parking costs would go into the hundreds each month.

“I work six days a week from 7am-6pm, and so I will be paying the maximum of Dh15 a day which will come to Dh360 a month for me. I can’t take a taxi to the office because sometimes I have to go to a work site, and so I always need my car.

“I am also paying for my annual residential parking permit, and so this new paid parking system is going to be another added cost for me. It will be difficult, I’m going to have to budget and plan this out,” he added.

Khalid Beloushi, a Pakistani who also works in Al Muroor echoed similar sentiments.

“It was better when it was free parking. Paid parking will make things more difficult, especially when you have very long work hours,” he said. “People can either take a taxi or bus to work to save on costs, but that isn’t always feasible for everybody. Sometimes you need to have your car, and with the new paid parking system you don’t really have a choice but to pay,” he added.

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