Dubai: It’s no secret that finding a parking spot anywhere in Bur Dubai is next to impossible. The issue has been taken up by residents and shopkeepers who say multi-level car parks in the area are long overdue.
Dubai has 111,026 paid parking slots and the number is likely to increase by 10,000. A total of 3,916 parking meters control the 103 paid parking areas in Dubai, which are divided into 69 ‘A’ zones, 32 ‘B’ zones, an ‘E’ zone and an ‘F’ zone that covers areas in Tecom.
The situation gets all the more sticky in densely populated residential and commercial areas such as Al Karama, Meena Bazaar, Bank Street, Al Fahidi and Al Mankhool. Those who operate private parking spaces have been taking advantage of the parking shortage by raising their fees from Dh5 to Dh20 an hour.
However, residents and shopkeepers who spoke to Gulf News said they did not mind paying these private car park owners as it saved them wasting time trying to find a municipality paid parking space. If one is able to manoeuvre and find yourself a side street parking in the narrow streets of Meena Bazaar you are considered an efficient driver.
Survival of the fittest
“It’s the survival of the fittest attitude that works on the streets of Bur Dubai if you want to get yourself a parking space. Keep your road etiquette at home and drive in areas like Al Karama and Al Fahidi streets,” said Yousuf Mohammad, a Pakistani resident who has lived in Al Karama for the past 12 years.
His building provides one car parking space for each apartment.
“My wife and I take turns to park in the space provided by our building. But it is — and has always been — a nightmare to find parking on the streets. All the paid parking spaces are full even after 9pm as it is free. I live behind the Al Sharafi building 1 and have been parking on the main road opposite the General Post Office.”
Having been slapped with a fine for double parking eight times in four months, Raghav Motilal, a Bank Street resident said: “Earlier it was the traffic that used to drive us mad. Now it is the lack of parking spaces. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), along with Dubai Municipality, should try and turn all the private car parking spaces into multi-level car parks. This is the only solution in these congested areas.”
“What is the point of talking about parking and the problems that we residents are facing? Nothing will be done I am sure. Every evening after work I used to go around hunting for a parking space. At times this exercise took half an hour or more. When the RTA got paid parking meters installed in our area, Al Karama, we heaved a sigh of relief but that was short-lived,” said Meena Jaykumar.
“It made matters worse. People double-park and leave their car to run an errand. This makes it difficult for those who want to take their car out of the parking space,” she added.