Access to the Oud Metha
Access to the Oud Metha parking lot was blocked on January 7 for the AFC Asian Cup match at Al Maktoum Stadium. This arrangement will be in place for January 12, 16, 20 and 24 also. Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: With the AFC Asian Cup taking place in Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, motorists have been advised to be mindful of road closures and parking restrictions around Oud Metha Road on the match days.

With access roads to several social clubs being blocked, members have been advised to take public transport.

We were told the parking lot would be barricaded in the evenings from 4.30 to 10.30pm on the match days.

- Resident at Oud Metha

Bharath Charchara, general manager of India Club, said. “We sent out an advisory to our members on January 6, a day before the matches commenced. We informed that with the stadium expecting a large crowd on the match days, the approach road to the club would remain closed for vehicular traffic on these days and that they would be better off taking the Metro, buses or cabs or park where possible on the main road. We have also advised them to carry their membership cards to be allowed access to the club.”

Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) also notified its members well in advance.

“Please be informed that due to the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in Al Nasr club (Al Maktoum Stadium), the roads around PAD will be closed on January 10, 12,16, 20 and 24 from 12pm. You can take the Metro to reach PAD or you can park your car at the nearest convenient parking,” the notice said.

Meanwhile, residents living in the Oud Metha area said they were in for a surprise when a massive parking bay was cordoned off on January 7 to make room for taxis and vehicles of football fans attending the AFC Asian Cup.

Similarly, access to other social clubs including the Iranian Club, Egyptian Social Club and Sudanense Social Club in the area has been closed.

Kunal Bilakhia, resident of a nearby building, said he was surprised to find that all the entrances to a huge parking lot which he regularly uses were blocked when he got home from work at around 6.30pm on January 7.

“I was told that the area was being used to accommodate vehicles for the football match at the Al Maktoum Stadium. I spent the next 60 minutes trying to find alternative parking.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said her husband too faced the same problem. “We were told the parking lot would be barricaded in the evenings from 4.30 to 10.30pm on the match days. We do have parking for one of our cars in our building but leave our second car in this area which can accommodate hundreds of cars. We wish some part of the large area is kept open for regulars like us.”

The owner of a cafeteria overlooking the parking lot said business was very low on January 7. “People pull up their cars into the parking lot and have a cup of tea with us. But this area was closed. In fact, we hardly had any customers although we were open till midnight.”

An immediate comment was not available from Road Transport Authority.