The pay-to-park system was rolled out in Abu Dhabi in October with fees levied for using 2,500 spaces located between Hamdan Street and Baniyas Street. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: There will be 35,000 paid parking spaces around the capital spanning over 19 sectors by the end of 2010, the Department of Transport announced at a press conference titled ‘Mawaqif: 2010 Roll Out Plan' on Tuesday.

Engineer Najib Al Zarouni, General Manager of Mawaqif, Department of Transport, said: "We will implement 8,026 paid parking spots by the end of the first quarter [of 2010]. In addition, our inspection department will launch awareness campaigns.

"We do not want to penalise anyone. All those who receive a penalty will be provided with a 15 per cent discount."

Since its launch in October 2009, improvements have been observed in areas with paid parking, such as greater availability of parking spaces and fewer abandoned cars.

Showrooms and car rental companies can no longer reserve spaces. Usage of underground parking areas has also increased up to 25 per cent.

"We have long-term and short-term plans. The Department of Transport, along with the Urban Planning Council is looking into how to achieve our long terms goals with regard to the implementation of the paid parking system. Studies are being conducted to compare areas before and after paid parking, and to see where radical changes should be undertaken," Al Zarouni said.

"A customer service centre for Mawaqif will be inaugurated in Marina Mall by April. It will sell pre-paid cards and issue residential parking permits. More centres will be opened during the year."

Tenders are also being issued for two automated car parks in the Tourist Club area and Salam Street as well as for two temporary steel structures.

"The multi-storey car parks have been sub-contracted to a new company that will be constructing them. However, the premises will be leased to them.

"According to the tender that was submitted to us, the value of both the temporary steel and the robotic car parks is estimated to be Dh200 million, while the cost of constructing these car parks in four different sites is estimated to be Dh400-500 million overall," Al Zarouni said.

Where you have to pay

Quarter 1: Area between Corniche Road and Shaikh Khalifa Street.

Quarter 2: Area between Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed the First, Al Falah street, Airport Road and Baniyas Street.

Quarter 3: Area between end of Hamdan Street, end of Al Nahyan Street and Corniche Street.

Quarter 4: Area between Airport Road, Al Nahyan Street and Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed the First Street.

What do you think of this initiative? Will this offer more parking spaces for drivers who need them? Leave a comment by clicking on the 'Post a comment' link below.