New digital touch screen parking meter machine opposite the Jafiliya metro station, Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Coins or paper tickets are going out of favour as a payment option for parking in Dubai as a majority of motorists now opt for smart modes of payment.

According to statistics provided by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), more than 60 per cent of motorists are now paying parking fees through various smart payment modes including SMS and RTA mobile app.

“RTA has introduced many parking payment methods to ensure smooth and easy use of parking. Users prefer to pay their parking fees using our smart and electronics payment methods, since its more convenient and have more features compared to paying parking fees by normal parking meters, the adoption of smart parking tickets has reached more than 60 per cent compared to paper tickets,” said Osama Al Safi, RTA’s Parking Director.

However, he added that parking meters are still used by a significant number of people and will remain operational.

“We perform the required and recommended preventive and corrective maintenance for all the parking meters regularly to ensure that all meters are ready for use as expected,” said Al Safi.

Dubai has around 125,000 paid parking slots available across zones A, B, C, D, E, F G, H, I, J, K and L.

Zones A and B cover around 19 per cent of the busiest paid parking zones, while zones C and D account for most of the other busy areas.

Al Safi said that zones A and B, which cover the commercial districts of Dubai, have higher occupancy rate than zones C and D.

Occupancy rates in zones F, G, H, I, J, K, L, serving areas such as Downtown Dubai, Tecom and Jumeirah Lakes Towers, vary between high, medium, and low demand depending on peak and off-peak hours. These zones account for around 15,000 parking slots.

Range of options

Parking payment can be made using six different methods including coins, prepaid card, seasonal parking cards, mParking, Nol card and smart parking.

Using coins is the simplest way to buy a parking ticket from the nearest paid parking meter.

Another option is to use pre-paid parking cards, which are now going out of favour, with the advent of Nol cards and other smarter options. The pre-paid parking cards are available at supermarkets and grocery stores in denominations of Dh30 and Dh100. The ticket amount is deducted from the balance on the card when it is inserted into its slot on the machine.

Motorists can also buy seasonal parking cards valid for different zones for three months, six months and one year.

Apart from paying at the meters, motorists can also use mParking which allows payment through SMS to 7275. Mobile payment can also be made through RTA’s smart phone app.

Parking fees vary from zone to zone ranging from Dh2 for the first hour to Dh10.