Areas like Al Muroor (in picture) and Al Bateen where parking was free will become paid parking zones from today (Saturday). Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Residents turned out in large numbers at Mawaqif centres in order to obtain their residential parking permits ahead of Saturday’s deadline when all areas in Abu Dhabi city will officially become paid parking zones.

The new parking regulations being introduced by the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DoT) will make previously free parking areas — such as areas like Al Muroor and Al Bateen — become paid parking zones. The DoT has called on residents living in those areas to obtain their residential parking permits before August 18 to avoid paying hourly and daily parking fees.

One Pakistani resident who declined to be named said there was a long waiting time when she visited the Abu Dhabi main bus station to register for her residential parking permit.

“I had to wait for around an hour and a half until I got my registration completed, including around 15 minutes of having to stand in the queue before I was given my token number. It was a very long waiting time and I would have most likely had to wait longer if I was not in the ladies section.

Large number

“There were around 80 people in different seating areas with more people lining up to get their tokens, I don’t believe there was a sufficient capacity to handle the large number of people who showed up. I also think it would have been better if this was done at a different time, because a lot of residents are away during the summer, and so we didn’t have the chance to register earlier. The Eid Al Adha holidays are also coming when the centres will all be closed, which creates a big rush,” she added.

Another motorist from India said he had been waiting for one hour when Gulf News approached him.

“There are a lot of people here today because it’s last minute, but I think there should be more service operators which would help speed things up,” he said, also choosing not to give his name.

Motorists who were visiting the bus station for other services also had to wait for long times because of the rush.

“I came to renew my residential parking permit and until now I have been waiting for three hours. There is a big crowd here today because you have people here who want to get new residential parking permits before August 18, and you have other motorists who are here to renew their permits,” an Indian resident said.

“I don’t think there are enough workers here to handle the big number of people, which is causing the long waiting times. I hope I will eventually get called up so I can complete my renewal,” he added.