A motorist uses the mParking service by sending an SMS through his mobile phone at a paid parking zone on Shaikh Zayed road. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The mParking service in Dubai was suspended yesterday, forcing motorists to run for coins to pay the parking fee for their vehicles.

A number of motorists told Gulf News on Sunday that they tried paying the parking fee using the mParking service but it did not work.

"I was perplexed as I did not have coins and was running late for a meeting. I tried several times to use the service but in vain," said Jacob J., a businessman in Dubai. He said he also did not get any message alerting him that the service was out of order.

A senior official at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said the mParking service did not work on Sunday because of technical glitches.

"There was problem with the etisalat system as it was not processing the mParking payment requests through mobile phones," said Engineer Adel Al Marzouqi, Director of RTA's Parking Department.

He said only those motorists who used an etisalat mobile connection faced problems while the service was normal for those who used du mobile connections. "We are trying to fix the problem with etisalat and hope to restore the service by Monday [today] morning," he added.


Al Marzouqi advised motorists to use alternative modes of payments in case they face any problems with the mParking service. Sources in the RTA said that it was not the first time that the service faced technical glitches.

"It is a recurring problem and needs to be fixed to avoid any inconvenience to motorists," Al Marzouqi added. He said that motorists can always file their complaints at the RTA's customer service centre or by calling the RTA's customer service number 800 9090.

"We have received such complaints and did investigate them," said Al Mazouqi. Also, he advised motorists to make sure that they receive an acknowledgement message from etisalat confirming their mParking payment.

Methods: Parking payments

There are various options to pay for parking in paid parking zones:

- Motorists can use coins, various types of pre-paid cards and seasonal cards, or the mParking service which enables motorists to pay using their mobile phones. They also can now use Nol Silver cards, which are prepaid travel cards for public transport in Dubai. One type of parking card is for a shorter periods and is available in denominations of Dh30, Dh50 and Dh100.

- They can be used at parking meters, instead of coins, to get parking tickets. A card worth Dh100 is available for Dh85.

Dh50 worth of cards are sold for Dh43 and a Dh30 card can be obtained for Dh26.

- Seasonal cards are available for three, six and 12 months ranging from Dh450 to Dh2,500.

These cards are fixed on the windscreen. They can be used to park cars round the clock without getting tickets from parking meters.

-  Category A cards can be used to park cars anywhere in Dubai and cost Dh700 for three months, Dh1,300 for six months and Dh2,500 for one year. Category B cards can be used only in large parking lots and cost Dh450, Dh800 and Dh1,500 respectively.

Have you faced any issues with mParking recently? Do you use the service frequently? Do you find it a more convenient way of paying?