A warning sign prohibiting commercial vehicles in Mankhool residential area. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Residents will have to acquire parking permits to park vehicles overnight outside their homes in free parking areas, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.

Phase one of the new parking permit system will begin in Al Mankhool residential area from today (Monday), with other areas like Al Badaa and Hor Al Anz covered in the next phase.

The number of permits issued to residents will depend on the size of their villa or apartment. For example, a villa is entitled to four permits and a studio or one-bedroom apartment will get a single permit. The number of permits available for bigger apartments will depend on the number of bedrooms they have. “The parking cards allow residents of the neighbourhood to exclusively use public parking areas in their districts at night. Thus they will be issued with Type R parking cards, depending on the size of the residential unit in terms of the number of rooms, and the type of accommodation,” said Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

In the first phase, only one part of Mankhool area that has villas will be covered under the new plan, another officer said.

“We are starting with Mankhool residential area. The signboards will be set up in a day or two and we will start our awareness campaign in the next couple of days,” said Adel Al Marzouqi, Director of Parking at RTA. He said RTA staff will distribute leaflets to the residents and will also go door-to-door to the villas to spread awareness about the new system and encourage them to apply for the permits.

“We will not start issuing fines immediately. In the next couple of weeks we will meet residents and visit commercial establishments from the surrounding areas who are misusing parking spaces in Mankhool,” Al Marzouqi said.

The parking permits can be applied for online, through the RTA call centre and RTA mobile app as well as by visiting RTA customer service centres.

Applications will be accepted only from family accommodations and should be supported by a title deed or attested tenancy agreement in order to be issued a residential parking permit.

A fine of Dh200 will be issued if a car parked overnight in the area doesn’t have the permit displayed on its dashboard. The permits will be issued to both Emiratis and expatriates residing in the area, with each house getting an additional V-card for guests. “We will be issuing three types of cards, an L-card for Emiratis, R-card for residents and a V-card. One V-card will be given to every household in the area, irrespective of the size or type of the house, and this card will not have any registration number mentioned on it so that it can be used by any visitor to the house,” said Al Marzouqi.

Al Marzouqi added that the initiative in Al Mankhool is specifically targeting car rental firms from the adjoining areas who park their cars in the area for long durations, causing problems to the residents. He said the initiative will also help reduce the instances of villa sharing.

“By restricting the number of cars that can get permits per house, we can indirectly discourage the villa or flat sharing practice and, in the long run, this will solve parking issues in many residential areas,” he said.

The car rental firms, however, said they park in Mankhool because of lack of parking space near their businesses. “We don’t have enough parking space for our cars near our shop, so we park in Mankhool. But we make sure the cars are parked in empty spaces away from villas, mostly in the huge parking lot around the Eid Musallah, which is empty throughout the year. It is unfair to target us in this way,” said Mohammad Hassan, a rent-a-car operator.

A resident of Mankhool also admitted that parking is not such a big issue in the area as most villas have dedicated parking spaces near the gates.