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Traffic comes to a complete standstill during peak hours on Al Nahda Bridge in Sharjah. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/GN Arvhives

Sharjah: Residents in Sharjah’s busy neighbourhood of Al Nahda will now have to factor parking costs into their monthly budget.

On Saturday, Sharjah Municipality installed new parking meters in the area of Al Nahda, which will start working immediately. The entire district has been covered by the parking meters, starting from behind Al Ittihad Road, all the way down to Al Nahda Park until the Sharjah-Dubai border, past Sahara Mall, and across Al Nahda Road.

The cost for public parking in Sharjah is Dh2 for one hour, Dh5 for two hours and Dh8 for three hours.

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A parking meter in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

“Sharjah City Municipality announces that the public parking spaces in Al Nahda area between Al Etihad street, Malaqa street and Tolaitolah street will be paid parking zones, effective as from December 28, 2019,” announced Sharjah Municipality in a statement issued over the weekend.

Thabit Salim Al Taraifi, director general of Sharjah Municipality, commented that the urban development of the emirate, as well as an increase in tourism, and has raised the level of activity in the emirate and brought the demand for parking spaces in frequently-visited neighbourhoods.

To prevent the misuse of parking lots, and to provide parking spaces that are available around the clock, Al Taraifi pointed out that organised parking spaces with metres was the solution to cater to residents’ needs.

Sharjah Municipality recently rolled out the new feature of SMS parking, providing motorists the option to pay for a parking space for up to five hours.

Other users are also able to reserve parking spaces for more than one hour.

How SMS parking works

Motorists will receive a virtual permit via SMS and billed directly to their mobile phone bill in case of post-paid mobile subscribers or, alternatively, the booking fee will be deducted from available etisalat credit for prepaid mobile subscribers.

  • To book, customers can write a short text message with the source and number of the plate and then the number of hours to be booked and then send the booking to number 5566.
  • Sharjah Municipality has simplified the service, where etisalat and du users with UAE private plate numbers can use this service without registration.
  • GCC countries and non-private plate numbers need to register with the SMS parking service.
  • As soon as the account is activated, a user can add multiple vehicles to his account for which he can pay the parking fees through the mobile by sending an SMS.
  • Registration is available for all UAE private and non-private plate numbers and GCC countries.
  • A pre-defined format is required to be sent to the number 5566 and motorists will receive the parking virtual permit details via SMS.
  • Motorists will receive a reminder message 10 minutes before the permit expires.