By Tom Arnold
Motorists set to pay AED3 an hour to park in the city centre and AED2 elsewhere.
Increasing parking spaces and introducing parking tariffs are among a raft of planned measures announced by the Abu Dhabi government on Wednesday to tackle the headache of congestion faced by drivers in the emirate.
Under the Department of Transport’s plans, motorists will be required to pay AED3 per hour to park on main streets in the city centre and AED2 in other locations, the department said in a release.
Residents will be able to buy annual permits for AED800 for the first vehicle and AED1,200 for a second vehicle, as part of the plans to be phased in from the fourth quarter of 2009.
Park-and-ride options in identified hot-spots will also be introduced.
Creating more parking spaces in key areas and enforcing time limits to increase the turnover of vehicles and prevent the misuse of limited spaces on streets are also part of the department’s public parking management strategy. Parking on public holidays will be free.
“This is just the first step, but we believe these measures will result in visible improvements by year end, with less congestion, fewer illegally parked vehicles, and a better understanding among car owners of the need to park correctly to support the free flow of traffic through our emirate,” said Najib Al Zarooni, director of parking, Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi.
The plans would provide a fairer and more transparent parking system to benefit residents and support local businesses, he said.
Two sites for public car park buildings were announced on Wednesday as the department examines sites for the development of car parks in several locations across Abu Dhabi.
A newly-formed parking committee was working on final plans for facilities in these areas, the department said.
The department was also examining street level parking enhancements including quick built temporary steel structures and enhanced road surface and layouts, creating additional spaces within areas.
Abu Dhabi’s expanding population has led to a rise in the number of drivers and car-owners, creating problems for parking.
Between 2005 and 2008, the number of registered vehicles in the emirate increased by an average of 16 percent per annum, with the number of licence holders rising by 10 percent per annum over the same period.
In future, motorists will be able to pay parking fees via mobile phone or smart card, which will be capable of integration with other payment and ticketing systems across the public transport network, the department said.
The cross-government agency parking committee is made up of senior representatives from the Urban Planning Council, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Police and the Department of Transport.
WOOOOOOOOOOW......! Abu Dhabi has ran out of oil and now selling parking spaces... good business. I wonder when they start to charge for the air we breath !
I agree with Abu Dhabi government to charge fees for parking. Parking is basically charged at and near all business districts all over the world. In the developed countries the charges are on the higher end as well. People should not criticize over this charge only because something was provided for free earlier and now it is being charged. But I disagree with the government charging (as in dubai and soon to be followed in Abu Dhabi) in residential areas.
Hello?!! Whats going on here? We will pay aslo for parking now in addition to house rent? Charging for parking on main streets like electra, Hamdan, Khalifa and others makes sense but not the residents. Problem in the UAE is both commercial and residential are together which makes paking a problem for both. 800 Dh is a hefty amount. at the end of the day who gets affected? it's the expats who are living in the city center area. Even in the Europe and north America it is is not that expensive. i believe this is just another nonsense way of making money by chiping it away from people who already have very little to save. i think Abu Dhabi is following other emirates and trying to find new ways to make more money.
Every time I read an article like this it reminds me why I left Abu Dhabi and not planning to come back again! I really wonder what is Abu Dhabi Government is trying to acheive. Instead of providing people who are overpaying for their rents with a descent parking for their cars, they are sucking their blood with extra payments for parkings! I hope that someone will fell with these people at some point!
Charging in business districts is understandable. However, if residents are charged then people are being made to pay for mistakes made earlier. For example, sometimes a building with 60 apartments, and possibly 60 cars has only 15 parking spaces, which means 45 cars have to park elsewhere. All buildings should have had underground parking or spaces between buildings should have been more. Also, half the parking problem can be solved if car rental companies and used car showrooms are made to park their cars elsewhere
have any one spent more than 30 min looking for parking or got stuck since the cars and double park in the middle of the street , comeon , what ever is done to reduce / solve the problem i am with and will fully endousre , we have been paying for parking for years in dubai so what is the issue , we need to solve th eproblem and if it means that we have to chip aed 800 - instead of aed 2500 i am all for it but the question is will they really change the mind set of teh pepole ? unless they have a high ticket no one will learn. please start now we are sufurring . R.
There's no reason to complain about this; it's fairly standard and AED800 is great value for a parking permit for the year (the equivalent in Dubai is over AED2,000). Abu Dhabi has a terrible problem with parking, to the extent that people won't move there because of it and some end up parking on the main roads out of frustration. Paid parking has been implemented everywhere. It would be nice to see rents return to a decent level though, but that won't happen until supply catches up with demand in the city.
Get the car dealers out of the city and free up soms spaces for the city residents. Dubai has the yard at Ras Al Khor. Why doesn't Abu Dhabi have a yard at Musaffa?
I am glad the ADM is doing something positive about the congestion in Abu Dhabi. I hope they follow it up by impounding vehicles for non-payment and shift out of town somewhere. Motorists would not be alllowed to get away with the parking that you currently see around town in most other major cities around the world. Perhaps a few people would think twice about owning a car that they donâ€™t really need and use public transport.
Why doesn't Abu Dhabi implement a Park 'n' Ride system?