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Tue 25 Mar 2008 03:14 AM

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Abu Dhabi ushers in paid parking

City to introduce new system as early as May in bid to encourage more drivers to use public transport.

Abu Dhabi is to introduce paid parking in the city for the first time as early as May, in an attempt to encourage drivers to use the public transport system and rely less on cars, an official said on Monday.

More than 2,500 parking metres are to be installed, with prices fixed at one or two dirhams per hour, depending on location, director general of Abu Dhabi Municipality Juma Al Junaibi said in an interview with UAE daily Gulf News.

Around 71,000 parking spaces had been identified across 43 sectors of the city, including 5,000 spaces in underground car parks, Al Junaibi told the newspaper. “However, studies show that during peak times there is a need for over 100,000 spaces,” he added.

According to Al Junaibi, paid parking will be restricted to commercial areas, with the first phase of the project covering four sectors around Hamdan Street and Khalifa Street.

Drivers will be able to pay using mobile phones, cards, or coins in any of the six GCC currencies. Permits will also be accessible online.

The new system, described by the British Parking Association as the world’s biggest, will be operated by an “internationally-known private firm”, but monitored by the municipality, Gulf News reported.

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Tarek essam 11 years ago

What public transportation they are talking about! No body is going to use it, the scheme is simply a way to strip people from their money, as if the rises in the prices of everything is not enough....shame on them.

Charles 11 years ago

What public transport are they talking about!!!? I wish they would have first introduced Public Buses within the city before introducing these money making machines. Compared to the other developments that are happening in the city this should have been the first logical thing to do.

Dileep Raj 11 years ago

Either way the private company makes money. Paid parking or expensive taxi (thats the only acceptable and reliable public transport system available in Abu Dhabi)

Len Thomas 11 years ago

Does this mean a seperate parking card for Abu Dhabi alone or is the parking card held in Dubai valid for abu Dhabi as well. The whole system of partking card with its original objective of promotion of public transport is way out of its league..... How can people be promoted to use public tranport, let's say the Taxis, when firstly THEY DECIDE whether they need to give you a ride or not !!!!

Heba 11 years ago

Obviously after the huge success of SALIK in encouraging Dubaians to use the amazing transport system that Dubai enjoys (buses that never show up and smelly taxis who refuse to stop) ..Abu Dhabi felt the need to repeat the success story by introducing parking meters when Abu Dhabi's main problem is the lack of parking spots! Most buildings there do not have a parking space for the residents .. way to go UAE... might help with reducing the inflation?

Commuter 11 years ago

40 dirhams a week to park at work .... bargain! I will take two. Please spend the extra money on cycle lanes, bus lanes, new buses trains and metros... or at least get some air fresheners for those skanky taxis. Note to Abu Dhabi Municipality However well intentioned your policy wont work, and I can prove it. Central London parking costs 1380 AED per week once you include the congestion charge. Despite London transport providing over 4 Billion (thats 9 zeros, I double checked) passenger journeys per year parking spaces are still as rare as hen's teeth.

Paul 9 years ago

I am furious to say that outside my apartment block (which is out of the main city and so not in a paid parking area) on any given weekday it can take 15 - 30 minutes to find a space after work, luckily I have always managed to find something but now we have Budget car rental and now a new car hire company only one building away, parking in excess of 30 unused hire cars and so taking the valuable and rare spaces for the people who actually live there. Is this legal and if so why? The residents have no choice but to park AT HOME whereas these hire companies are just taking up the spaces without any consideration for the residents. They should be made to pay for special areas away from the residencies to 'store' their vehicles.