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 ushers in paid parking
By Lynne Roberts
Tue 25 Mar 2008 03:14 AM

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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