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Wed 9 Sep 2009 04:48 PM

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Malls retreat on weekend metro parking fees

Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Center announce new plans after feedback.

Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre on Wednesday announced that all parking will be free during the weekend even after the Dubai Metro launches, after customers complained that a four-hour time limit on free parking was not enough.

The malls, owned by Majid Al Futtaim, said they have also decided to extend free parking during weekdays from three to four hours, and that the free trial period of its new parking management system has been extended until Saturday October 3.

A trial run of the system began on August 10, ahead of the Dubai Metro’s opening on September 9.

After that, visitors parking their cars for longer than four hours on weekdays will be charged AED20 ($5.40) for every additional hour for the next three hours.

An extensive feedback programme during the trial showed that customers agreed on the need for a system to stop commuters using the Dubai Metro from leaving their cars in the malls.

“One point that did emerge was that more people would use the metro on weekdays to commute to work and genuine mall visitors would need spaces for longer periods at the weekends,” said Fareed Abdelrahman, vice president of divisional asset management at Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

“Another request was to raise the number of free parking hours during the week for all customers. This is exactly the sort of feedback that we were asking for and we have responded accordingly. The trial period has been a great success for all concerned.”

On weekdays, customers are asked to validate their parking tickets before they leave the malls. The validated tickets then need to be inserted into the machine at the exit barrier.

Courtesy parking crews will continue to be stationed around both the malls to help customers adapt to the new system, the company said.

Nakheel, owner of Ibn Battuta, has said it too is looking at different ways of managing its parking facilities but that no announcement will be made until the Dubai Roads and Transport (RTA) authority opens its metro station.

Al Ghurair Group’s BurJuman mall has been charging for parking since July last year, but the money is refunded if shoppers spend more than AED100 ($27.2).

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paul 10 years ago

Fair play to these malls, they've listened to the feedback and come up with what I think is a very fair and reasonable policy. Having some way to prevent cheapskates from using mall parking everyday while commuting on the metro was essential - you only need to see the number of car drivers who happily sit in jams around Barsha just to avoid a 4 AED Salik fee. But it did seem that 3 hrs was too short (a visit to ski dubai will take at least 2.5 hrs) and also that on weekends there is less/no problem with commuters but that many genuine mall customers would want to spent more than 3 hrs. It's just refreshing to see that the malls have listened to feedback and that they have come up with a formula which addresses all the reasonable concerns. The fact they have trialled the parking system for free for a while before introduction and are prepared to modify the plans to deal with the problems raised in feedback is such a nice change from the way things are normally done here.

Tafazzul Kamal 10 years ago

Very good and sensible decision by the mall management. A lot of inconvenience will be avoided to genuine mall shoppers on the week-end.

Jane Doe 10 years ago

A company asked for comments and they genuinely listened. Now let's just hope that the traffic jams coming out of the mall change too. Well done Al Futtaim and thank you.

Susan G 10 years ago

We live close to the MOE so we often use the mall not just to shop but also to drive by to go to Shk Zayed road or to drop our children to DUCTAC before we go to our respective jobs. Ideally, for such reasons, people shd be permitted to drive by without validating a ticket inside the mall. In essence, you pick up a ticket ... then, if you are not in the mall for more than 10 minutes, you shd be permitted to just drop the ticket off at the exit. MOE shd consider this as well.

Frank 10 years ago

It is nice to hear that Mall Managment of Deira Citicentar and Emirates Mall took the customer feedback result seroiusly and changed their parkings policy. a big kudo to Fareed Abdelrahman.

GB 10 years ago

Another really annoying thing with the new MOE parking system is that you need to park and validate your ticket...even if you are just dropping guests/friends/kids ! What about allowing you to use your ticket to get out without validation for a 5 minutes period ? Lots of Airports parking systems let you do that. Having to park just to validate a ticket because you dropped your friend cerates more indoor traffic, and less parking space !

Sweetpea 10 years ago

I really don't understand why they don't just offer free parking to people who spend AED100 at teh mall, like Burjuman. I guess this is because they want the system to be completely automated... but I seriously think they should reconsider. This is undoubtedly the best solution.

Loiue Tedesco 10 years ago

If you don't want to spend money, stay away from the SHOPPING malls and visit the park or watch TV at home. Malls were built to offer CUSTOMERS a choice of stores and products. To BUY stuff. Not to wander around aimlessly. As suggested already, and as has been successfully implemented in Bur Juman (thank you!) for some time, spend Dhs 100 on the day of your visits and park for free. If you spend less -or nothing- then pay the parking fee as established by the respective mall owners. I am tired of people showing up at the mall on weekends early in the day, occupying the best / the nearest / the shaded parking slots. Then to wander around all day long, occupying the already limited seating and CUSTOMER rest areas inside to buy an ice cream cone for Dhs 5. And please don't drop off your kids at the mall while you go home to enjoy quiet time courtesy of the "local mall babysitting service". It annoys US, the CUSTOMER. Bur Juman, I hear your seductive call and I am coming to you - and only you.

zman 10 years ago

Malls are not just for shopping, in the new urban landscape and especially in countries with extreme weather like the UAE they are public meeting and breathing spaces. Spending Dhs 100 does not entitle you to badmouth other people.

Alex 10 years ago

YOU ARE ALL WRONG and before everyone jumps to defend his whatever opinion let me elaborate. If malls have a problem proving PLENTY of parking because of the Metro they should take up with the goverment not take out on the punters..... Burjuman Dhs 100 minimum charges per head!!! So, if four(4) people have four(4) coffees who get the receipt(Pls somenone explain this system to me) If they don't have enough parking, build more what do I care what it costs them, before anyone say (it would be build in to the cost of shopping) if my shopping it becomes too expensive I'll shop at Spinneys in Motorcity that it does not have parking fees, if the get smart I shop at the Park&Shop(Free parking) and so on and so on...... First it was the Valet Parking Pimps at all the Hotels................... Then is those that they rented food outlets on the Metro but the clients would be fined if they take their on the train.......... Then it was the Reservation signs on all the tables of the restaurants where you have to make nice for the the two bit hostess to decide if she wants your money........ And to close this once and for good, people spend YOUR MONEY where are appriciated and don't let anyone(staff/bosses/owners) that's the way it is. YOU/US we can can tell how we want it if they want our business. Have a nice weekend.