ABU DHABI // The Department of Transport has introduced the Mawaqif parking management system to a new area of the capital.
Paid parking will be implemented in the East 19 area of the city, from Hazza bin Zayed Street from the north, Sheikh Zayed Street from the east, Fourth Street (Muroor Road) from the west and Delma Street from the south.
Parking charges will run from 8am to midnight, and cost Dh2 per hour, or Dh15 per day in standard spaces (kerbstones painted in turquoise and black).
Residents in affected buildings can apply for parking permits that cost Dh800 a year for the first car, and Dh1,200 a year for the second.
A maximum of two parking spaces is available for each household.
“Parking is free on official holidays, however cars parked illegally will be fined at any point in time,” according to the department.
Mohammed Hendaywe is one of the residents who will be affected. He lives with his family in a large villa, which he shares with about five other families.
Mr Hendaywe’s family of six occupy two rooms, and owns two cars. He estimates the residents in his villa have about 10 cars among them.
He said he would be happy to pay for a parking permit, but because the villa is shared he may have trouble obtaining one.
“Eight hundred dirhams? No problem. It’s better than paying 15 dirhams every day. But we’d need a contract for our building.”
Opposite his villa is a business complex housing several offices.
“When I get home from work, I usually find parking but sometimes people from those offices park outside my house. It really disturbs us.”
Souad Abdullah is a personal assistant at Baniyas Investment & Development Company, in the Al Nahyan Commercial Building opposite Mr Hendaywe’s house.
Ms Abdullah said it was often hard for her to find a parking space during work hours but she said driving to work was essential as taxis often did not know the location and the nearest bus stop was far away.
“In our company alone, there are about 70 and we only have underground parking for executives. I don’t even know how many work in the whole complex. We have a car insurance company right next door and they get so many customers. Some of them park on the pavement, or even behind other people on the road,” she said.
While Mawaqif could help clear the spaces, paying for the privilege of parking did not appeal to her.
“Compared to the rest of Abu Dhabi, we’re lucky to have not had to pay so far. But it’s really hard to be paying Dh15 here and Dh15 where we live. That’s Dh30 every day. You can buy a lot for Dh900.”
Mahmoud Fathy, administrator at Seha Emirates One Day Surgery Centre, said that he had not yet been informed of the move but that the health centre had installed a barrier to prevent people seeking free parking.
Most properties in the sector are residential with private parking.
Spanish resident Carlos Lopez said he would have to purchase a permit to park near his home.
“I am not really happy with it to be honest. Maybe for companies there is a need for it, but not for houses,” he said.