Gitex Shopper parking woes

DUBAI — Any deals to be had and unique products at the Gitex Shopper and Consumer Electronics Expo 2007 were overshadowed by the heavy traffic and limited parking situation at the Airport Expo.

By Zoe Sinclair And Riyasbabu

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Published: Sun 9 Sep 2007, 8:43 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:08 AM

Anil Kumar was one of those trapped in the long cycle of navigating through the Gitex car park scanning for a free space, other than those in areas restricted to the general public, only to be waved past and find himself back on the road queuing to make a U-turn and repeat the experience.

“My driver had been driving around because he couldn’t get a parking space,” he said. “I went around three times before he dropped me off.”

Eddie and Nicky Aiono travelled from Abu Dhabi and decided to take advantage of the free shuttle service from Karama. However, after waiting an hour for the service that didn’t arrive, they drove the rest of the way to the Airport Expo.

“On a scale of one to 10, parking was a negative 10,” Eddie said.

The couple said it was frustrating being waved past full car parks while exhibitor and media car parks had many free spaces.

Bronwyn and Lloyd De Jongh spent an hour queuing for parking only to be waved past the final car park and back on to the road and they decided to continue home.

They returned again yesterday at opening time and found a space but said the parking situation did a “major disservice” to the event. However, Vladimir Zigic said he had only experienced “the usual Dubai traffic.” Mohammed Al Saad agreed and said his Gitex experience had been “very good.”

Meanwhile, exhibitors and visitors at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the main venue of GITEX expressed satisfaction over the traffic arrangements.

“The free parking lot is a bit far from the venue. But the parking area is ample and has enough space to accommodate the rush. I managed to find the parking space easily. There was a small rush in the service roads leading to World Trade Centre. But its normal Dubai traffic,” said Rahman Zuwaidi.

Angela Huang, another visitor, shared the same sentiment and said, “I managed to find the parking easily in the free parking space. But it was a bit far from the venue. I had to walk about 10 minutes under the scorching sun to reach the exhibition halls from the parking.”

However, she added that the parking arrangements were helpful otherwise I would have been waiting for a while to find parking.

Gitex organisers said a number of measures had been introduced to ensure good parking facilities and traffic flow.

Two new temporary car parks were opened behind Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), with a capacity of more than 1,800 spaces, according to a statement.

Stewards supported the new parking areas and 33 regular shuttle-buses and DWTC had also encouraged high availability of taxis and organised free shuttle services.

Dubai World Trade Centre Director-General Helal Saeed Al Marri said new roads had also been opened for easier entry and exit from the show and the DWTC was working closely with authorities including the RTA and Dubai Traffic Police.

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