More areas to come under paid parking

DUBAI - Several hundred free parking spaces in Karama area of Bur Dubai will soon be brought under the parking control system and converted into paid parking to ensure availability of slots during peak hours.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Sat 12 Jun 2004, 10:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:54 PM

The parking area in question covers a long stretch of service road parallel to the main road that connects with Shaikh Zayed Road, and is perhaps the last of the free parking available in the outer edges of Karama.

There are still a few free parking spaces in the inner parts of Karama, but residents fear they would sooner or later also be brought under the parking metre.

While Dubai Municipality, and many businesses insist that bringing free parking lots in certain commercial parts of the city under the control system frees up spaces and helps business, residents complain that there is not enough parking available in residential apartment blocks.

"We have no space to park in our building, which was made several years before the municipality implemented parking space requirements for residential buildings.

During the daytime most of the residents of our building, like those of many other blocks, have no option but to pay and park. Sometimes even paid parking is not available," says PK Sudhir, a Karama resident. Other residents of the area, Khaleej Times spoke to, pointed out the same problem.

The revisions made in mid-2001 to the building and construction regulations made it mandatory for all buildings, both residential and commercial, to provide car parks based on their size and type from October the same year. The problem for residents of Karama area is that a majority of the buildings here were constructed long before the regulations were revised. As such many residential complexes either do not have their own parking spaces, or are short of their requirement.

The ratio of residential buildings as against buildings for commercial purposes in Karama tilts towards the former, but business establishments dominate a considerable part of the area. And while conversion of free parking spaces into paid parking is an inconvenience to the residents, the businesses welcome it.

The owner of one of the area's restaurants, located on the same stretch of road where parking control is soon to be introduced, welcomed the move.

"We have seen what paid parking can do for business and trade in the central business district. It is good for business and I, like all commercial establishments here, am happy about it," he said.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Sami Al Hashmi, Assistant Director of Roads Department at Dubai Municipality, reiterated the civic body's commitment to providing improved civic amenities and services, but added that introduction of parking control is a very effective solution.

"It is not about revenues. We do not like to charge people, but businesses are hurting because of the misuse of free parking spaces. Free parking spaces in busy areas were used for displaying vehicles for sale, or as long term parking slots for people who go to vacations," he pointed out. Mr Al Hashmi said that parking spaces are meant for businesses or visitors (in commercial areas), and municipality's measures to put an end to the misuse has been welcomed by businesses.

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