Parking fee at Al Majaz more than doubles

Parking fee at Al Majaz more than doubles

The cost of dining out at Sharjah’s popular Al Majaz Waterfront just got more expensive, with the introduction of paid parking — leaving some residents alarmed at the fee.

By Amanda Fisher

Published: Sat 23 Mar 2013, 9:28 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:28 AM

An Al Majaz Waterfront spokeswoman said the management installed its own paid parking system on Thursday in an effort to reduce traffic congestion at the emirate’s “most popular destination”, after complaints from a number of customers frustrated at not being able to find parking. Up till now, Dh2 an hour was collected by the municipality for 1,000 spots around the area, but Al Majaz now had control of 137 of those spaces.

But while in agreement logjammed cars hunting for parking was a real problem at the waterfront, which sees more than two million visitors a year, Sharjah resident Anjali Nandakumar, 25, was shocked to learn the cost would be Dh5 an hour.

“Woah, that’s expensive.”

The first half hour would be free, but Nandakumar said that would have little practical impact.

“There’s no way you’ll go to the waterfront and be done in half an hour.”

While the frequent visitor, who went to eat at Al Majaz Waterfront about twice a week, said paid parking was a good idea to reduce the congestion in the area, she wanted to see it left at Dh2 an hour.

“Most of the time we get there, the parking is so full we can’t really park outside...if you go there in the weekend, it can take you a good 20, 30 minutes before you give up and go somewhere’s not easy to find parking.”

Nandakumar said while the increased price would probably not have any immediate impact on customer numbers, in the future when there were other developments in Sharjah, the higher price of Al Majaz parking may prove detrimental.

But Al Majaz Waterfront management said the price of parking had been increased so high in order to deter those who were not customers from taking the car parks, such as people who worked in nearby offices.

“(Al Majaz) would like to avoid the misuse of parking, because (currently) people are coming in and parking for long periods of time and they’re not giving (real customers) a chance to park.”

New parking meters have already been installed. While other barriers are to be installed in the main entrance, electronic screens will show the status of available and occupied parking spots. There are also plans underway to build multi-storey car parking lots to accommodate more visitors.

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