Dubai: Nol cards no longer accepted for entry to several public parks

The price of the tickets remains the same at each park, with only the mode of transaction being changed

by

Laraib Anwer

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Published: Tue 9 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 9 Jan 2024, 3:31 PM

Several public parks in Dubai are no longer accepting Nol cards, Khaleej Times can confirm.

Residents who visited parks in different localities of Dubai recently reported the change.

A customer service agent at Dubai Municipality confirmed this to Khaleej Times this week. "The Nol card payment system has been removed in most Dubai parks... after a partnership was signed between Du and Dubai Municipality in October last year."

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The partnership is aimed at introducing innovative solutions for ticketless entry, seamless identity management, improve worker satisfaction, tech skills, and sustainability in public parks.

Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of Du, had said at the time: "Through our partnership, we aim to eliminate the need for physical tickets, and create a cutting-edge identity management system that will redefine the way people access and enjoy public parks."

However, there is an exception to the new system. According to the representative, ticketing in Dubai's Quranic park still operates under the Nol card system.

A Deira resident, Tasmiyah A., expressed her surprise when she discovered her local park was no longer accepting Nol cards as a mode of payment. "I usually go to Mamzar Beach Park on ladies day, making sure all my friends carry their topped- up Nol cards. Last week when I visited, I was surprised that they removed the Nol card system! Instead, we had to buy tickets with a barcode on them that was scanned when entering."

She also noticed that the Nol card top-up and balance-checking machines were not in service, as they had banners placed around them.

Another resident, Premalatha Shriram, who lives in Karama, frequents Zabeel Park with her 10-year-old daughter, Akshara Shriram. The duo visited the park with their Nol cards ready when they found out about the ticketing system.

Akshara Shriram
Akshara Shriram

"We paid with cash and bought the tickets," said Premalatha. Her daughter Akshara discovered for the first time that the tickets cost Dh5, as she had never noticed before due to the simple swipe of the Nol card.

A representative at Zabeel Park said the change had been implemented since October of last year.

How is ticketing done now?

Park lovers can now buy tickets by cash or credit cards. These are then scanned at the machines placed at the entrance to the parks where the previous Nol card machines stood.

Some parks like Safa Park are even offering visitors a smart payment option through their phones. Visitors can pay through Samsung Pay, Google Pay or Apple Pay and enter the park through a ticketless process.

This smart system seems to be still in the process of being rolled out, as not all parks have introduced it yet.

The price of the tickets remains the same at each park, with only the mode of transaction being changed.

Back in 2017, Dubai Municipality made it mandatory for park-goers to own a Nol card to enter. Those who didn't own one had to purchase a green Nol card for Dh25 from the park. Special gates were installed to scan Nol cards and residents could also use Nol applications on their mobile phones to enter some parks.

This new system is an end of an era for many residents who would keep their Nol cards ready to visit their favourite parks.

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