Salik to roll out paid parking at Dubai Mall soon

The automatic fee collection for ticketless parking will be charged using vehicle plate recognition

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Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 22 Dec 2023, 12:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 3:13 PM

Parking at Dubai Mall will soon become a paid service, using a barrier-free system implemented by toll gate operator Salik.

Salik announced a cooperation with Emaar Malls on Friday “to deliver a seamless and efficient parking management system at the world-famous Dubai Mall. Under the terms of the agreement, Salik’s technology will be deployed to enable a smooth, barrier-free parking experience for mall customers.”

The system is expected to be operational by third quarter of 2024. Salik said charges will be “determined after Emaar Malls finalises the business rules for this project.”

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Salik said it will be responsible for designing, financing, developing, installing and managing the parking management system, while Dubai Mall will provide the required local infrastructure, office space and car park maintenance. The mall has more than 13,000 parking spaces.

This will be the first time Salik will diversify its revenue outside of toll gates.

How will parking fees be charged?

The automatic fee collection for ticketless parking will be charged using vehicle plate recognition.

The barrier-free parking system will use the same automatic number plate recognition and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology used for tracking tags by Salik.

A camera will capture the plate number as it enters the parking floor and will record the entry time. At the exit, the camera will again scan the plate number and the system will calculate the parking time.

Charges are yet to be defined by Emaar Malls but fees will be deducted from the Salik user account.

What is Salik?

Salik is Dubai's automatic road toll collection system put in place in 2007 by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Salik, which means ‘seamless mobility’ in Arabic, is designed as a free-flowing system so motorists don't need to stop their cars at any point on a Dubai highway and pay manually.

Everything is done automatically - there are no toll booths, barriers or physical gates, and motorists can drive straight through the toll gate at normal highway speed.

In June 2022, Salik was established as a public joint stock company. It currently operates eight toll gates located at strategic junctures across Dubai, especially on Sheikh Zayed Road, which is considered as the city's main arterial highway.

Under a 49-year concession agreement with RTA, Salik has the exclusive right to operate existing and any future toll gates in Dubai until 2071.

Salik has more than two million registered active accounts and four million active vehicles, with more than 90 per cent of Dubai vehicles already registered.

Expansion plans

Salik is actively exploring options for growth in the private parking market in Dubai, which is estimated at over 50,000 parking spaces.

Ibrahim Sultan Al Haddad, CEO and board member of Salik Company PJSC, said: “Salik is ideally placed to provide this seamless and convenient customer journey, with the solution eliminating the need for gates or barriers at Dubai Mall, helping to minimise congestion and traffic for the customers.

“We are looking forward to building on the successes of this initiative to expand the offering to other locations around the city,” he added.

Other malls and hypermarkets have already parking charges in place but they are all using a barrier system. At Mall of the Emirates, parking is free only for the first four hours on week days (Monday to Friday). After that, a parking fee applies for every additional hour or part of an hour – from Dh20 for five to six hours of parking, up to Dh350 overnight. Parking is free on weekends and public holidays.

Ahmed Almatrooshi, Emaar Properties executive board member and general director of Emaar Foundation, said: “We're pleased to see that parking will be easier and more user-friendly with the introduction of Salik's transportation solution and expertise. We believe that this initiative will not only meet, but also exceed our guests' expectations, adding value to each visit and reinforcing Dubai Mall's position as the premier shopping and lifestyle destination."

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