Finding a place to park along the streets in Dubai may be a little daunting when you are new to Dubai. Side street parking is permitted on paying an hourly fee. When parking your vehicle, look out for the nearest orange parking sign which indicates that it is a parking zone. The fees are charged by the hour and the payment has to be in dirham coins, or can be paid by phone.
Dubai Municipality, the regulating authority of parking in city, mandates that all drivers use parking spaces in Dubai and comply with parking control system rules as displayed on the parking meters. Drivers will have to purchase and keep their parking tickets visible on the front glass shields of their vehicles to avoid being fined by parking inspectors. Any violators will be fined.
The car parks belonging to hotels, major shopping malls, supermarkets etc., are almost free, except for few that may require payment, but they are often full. There may be some sandy areas or deserted areas which may seem convenient to park your car in, but they can be expensive, as the authorities may fine cars parked in such places.
Car Park Timings & Tariff
Road side and off-street public car parks usually charge Dh.2 an hour. But they are free from 1pm to 4pm and on Fridays and public holidays. Some even extend their paid times up until 9pm.The longer you park in a spot, the price increase will be steeper, and you may end up paying Dh.4 or Dh.5 for two hours, Dh.8 for three hours and Dh.11 for four hours.
You can also look out for orange solar-powered ticket dispensers to obtain your parking ticket. If you go elsewhere, you can use it again if it has not expired. Even the parking cards issued by Dubai Municipality can be inserted into the parking machines. It would be better to always keep some Dh.1 coins with you, in case it doesn’t work.
Further, season parking permits are observed in Dubai for a period of 3 months, 6 months or 12 month periods.
Usually it is the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle to pay and park during (8am to 1pm & 4pm to 9pm). Extra hour parking charges will be applicable on per hour basis, and non-payment of the same calls for violation. The parking is free from 1pm to 4pm and from 9pm to 8am daily, apart from free parking on Fridays and public holidays.
Parking is general available near shopping centres, supermarkets and hotels, and mostly car parks attached to these are free of charge. Elsewhere, there will be parking meters operating from Saturday to Thursday. A four hour maximum parking time is permitted. Thereafter, the charges rise steeply from Dh.20 for five hours and up to Dh.150 for eight hours and Dh.350 for overnight. However, Fridays and public holidays are free.
There are parking spaces for the disabled too, and fines are handed out to offenders.
The Dubai RTA (Roads and Transport Authority), has introduced the mparking system, with which, residents from other emirates too can pay fee for public parking in Dubai via SMS from their Etisalat or Du mobile phones. The mParking in Dubai is a new value-added service for all motorists used to pay for their virtual parking permit using Etisalat and Du mobile phones. The advantage of such a service is that you don’t have to carry dirham change in your hand all the time. Your remaining parking time will be alerted to you via SMS. Even renewal can be done without having to actually walk to the parking meter.
The Dubai registered vehicles can use the service immediately, while vehicles that are registered outside Dubai will have to first sign-up at www.mpark.rta.ae. If you own Dubai registered private plate numbers starting with alphabet character A-K & M, you do not require registration, whereas if you own a non-Dubai private registered plate number, you should first register for using the mParking Service.
As for procedure of using public parking options, first search and locate a public parking area, and look for parking sign with zone. The number will be located below the parking sign. Approximately determine the time you need to park the vehicle for. If you have already signed up at the mParking website, then you have to just recall your vehicle's short name. Create a new SMS to 7275 (PARK) from your mobile phone.
To Pay Parking Tolls
Several areas support the mParking system, which allows drivers to pay parking tolls through SMS. To use the mParking, you have to just send an SMS to PARK(7275) with the format: your car licence plate number (including the first letter), space, area parking code as listed on the sign, space, number of hours you wish to pay for. You will receive a confirmation SMS in return, and the parking fee of 30 fils service charge will be deducted from your du phone credit. For renewing, just send a SMS reminder ten minutes before expiry of your booking time.
The charges for using the mParking service would depend on the zones. Different zones have different charges. There is additional transaction fee of 30 fils per SMS for using the mParking service.
Parking for Disabled
Parking permits for the disabled are available and can be obtained from RTA on presenting a medical report from Rashid Hospital, a driver's license and car registration details. The applications should be made in person, there are different types of parking permits for the disabled, depending on the individual's degree of disability.
Parking during Eid
New parking timing will be implemented during Eid every year, and it will be applicable from the first day of the Holy month. Usually, the parking will be free of charge during the Holy month, except at the Deira Fish Market and multi-storey buildings.
The car parks coded A and B will have the fee activated from Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 1pm and from 7pm to 12 midnight. The timings will, however, be different for Deira Fish Market, Knowledge Village and Tecom Zone. The fish market, coded as Zone E, will have the fee activated from 8am to 1pm and from 4pm to 11pm. The Knowledge Village and Tecom coded Zone E, will have the system activated from 8am to 6pm Saturday to Thursday. The fee will remain applicable in the multi-level parking terminals for 24 hours. However, the original fee system will be reactivated after Eid.
On-street parking will also be free on Fridays and public holidays.
Parking Violations and Fines
The penalty for non-payment of parking ticket is Dh.200. For exceeding the paid parking duration Dh.100 is charged, and in case of using the parking area in the wrong way, a fine of Dh.200 is charged. In case you happen to park on a no-parking zone, your vehicle will also be towed away.