Free night parking permit in Dubai for you?

‘R’ type parking permit is currently issued in Al Mankhool area free of charge, reserving parking space overnight. (Ashok Verma)

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recently introduced ‘R’ category parking permit, in addition to the four existing parking permit types.

The new type of permit, which is free for certain residents, raised questions among motorists in Dubai.

‘Emirates24|7’ spoke to Adel Al Marzouki to clarify terms of the parking permit. The R type parking permit is issued free of charge in non-controlled parking area, reserving parking space overnight. But it is not for everyone, Marzouki explained.

"Currently we are targeting residential area of Al Mankhool. Unpaid parking slots that are available here are often occupied at night by vehicles from car rental companies. We are talking about 40-50 cars rental cars parked there overnight,” he said.

"We want residents to be able to reserve these parking slots at night," said Marzouki and added that “each villa owner will be eligible for four parking slots, based on the local villa design including four rooms. Villa owner can park anywhere in the designated zone -  there will be no designated slots."

The allocation applies to Mankhool area, and will be different when implemented in other locations, he said.

"Basically, villa owners will be eligible for one slot per bedroom. A one-bedroom apartment will get one slot, a two-bedroom apartment two slots, and so on," said Marzouki.

This raises the question where visitors to residents in these areas will park, as there will be no uncontrolled parking slots remaining in the area.

This should not be a problem, believes Marzouki. “Residents can apply for ‘V’ type permit, which can be used for visitors.”

The ‘V’ type permit is only for residents in a certain area. When residents require an extra slot because there is no space in front of their property, they can apply for this type of permit. It is for free, but only one slot can be allocated, and there are some criteria, explained the director.

“We are not targeting visitors to these areas, so if a vehicle is parked in front of a villa at night without a permit the vehicle is unlikely to be fined. We are targeting the large number of rental cars taking up parking space here.”

Further, during the day, parking in these areas remains uncontrolled, he emphasised. “For example, there is a clinic in the area, and a lot of people park here during the day. Visitors can continue to do so.”

A time slot for ‘R’ type parking allocation has not been given, which further confuses residents in Dubai. “We are not specifying a time slot for this parking permit. Our inspectors will visit the area at some point at night,” said Marzouki.

“Again, we are not targeting individual visitors, but certain companies using up this space. We hope to resolve the problem with the implementation of this new parking permit.”

Elsewhere, other parking systems were implemented to free up parking space for local residents.

Most recently, in October last year the Greens became a paid parking zone, encouraging residents to purchase seasonal parking cards if they wanted to make use of the outdoor parking area in their community, while the tactic would keep away non-residents who found in the Greens a free parking area.

“We have several ways to deal with parking problems,” said Marzouki. “Currently, we are introducing this new parking permit in Al Mankhool, while other areas are likely to see the same system applied, such as Al Badaa, Hor Al Anz, and Mirdif. If this system proves successful it might be expanded to other areas too.”

A campaign has been launched to inform local residents of their eligibility, explaining what is required to apply for the ‘R’ type permit, while non-residents are given some time to relocate their vehicles in this area, said Marzouki.

There are now six categories of parking permit. ‘A’ and ‘B’ permits are most common, giving vehicle owners discounted rates in most controlled parking areas in Dubai.

Tecom area runs its own parking system, requiring motorists to present ‘S’ type parking permit, applicable in Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village and Internet City.

There is ‘L’ type permit only allocated to government employees, and there is ‘V’ type permit allowing extra parking space to villa residents.

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