ABU DHABI // Drivers will have to pay to use 1,600 more parking spaces in the capital from Sunday, the Department of Transport announced yesterday. The Mawaqif paid parking scheme will be extended to blocks west of Airport Road, between the Corniche and Hamdan Street. The area covers the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the New York University campus.
All 1,641 parking bays in those blocks will be designated premium spaces, which cost Dh3 an hour with a four-hour limit, rather than the standard Dh2 an hour. "The Department of Transport is extending continuous efforts to increase Mawaqif parking capacity ... in order to meet the growing needs of road users," said Najib al Zarooni, head of parking at the Department of Transport. "Our aim is to implement this change gradually and in turn reduce congestion and wrong parking in high density areas.
"To date, the Mawaqif paid parking services have managed to significantly increase the number of available parking spaces in the areas where they have been introduced as well as reduce traffic, thus paving the way for a less congested and more modern city." Since the programme began in October, meters have been switched on at more than 15,000 parking spaces. A further 35 blocks will be added by the end of next year, bringing the total number of paid parking spaces in the city to 72,000.