ABU DHABI // Dashboard parking permits will soon be a thing of the past as the municipality moves to streamline the year-old Mawaqif programme.
Instead of a physical permit, drivers' details will be logged in a database and parking inspectors will be able to track cars by licence plate number. Drivers will be able to park in any bay in their neighbourhood at any time without paying additional charges.
Like the old system, the new permits will cost Dh800 for the first car and Dh1,200 for a second vehicle. Each permit is specific to the vehicle and the sector.
The new programme's launch comes one day after the Department of Transport (DoT) announced that 10,000 new paid parking spaces would be introduced this month. The new spaces, in two areas, are part of Mawaqif's mission to minimise the number of illegally parked cars.
Last week the DoT said the parking programme would be "rolled out gradually" with the aim of covering the whole city centre. There is paid parking in 16 sectors, comprising approximately 20,000 parking bays.
For the rest of the year the DoT will work to implement the system in Madinat Zayed and some sectors near Airport Road. The city hopes to expand to 30,000 paid parking spaces by the end of the year.
Some residents have complained about the limited availability of free parking bays, a problem the DoT said it is handling by establishing a residents-only parking area for permit-holders between 9pm and 8am. About 12,000 of the city's parking bays will be allocated for permit-holders only.
The new electronic permits are available at Mawaqif customer service centres on Hamdan Street and at Marina Mall. Residents must provide a passport copy with valid residency visa, lease contract or residency ownership proof, last electric bill, and proof of vehicle ownership.
The permits are available to owners, tenants and their families. Each household is limited to two parking permits.