x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Malls hope metered spaces will deter commuters

Shopping malls in Dubai have a plan to stop Metro users taking up their parking spaces - they plan to put meters in their parking lots.

Malls along the Metro lines in Dubai fear that their parking will be taken over by the commuters.
Malls along the Metro lines in Dubai fear that their parking will be taken over by the commuters.

DUBAI // Shopping malls worried that their car parks will be taken over by Metro commuters will have a deterrent - parking meters. Although the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is building several multi-storey car parks for Metro passengers, malls along the rail line have voiced fears that their parking lots will be taken over by commuters. At Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Mall and Deira City Centre, officials hope charging for spaces will stave off potential crowds of Metro riders.

Meters have already been installed at Mall of the Emirates. "We do everything to ensure that there are sufficient car park spaces available for our customers," mall officials said in a statement. "With Mall of the Emirates Metro station so conveniently situated we are looking into a number of ways we can manage our parking spaces." The planned RTA lots will accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 cars. Meters at all the malls have yet to be activated, and no details on charges or hours have been announced. A Dh20 (US$5.40) parking charge was implemented with meters at Burjuman Shopping Centre a year ago in an attempt to stop people from using the parking spaces to go to work at nearby offices. Shoppers who spend more than Dh100 can get their tickets stamped for free parking.

David Thurling, managing director of Nakheel Retail Shopping Malls, which runs Ibn Battuta Mall, said the group was looking at ways to deal with increased parking demand. "Ibn Battuta Mall anticipates increased patronage as a direct result of the new Metro line and station," he said. "Parking at the mall will continue to be managed in such a way as to ensure that all shoppers and visitors are provided with convenient and accessible car parking facilities."

Some shoppers said they would not mind the meters if they reduced congestion in the car parks. "It's OK as long as mall shoppers get free parking when they show proof of purchase," said Ines Fitz- Simmons, 32. "Otherwise the RTA should provide adequate park-and-ride facilities." Alisdair Burgess, an insurance executive, said that about four hours of free parking would be adequate. "If that is the case, that is OK. I would not be there that long."

The RTA would not comment yesterday. loatway@thenational.ae