Website takes the pain out of parking in Dubai
DUBAI // Traffic jams, inconsiderate motorists and a lack of parking are regular gripes for drivers in Dubai, but Adnan Masood is confident he has taken the pain out of one of those problems.
The Australian hoped his idea of allowing companies and hotels to rent out unused spaces to motorists could be the answer.
With on-street spaces hard to find and sandpits closing to make way for more construction, drivers are left with fewer parking options.
“There needs to be a solution designed around people’s use and preferences,” said Mr Masood, founder of parkkey.com, a website that allows drivers to search, book and pay for spaces.
About 1,000 people use the service in Dubai, with Business Bay, Downtown Dubai and Jumeirah Lakes Towers the most sought-after areas. There was a total of 3,000 spots available to rent in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
The monthly cost of renting a space is Dh325 on average, although this varies according to location and availability. Daily rates are also available.
“UAE has a deeply ingrained driving culture, with 80 per cent of people driving,” said Mr Masood. “That is why parking has been a major problem and is getting worse.”
Payment can be made with credit card then security guards are supplied with the car’s details to allow access to the hired parking space.
“One has to register online with the details of his/her car and contacts. Once the customer finds a parking space available on the website, books and pays, a confirmation message is sent giving the location details.
“Once the space has been booked, the details of the customer are sent to the parking management. When the customer reaches the space, the security guard present knows the car’s details and will assist in parking.”
Dubai Municipality increased the price of on-street parking in some areas in May from Dh2 to Dh4 per hour. It also abolished the daily free period, which resulted in pay parking from 8am to 10pm, excluding Fridays and public holidays.
The fee for multi-storey car parks also increased from Dh3 to Dh5 per hour. Banker Benazir Khan, who has been using the service for three months, said it saved her time.
“I used to waste an hour finding parking around my office. It was very frustrating, too.
“Renting a space is convenient. The process is simple. I usually book a space before leaving home and get confirmation in a few minutes. I go and park in the assigned space,” said the Briton, who spends Dh200 a month.
Mr Masood said the service was popular with commuters who travelled to Dubai from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. “A lot of people come to Dubai for work and they need parking.”