Driving in Dubai – Car Parking

You might have heard shocking stories about traffic and congestion in Dubai. The situation is supposed to improve with the introduction of the Dubai metro, but for the time being, it has not changed much. The good news is that you will not have any trouble with car parking. It is well organized and abundantly available.

You will not have difficulty finding road side spots to park or paid car parks. The cost per hour is 1 Dhs in less crowded areas and 2 Dhs in places with more vehicles and busier traffic. Usually, the paid hours are from 1 to 4 in the afternoon, but it has become increasingly common for them to be extended to 9 pm. Paid parking applies on Fridays and public holidays as well.

You have to decide how many hours your vehicle will stay parked and how much you have to pay for this in total. Tickets are available from automatic orange dispensers, so make sure you find one quickly after you park. Keep in mind that parking tickets can be used on any parking or street side spot until expiration. This means that if you use your car and park it somewhere else within the hours you have paid for, your ticket is still valid.

If you feel uncomfortable about carrying coins for parking all the time, you can buy a parking card. These are issued by the Dubai Municipality, but sold abundantly in service shops and grocery stores. You can get a card for 30, 50 or 150 Dhs, but you can actually pay a little less for them in the store. You can use the card for parking until the entire sum in it is used up.

You  have yet another option to pay for parking. The season permits are quite convenient to use, especially if you drive your car regularly and have to park it near the office every day. You can get a permit for 3, 6 or 12 months. There are two types you can choose from, irrespective of the period of duration. You can pay more and get a permit to park in any area or save around fifty percent of the cost and park in specified designated areas only. In order to get a car parking permit from the Dubai Municipality, you will need your car registration, but you might be ask to present your driver’s license and your passport as well, so it is best to bring them along.

If you do not have a ticket or a permit to park in areas with meters, you will get a car parking fine. The usual range is between 100 Dhs and 200 Dhs. You are supposed to pay the fine within seven days of receiving it. However, it is common practice for drivers to cover these fines when they renew their car’s registration. You should not have a problem doing this every year.

Last, but not least the car parks of hotels, shopping centers and supermarkets are usually free. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In cases in which you have to pay for parking, you might get your money refunded.


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