Most street parking in Dubai is now governed by parking meters. After feeding your coins into the machine, you get a ticket to display on your dashboard. The minimum fare is Dhs.2 for one hour. The price increases steeply the longer you park in a spot, so you’ll pay Dhs.4 or Dhs.5 for two hours, Dhs.8 for three hours, and Dhs.11 for four hours (the maximum). Parking is free from 1pm to 4pm and 9pm to 8am daily, and on Fridays and public holidays. Disabled parking spaces do exist, though are sometimes taken by ignorant drivers who don’t need the facility; however, police do monitor these spaces and hand out fines to offenders.

Several areas support the mParking system, which allows drivers to pay parking tolls through SMS (non-Dubai registered vehicles must register online first). Areas where mParking is supported have an orange sign displaying the parking code and a guide on how to use the system. To use mParking, send an SMS to PARK (7275) with your car licence plate number (including the first letter), a space, the area parking code listed on the sign, a space, and the number of hours you wish to pay for (one to four). The system will then send you a confirmation SMS, and the parking fee plus a 30 fils service charge will be deducted from your Etisalat or du phone credit. Ten minutes before your time has expired, the system will send an SMS reminder and ask if you’d like to add more time. Commuters can also use their Nol Metro card to pay for parking at many machines, with the appropriate fee being deducted from the card’s credit.

Shopping malls
Parking at Dubai’s shopping malls used to be mostly free, but since the opening of the metro several shopping centres that are adjacent or near to metro stations have introduced parking charges for stays over a certain length of time. Both Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre have free parking for the first four hours, and then charges that rise steeply from Dhs.20 for four to five hours up to Dhs.150 for eight hours or over and Dhs.350 for overnight (Fridays and public holidays are free).


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