Mall-goer’s woes: No free parking

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    By Nadeem Hanif, Staff reporter Published: July 23, 2009 www.xpress4me.com

    Shoppers will have to pay up to Dh150 in parking charges for an extended stay in Dubai’s busiest malls.

     © XPRESS/Karen Dias Mall of the Emirates will charge vehicles parked for long in its premises
    © XPRESS/Karen Dias Mall of the Emirates will charge vehicles parked for long in its premises

    The Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre announced on Wednesday that they will introduce parking charges from September 10 onwards, a day after the launch of the Dubai Metro.

    From Sunday to Thursday, parking is free for the first three hours and Dh20 for the next three extra hours. The charges will then go up to Dh100 and Dh150 for the fourth and fifth hours respectively.

    While this appears to be a step to deter Dubai Metro users from parking their vehicles in these two malls, it is shoppers who will feel the pinch on weekends when they tend to stay for extended hours.

    Deira City Centre and the Mall of the Emirates are linked to Metro stations.

    Feel the pinch

    On Fridays and Saturdays the first four hours are free. But the first extra hour will be Dh40 and the second extra hour will be Dh60. Moreover, the prices will then jump to Dh100 and Dh150 for the following two hours respectively. There will be no scheme in place as in BurJuman Mall where shoppers can claim the cost of the parking fee by spending a certain amount in stores.

    “Unlike other [mall parking] systems in Dubai, it is not dependent on how much you spend or what time of the day you visit. The free parking actually lasts longer than the average amount of time spent by shoppers in both malls,” Fareed Abdul Rahman, Vice-President, Divisional Asset Management for Majid Al Futtaim Properties, which owns the malls, said.

    At BurJuman, shoppers are refunded the parking charges if they spend a minimum of Dh100.

    However, customers who want to watch a film in either of the mall’s CineStar cinemas will get free parking extended by a further hour throughout the week, he added.

    Meanwhile, Dubai Marina Mall, which is just a few hundred metres away from a Metro station, has also installed parking ticket machines. However, parking is currently free. Mall owner Emaar told XPRESS in a statement: “We do not have plans to introduce paid parking as of now.”