The low cost of parking in the Middle East means that any future stand-alone parking facilities by the Dubai Metro will have to be subsidised by the government to be commercially viable, a major developer of car parks has said.
The Dubai Metro’s Red Line, which is scheduled to open on September 9, will offer free parking for around 2,800 cars at the Rashidiya station in Deira and for around 2,000 cars by the Jumeirah Islands station.
But any additional parking would have to be subsidised by the Metro since most people in Dubai are used to paying little, or nothing, for their parking.
“Right now, parking rates in the Middle East in general, excluding Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and some really expensive areas in Dubai, are not high enough to have a quick rate of return directly from the parking,” said Sami K. Issa, general manager of Robotic Systems.
“The rates for parking are going to have to be subsidised for the Metro, or they’re going to be expensive.”
Robotic Systems is the developer of an automated, 1,200-capacity car park in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the recently opened automated car park in the Ibn Battuta Gate development.
Deira City Centre and Mall of the Emirates, two of the major shopping malls along the Red Line, have already announced that they will be introducing parking fees of AED20 ($5.4) per hour to deter Metro users from leaving their cars there.
The Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is introducing a network of “feeder” buses that could reduce the number of people who drive to their nearest Metro station during the hot summer months.
This month, six new routes were launched from the Ibn Battuta Metro station.
By Soren Billing www.araabianbusiness.com