By Ibrahim Haj Hamad www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI — Dubai Metro commuters who park their vehicles at Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre will have to pay for parking, a move by the managements of the two malls to ensure that there is space for their customers’ vehicles as well, said a senior official.
A new paid parking system has been introduced by Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre where customers will see the first four hours of free parking followed by a charge of Dh20 for every additional hour for three hours.
Parking space will also be free all day on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.
Shahram Shamsaee, Senior Vice-President, Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties said, the impact of the first few days of the Dubai Metro has been very encouraging for both malls and a sign that it will become the future backbone of transportation in the city.
“The way the whole city has embraced the Dubai Metro with open arms is certainly better than initially expected. The average traffic coming into the Mall of the Emirates Station is 12,000 per day and at Deira City Centre 5,000.”
Initially the paid parking system was to be introduced last month but to acquire a better response and to familiarise their customers with the new system, mall officials launched a month free trial period.
Speaking to mall customers regarding the paid parking systems, Hania Mohamed, 22, a Middlesex University at Dubai student said, “We already pay enough on public services such as Salik – now we have to pay for parking too.”
She said that instead of discouraging passengers from parking at malls, building a separate parking spot for Metro users outside the mall would be more favourable.
Another customer Joseph Elias, a mechanical engineer said, “Twenty dirhams per hour is too expensive – I suggest a Dh5 charge is more reasonable.”