Paid parking services will not be free on public holidays and Fridays in some vital areas of Sharjah from March 30.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, a top official at the Department of Public Parking in the Sharjah Municipality has confirmed that paid parking charges have been modified in some areas including Al Majaz, Al Shuwahain, the birds market and near the Banks Street. The department has decided to end the free parking in these areas on weekends and public holidays following a study in this regard and in response to a number of questions raised by the public.
Ali Bogazin, director of the department at the Sharjah Municipality, explained that the old paid parking signboards at these locations have been replaced with the new ones to inform the public that they will have to pay parking charges during holidays and throughout the week. The municipality also has modified and programmed the machines to accept payments during these days.
The decision, which will be effective from March 30, has been taken based on study, surveys, and public opinions. Majority of the residents suggested that bringing all these vital areas under paid parking system throughout the week will reduce parking issues for them.
“The residents of buildings in these areas find it difficult to park their vehicles on holidays as people come from other places and park their cars for a long time since it’s free. The municipality responded to the suggestions of a large number of residents who requested to subject these areas to the fees all days,” he said.
However, a number of residents who saw the newly uncovered signboards were shocked and many of them considered it as a mistake in the signboards. Some others said they supported the decision as they find it difficult to park their vehicles during Fridays and public holidays, despite subscribing to annual paid parking.
Nadar Al Ameen, who lives in Al Majaz area, said: “Many people come here on Fridays to spent leisure times with their families in the Corniche and it’s very difficult to find parking. These people exploit the free parking and park their cars for a long time. Despite the annual subscription I have it’s very difficult to park my car during weekends. So I choose not to go out during Fridays, because when I come back I would never find a spot to park my car.”
Liela Al Magrabi, another resident, said that the decision is acceptable because it would help the residents of the areas to find parking space for their cars.
Mahalakshmi A., an Indian resident, said that she was shocked to see the signboards. Initially, I thought it was a printing mistake. I never thought that the municipality would charge parking fees during Fridays and public holidays. The decision would add to our burdens and would affect our budgets,” she said.
Abrar Husain from Al Shuwahain area said he read the signboards repeatedly because he couldn’t believe what it said. “This decision will make it difficult for us to live in this area. I used to park my car in a free open space far from home, and on Thursdays I make sure that I return home early to find parking near to my house because the parking is free on Fridays.”
Aeron K., another resident, said this decision may solve the parking problems on weekends but would affect his budget.