As I inserted first of my four ‘hard-earned’ coins (exchanged from a reluctant storekeeper) into the sun-drenched parking meter, an elderly man waved at me from a distance, as though to dissuade me from completing my action. Confused, I waited till he came closer. Happy to save my money from being wasted and scornful at my blatant ignorance of long-established parking norms, the man alerted me: “No need… 1 to 4 is free parking!”

new parking zones

Not anymore, my well-intending friend. I hope you did not benevolently ‘guide’ anyone else thus in the past two weeks; because, it would have simply earned them a parking fine. Obviously, you haven’t read the papers and haven’t warmed up to the new fact that THERE IS NO BREAK ANYMORE FOR THE PARKING METER.

This is the single most important thing to remember about the parking rules amended and implemented with effect from the 28th of May. Of course the tariffs also have changed and there are four zones instead of two from now on. But all that, the parking meter will tell you. Once you get close to it. But you won’t, if you think 1 to 4 in the afternoon is free parking; and you will have to learn it the hard way.

The next important thing is to check the validity time: Don’t take it for granted that the ticket expires only after an hour. The tariff in A parking zones has a new slot where two dirhams is the cost of half an hour. One full hour costs four dirhams now. However, according to RTA, the tariff will remain unchanged in 77% of the paid parking spaces in Dubai, as the non-commercial zones will be unaffected.

new parking times

Fee structure in various zones

The fee for Zone A grows in multiples of 2 dirhams every half an hour; while for Zone B it happens in multiples of 3 every hour. The hourly fee for A, E and G are the same – 4, 8, 12 and 16 for 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours respectively. For the same time, C and F Zones charge 2, 5, 8 and 11 – the longer you stay, the higher you pay by the hour. The fee for B Zone too has gone up and it’s in steady multiples of 3 per additional hour. (3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 for up to 5 hours.) Multi-storey parking invites a fee of 5 dirhams per hour, up from three dirhams.

Maximum parking time

The maximum time you can pay for at once is four hours at any zone, other than B and D that allow a 24-hour ‘discounted parking fee’ of AED 20 and AED 10 respectively. The Zone D is also the only one that allows a reducing rate at AED 2, 4, 5 and 7 as the hours increase.

What about Seasonal Parking Cards?

Their tariffs change too, proportionately and predictably. Four types of seasonal parking cards – A, B, C and D – have a validity period of three months, six months and one year.

Mawqifi Gold is valid in all zones, which now cost AED 1400 for 3 months, AED 2500 for 6 months and AED 4500 for a whole year.

Mawqifi Silver is for B and D zones. AED 700, 1300 and 2400 are the respective tariffs for 3, 6 and 12 months.

Mawqifi Bronze applies multi-storey parking buildings and carry a price tag of AED 2000, 4000 and 8000 for 3, 6 and 12 months.

Students get one card that cost AED 300 for 3 months.

One last thing to note: These parking cards are not valid at Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Deira Fish market and the Gold Souq.


Parking meter


Zone A: Commercial – Roadside

AED 2 for 30-minutes

Maximum parking time of 4 hours at AED 16

Zone B: Commercial – parking lot

AED 3 for one hour

Maximum parking time of 24 hours at AED 20

Zone C: Non-commercial – Roadside

AED 2 for one hour

Maximum parking time of four hours at AED 11

Zone D: Non-commercial – parking lot

AED 2 for one hour

Maximum parking time of 24 hours at AED 20

Zone E: Deira Fish Market only

AED 4 for one hour

Maximum parking time of four hours at Dh16

Zone F: Tecom investments area only

AED 2 for one hour

Maximum parking time of four hours at Dh11.

Zone G: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard only

AED 4 for one hour

Maximum parking time of four hours at AED 16

RTA’s multi-storey car parks: AED 5 per hour.

So when you see someone walking away with a sun-kissed smile from a parked car, consciously oblivious of the orange pillar near him, please call out after him:

“Hello there, parking meters don’t take a break! Till 10’o clock.”

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One new parking rule you can’t afford to forget was last modified: December 16th, 2016 by Sudeep Koshy

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