Parking Wars

Residents come up with novel ways to ensure they get a parking slot

Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

A notice warns people of police action if their cars are found parked in front of the closed store.

A notice warns people of police action if their cars are found parked in front of the closed store.

Dubai: If you come across a child standing in an empty parking spot who refuses to move, there is no need to get annoyed.He is just trying to earn some brownie points from his father by reserving the space for him when he returns home from work.

This is just one of the many novel ways discovered by motorists to save themselves the headache of searching for a parking space near their homes and neighbourhood after 8.30pm. Since there is no parking charge after 9pm, there is a big rush for empty spaces.

Some of the other methods used to reserve parking spaces include: cordoning off the space with a chain, placing red plastic cones there, putting a chair there or at times getting children to spread a carpet across the area and play chess there.

Motorists who are unsuccessful in getting a slot end up parking in front of closed grocery stores and other shops, much to the annoyance of owners.Owners said cars parked in front of their stores often hindered them in opening up for business.Some shop owners have gone ahead and pasted notices on their closed shutters warning errant motorists to either leave their business card on their vehicle dashboard or face police action. (Ed: Can you imagine anyone being this polite in Australia?)

Gulf News spoke to motorists and shop owners and found that each party had a problem that is caused by a lack of parking spaces.

“I was taken aback when I came across a 10 year-old child not allowing me to park in an empty parking space,” said Hanif Mohammad, a Pakistani resident of Dubai who lives on Muraqqabat Street.”According to him he had been standing there for the past 20 minutes reserving the space for his father’s car. What he said left me speechless. I then kept circling around the neighbourhood.”
Gurmindar Mann, a resident of Hor Al Anz in Deira, said that there was no way to get a parking space around his building.”I have seen residents reserving parking spaces by cordoning them off with a chain. At first when I saw the cordoned space I was under the impression that it must have been done by a civic body or other public department, but when I learned that it was done by my neighbours, I too started to do the same.”


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