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Top 5 Places to Find Parking Free in Dubai

find free parking
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Is it possible to find free parking in a bustling city like Dubai? Yes, it is, but knowing where to look is essential. When navigating the streets of the city on car rental Dubai, finding information on free parking can be challenging. As most resources tend to focus on paid parking options. However, there are still several areas across Dubai that offer ample free parking spaces.

Following are some of the places where you can find free parking in Dubai:

Shopping Centers Free Parking

Finding free parking in Dubai’s malls and shopping centers is no longer an issue. In fact, you can often pay little or no parking charges in certain cases. Dubai is known for its abundance of shopping malls, many of which offer free parking spaces. Thus, making the overall shopping experience more convenient. Most malls provide a minimum of 3 to 4 hours of free parking initially.

Here are some malls in Dubai where you can find RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) free parking spaces:

Mall of the Emirates

This popular shopping hub offers free parking spots on weekends. On weekdays, the initial 4 hours free parking, and additional parking hours can be purchased for AED 20 to AED 150, depending on the vehicle type.

Dubai Mall

As one of the most visited mall in Dubai, the Dubai Mall boasts approximately 13,000 free parking spaces for visitors, and all-day free parking is available.

Free Parking in Commercial Areas

Dubai’s commercial zones, known for their high traffic flow, usually have metered parking spots that charge AED 4 per hour. Additionally, visitors to the Dubai World Trade Centre can find free parking spots in Dubai without requiring any token.

Free Parking at Most Visited Destinations

Dubai’s popular amusement parks, leisure attractions, restaurants, and hotels also provide free parking spaces to enhance visitor convenience. Some notable places include Global Village, Dubai Parks & Resorts, Al Seef, Downtown Dubai, IMG World, City Walk, and Dubai Frame. Public parks like Burj Park, Safa Park, Dubai Aquarium, and Zabeel Park either offer reduced parking charges or free parking. Smaller parks in residential neighborhoods typically offer free parking throughout the week.

Metro Stations with Free Parking

Dubai’s efficient public transportation system includes metro stations that offer a “Park-a-Ride” option. Here are some metro stations in Dubai with free parking:

  •         Rashidiya Station
  •         Tower Station and Nakheel Harbour on the Red Line
  •         Etisalat Station on the Green Line

Please note that fines may apply if you use the parking spot at a metro station without using the metro.

Free Parking on Special Days

Dubai residents can enjoy hassle-free free parking on special days, such as Fridays and public holidays. Additionally, during Ramadan, all parking zones offer free parking for two hours before Iftar. On National Day, the city also offers free parking as part of the revised Dubai public transport rules implemented by the RTA Dubai.

General Guidelines for Car Parking in Dubai

Dubai Cinema Mall Parking

Follow some general guidelines for car parking in Dubai:

Free Parking Days: Every Friday and on public holidays, metered parking zones offer 24-hour free parking in Dubai.

Smart Parking Systems: Utilize smart parking systems across the city that provide real-time availability notifications, helping you find available parking lots and save time and money.

Paid Public Parking Facilities

Identifying Paid Parking Areas: Paid parking areas in public spaces are marked with bright orange boards and arrows directing you to the nearest metered parking facility. Numbers on the boards help with location identification.

Payment Methods: Parking slot machines only accept coins (1 AED). Keep coins handy for payment. Retrieve your receipt and place it on the car dashboard to be visible from the outside. NOL Cards, prepaid cards, and mobile payment options are also available.

Parking Cards: Consider purchasing a parking card for regular use in paid parking zones. These cards are available for 3-6 months or up to a year, allowing indefinite parking in paid zones. Ensure the card matches the designated parking zone.

MParking: Use the MParking service via SMS to pay for parking using your UAE sim card. Send an SMS with your number plate, area code, and number of hours to 7275. Renew parking tickets by paying an additional charge of 30 fils per SMS.

Government Smart App: Use the government smart app available on Google Play Store and App Store to make parking payments conveniently and receive reminders for renewals.

Paid Private Parking

Paid private parking lots, operated independently, may charge around 5-10 AED, and occasionally up to 20 AED per hour.

Dubai’s Car-Friendly Infrastructure

Dubai is a city designed with cars in mind. Well-planned road network and underground parking facilities, all aimed for efficient mobility for cars. Despite the city’s excellent infrastructure, a high concentration of rent a car can result in congested roads. Constant traffic jams, noise, and increased air pollution is a problem. To address this, Dubai has implemented paid parking zones. They help to regulate traffic and also contribute to funding infrastructure costs.

Finding Free Parking Options

Initially, it may appear that free parking in Dubai is rare, with the majority of street parking being paid. Even in residential areas where residents are required to purchase seasonal parking permits. However, there are still opportunities to find free parking. Including public parking garages that offer complimentary parking spaces.

Fines for Parking Violations

Fines for parking violations in Dubai include exceeding the maximum time limit and parking beyond the payment limit in a paid zone. Fines range from 100 AED to 500 AED.

Parking Zones and Charges

Dubai has different paid parking zones with varying tariffs. Commercial zones have fees of Dh4 per hour, while non-commercial zones charge Dh2 per hour. Special zones and downtown Dubai have their own tariff structure. Refer to signage and guidelines specific to each parking zone.

By following these general guidelines, you can navigate parking in Dubai efficiently. Avoid fines, and make use of the available parking facilities conveniently.

Conclusion

Finding free parking in Dubai may seem challenging, but it is possible. Shopping malls, commercial areas, amusement parks, public parks, and some metro stations offer free parking or reduced charges. Special days and smart parking systems also provide opportunities for free parking. By following guidelines and exploring different options, residents, and visitors can save money while finding suitable parking spots in the city. Happy parking in Dubai!

Expand your Thoughts More:

FAQs

Several parking options are available, including multi-level car parks, pay-and-display machines, and parking meters by the RTA. Private parking facilities in malls and shopping centers also offer designated spaces.
Yes, parking within 50 meters of an intersection, 5 meters of fire hydrants or bus stops, and around airports, educational institutes, and government buildings is illegal. Violators may face fines or vehicle towing.
Payment methods include purchasing a PayByPhone parking card for RTA's pay-and-display machines or using Salike toll gates to pay without leaving the car unattended.
Most paid car parks offer discounted rates during non-peak hours and RTA's multi-level car parks provide discounted weekly passes. Private companies may also offer discounts or loyalty programs.
Most spots require payment, but some free areas are available farther from popular destinations. Some public parking facilities offer the first hour for free at select lots.
Violators may face fines or vehicle towing depending on the severity of the violation. Familiarize yourself with parking rules to avoid penalties.
Yes, RTA's Udrive platform offers online payment options such as Salik top-up, cash card top-up, and QPark prepaid cards. Car Parking Dubai's mobile app also allows booking and secure payment via credit card or CashU wallet.
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AED 39 /day
AED 1070 /mo.
AED 49 /day
AED 1350 /mo.
AED 69 /day
AED 1370 /mo.

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

What parking options are available in Dubai?

Several parking options are available, including multi-level car parks, pay-and-display machines, and parking meters by the RTA. Private parking facilities in malls and shopping centers also offer designated spaces.

Are there restrictions on parking in Dubai?

Yes, parking within 50 meters of an intersection, 5 meters of fire hydrants or bus stops, and around airports, educational institutes, and government buildings is illegal. Violators may face fines or vehicle towing.

How do I pay for parking in Dubai?

Payment methods include purchasing a PayByPhone parking card for RTA's pay-and-display machines or using Salike toll gates to pay without leaving the car unattended.

What discounts are available for regular parkers in Dubai?

Most paid car parks offer discounted rates during non-peak hours and RTA's multi-level car parks provide discounted weekly passes. Private companies may also offer discounts or loyalty programs.

Are parking spots free in Dubai?

Most spots require payment, but some free areas are available farther from popular destinations. Some public parking facilities offer the first hour for free at select lots.

What fines can I expect for parking violations in Dubai?

Violators may face fines or vehicle towing depending on the severity of the violation. Familiarize yourself with parking rules to avoid penalties.

Can I pay for parking fees online?

Yes, RTA's Udrive platform offers online payment options such as Salik top-up, cash card top-up, and QPark prepaid cards. Car Parking Dubai's mobile app also allows booking and secure payment via credit card or CashU wallet.