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Sandy areas in Sharjah turned to parking lots
A private parking yard in Al Mahatta area in Sharjah
350 paid private parking lots to be functional in various parts of Sharjah city.

As many as 350 new paid private parking lots will be functional in various parts of Sharjah city to provide parking space solution to residents.
Engineer Salah bin Butti, chairman of town planning and survey department of Sharjah said the department has issued permission for 350 private parking lots to be run by investors. "Ten per cent of the total lots are government lands rented out to investors to use for private parking business," he said.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Bin Butti said permission licences have been issued based on conditions aimed at providing best services to residents.
One of the conditions states that investors must employ consultants for parking designing based on specifications put up by authorities concerned. Investors must also get commercial licence from the Sharjah Economic Development Department and construction permission certificate from the municipality.
The parking rentals have been fixed at Dh5 to Dh10 per hour; they also offer monthly charges which range from Dh300 to Dh600.
However, the Sharjah Executive Council has determined that the parking services must be provided on an hourly and monthly basis at lesser prices.
He said private parking service will minimise unauthorised parking that can cause congestion and will also ensure the beauty of the city.
The department in coordination with the municipality will intensify inspection on these parking lots to ensure they follow the conditions and rules related to licence.
Engineer Majid Al Juwaid, director of public services at the department to town planning and survey said the guard of the parking lot must not sleep at the premises at night. They should work in two shifts to ensure safety of the vehicles. "Those who violate this regulation will be fined by the municipality," he added.
For Sharjah residents who used to park for free in sandy areas, the new paid parking will be an additional burden.
Mohammed K an employee at the private parking zone said they charge Dh5 per hour. According to him, residents in the area are forced to pay monthly or annually because it is cheaper than paying by the hour. "Those who pay by the hour are mostly visitors to the area or shoppers. It's good business, as many people have been forced to park their cars here. This area was free before, but the owner bought the plot for investment," he said.
Residents of Al Mahatta area who used to park their cars for free in the sandy area exactly behind the Amiri court, said they are unhappy with the private parking as it adds to their financial burdens.
Tariq Al Ameen, said there will not be any open free area in the city for parking. "I think many residents will move to remote areas for cheaper residential rents and free parking, Every time something new comes up to swallow our saving; in fact, there are no more savings. Things add up and salaries remain the same; I don't know how people with low incomes manage to survive here.
Liela Lutfi another resident said investors use the land to make easy money. It's good business for them and more burden onpoor residents who can't afford to pay for parking.
"The owner of paid parking do not have to construct anything, all they have to do is install a fence, mark spaces and employ an Asian man to manage the parking lot and charge motorists by the hour, said Rahman. "They even make up to Dh50,000 per day."
Cherran K another resident prefers municipality's public parking as it is cheaper. "As soon as private paid parking came up, I took an annual subscription for public parking which costs me Dh2,300 per year. But not everyone can afford this," said Cherran.

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