Abu Dhabi parking rules can be confusing, especially for residents or visitors who are new to the city. From early last year, all public parking zones in the emirate have become paid zones. There are exceptions during national holidays as implemented by the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DoT). Free parking in Abu Dhabi is also available on Fridays. While paid zones do help authorities keep traffic conditions under control, the new regulations have motorists wondering how the parking fee system works in their areas of residence and beyond.
How do you buy a parking permit? How does Mawaqif work? How much do you have to pay for parking in your designated residential area?
Here is everything you need to know about paid parking in Abu Dhabi.
Mawaqif Parking Abu Dhabi Registration
Mawaqif is a public parking system implemented by the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi. Parking meters set time limits to ensure smooth flow of traffic and prohibit improper parking practices in the city.
Mawaqif Rechargeable Cards
In order to make parking payments when required, the service provides motorists with the option to purchase Mawaqif Rechargeable Cards. Parking fees are automatically deducted from your Mawaqif account (stored value account) which you must first register for.
Linked to a motorist’s registered Du or Etisalat mobile number, this account is an essential requirement for Abu Dhabi parking payments. Once your Mawaqif account is created, you will need to top it up with the funds necessary for paid parking in the city. This can be done through secure credit card transactions online or through dedicated kiosks.
What is M-mawaqif Service?
Your official account will also help you to use the M-mawaqif service — a value-added service which allows motorists to pay parking fees through their registered Du or Etisalat numbers. The process to do this is detailed below:
- Send an SMS (in a predefined format) to 3009
- Receive a parking permit via text message with your parking details
- Parking attendants will validate your details via their handheld devices
Here are Abu Dhabi parking rules regarding your Mawaqif and m-mawaqif accounts:
- Private plate vehicle owners are required to register for a Mawaqif account
- Registration for Mawaqif is necessary for using M-mawaqif online services
- Users need to have a registered UAE Etisalat or Du mobile numbers for using m-mawaqif and Mawaqif
- Registration of M-mawaqif is mandatory for all motorists
- Only residents who own private plate vehicles can use the m-mawaqif service without vehicle registration
- Charges for M-mawaqif depend on tariffs
- Additional standard SMS charges apply for sending text messages to 3009
Residential Parking Permits
Tenants and residential property owners can apply for residential parking permits in order to avoid paying the hourly rates for parking near their areas of residence. The same goes for the transfer, cancellations, and renewal of permits. Residential parking permits can be obtained from any Mawaqif service centre.
You can visit a DoT customer service centre to complete this process.
- Fill the application with the required documentation
- Make the required payment
- Receive the parking permit from the Department of Transport
Fee Structure for Residential Permits
Keep in mind, each permit only serves one vehicle and is only applicable within assigned sectors in an applicant’s residential area. Areas designated for residents can easily be identified through Mawaqif signs that read “Resident Permit Only” and is enforced from 09:00 pm to 08:00 am. Here is a rundown of the fee structure:
- Fee for UAE nationals in apartments – Free for 4 vehicles
- Fee for UAE nationals in villas – Free
Parking permits are allowed for property owners and tenants as well as first degree relatives (mother, father, wife, sons, brothers and sisters). Additionally, Emirati families residing in apartments are entitled to 4 free parking permits.
Fee requirements for non-UAE nationals residing in villas and apartments are as follows:
- First vehicle: AED 800
- Second vehicle: AED 1,200
Some of the new residential areas in Abu Dhabi come with dedicated parking spots. Most buildings in Al Reem Island are known to provide underground parking for residents. Tenants of apartments in Sigma Towers, Al Reem Island can avail of free parking. Other popular buildings with rental apartments in Abu Dhabi that comes with free parking include Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid WTC in Al Khalidiyah and Nation Towers in Corniche Area.
For more information regarding Mawaqif registration, renewal, cancellations and payments, visit the Department of Transport website or call the customer service centre:
- Mawaqif contact number: 800-88-888
Charges for Public Parking in Abu Dhabi
It’s always a good idea to keep public parking charges in mind before heading out, especially if you intend to park in areas that are outside your residential zone. Mawaqif parking timing in Abu Dhabi is from 08:00 am to 12:00 pm from Saturday to Thursday.
Here is a review of parking fee in Abu Dhabi:
- Standard Parking Spaces (black and turquoise curbs): AED 2 per hour, AED 15 for 24-hour parking
- Premium Parking Spaces (white and turquoise curbs): AED 3 per hour
Make sure you keep these charges in mind whether you want to park for a few hours or take advantage of long term parking in Abu Dhabi.
Parking Fines Abu Dhabi
Mawaqif offers a 10-minute grace period for vehicles that are parked illegally. After that, motorists who are caught violating Mawaqif regulations are required to pay fines. On that note, here is a list of parking violations and fines that motorists should be aware of.
- Parking in prohibited areas: AED 200
- Abuse of parking space: AED 200
- Parking vehicles on pavements: AED 200
That’s a wrap of Abu Dhabi parking rules you should be aware of. For more information about property laws in Abu Dhabi aside from parking, check out the new property law on foreign ownership. For laws regarding tenancy agreements in the UAE capital, take a look at our rundown of the Tawtheeq process for tenancy agreements.