UAE - From Friday (July 15), Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) will implement new timings for paid parking and road tolls. Residents can benefit from free parking and 'Darb' toll on Sundays instead of Fridays.

The decision garnered mixed reactions from the people in the capital. Some welcomed the move stressing that it would relieve them from paying for the street parking on Sundays.

Hussein Ali, an Egyptian expat living in the Khalidiyah area, stressed that it would save him from paying for street parking during his weekends as he spends most of the time at home.

"I work from Monday to Friday, and there is free parking at my workplace. I don't have a residential parking permit, and it has been bothering me to pay for the street parking on Sundays when I am home enjoying the weekend with my family," he said.

According to the authority, the decision will improve traffic flow during peak hours and enhance road safety in the emirate.

Another resident, Patrick Jean, a Filipino expat, also welcomed the move to change the free parking from Fridays to Sundays.

"I am happy with the free parking on Sundays. It is a day off for me and my friends with whom I share an apartment. We all have vehicles and we have been paying for the street parking on Sundays despite spending the day at home," said Jean.

Ismail Okedi, a Ugandan expat residing in Abu Abu Dhabi's Navigate area, says being a government employee, he works half-day on Friday and therefore prefers the existing parking system that offers free parking on Fridays.

"I preferred the old parking system. It was the best for me as I work a half-day on Friday. After work, I have been parking my vehicle in the street parking near my building. I would go for Jumah prayer and do other activities while not worried about parking fees. But now, I will have to pay for the rest of the day," he said.

For Ashraf Ahamed, an Indian expat who resides in the Musaffah area, parking is free, but he has to drive daily to Abu Dhabi city for work. He worries about the Darb toll.

"I am not happy with the changes in the Darb toll. I am staying outside the city, and I have to pass through the Darb toll gate every day during peak hours while going to work. Making Friday a paying day for Darb toll will definitely affect me," he said.

"This would be an extra burden on me along with the petrol price hike and other commodities. Most private companies are not increasing the salaries and also not ready to pay for the Darb toll and parking fees to reduce operating costs."

From July 15, paid parking in Abu Dhabi will be from Monday to Saturday – 8am to midnight. On Sundays, the parking will be free.

Premium parking (blue and white colours) is Dh3 per hour with a maximum stay of four hours. Standard parking (blue and black colours) is Dh2 per hour or Dh15 for a day.

The Darb Abu Dhabi costs Dh4. With the new changes, motorists will only be charged for the peak hours of Abu Dhabi toll gate timings – Monday to Saturday (7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm). No Darb charges apply during non-peak hours on weekdays. The Darb toll in Abu Dhabi will also be free on Sundays and public holidays.

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