With such excellent roads and infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, driving around the emirate would be a lovely experience for all driving enthusiasts there. This, however, requires you to be aware of the traffic rules.
*Above mentioned prices are for Honda City EX 1.5L, 2017 model.
The same applies to parking a car, as it can quickly become a challenging manoeuvre if you are unaware of the rules and regulations. Abu Dhabi paid parking system plays a vital role in managing the city's traffic flow and efficiently minimising the irregular parking issue. It is governed by Mawaqif, Department of Transport (DoT), to ensure that all vehicles are parked in their respective areas without causing a violation of traffic rules or inconvenience to others.
Abu Dhabi Parking System – Overview
In Abu Dhabi, you must hold a valid parking permit or pay to park in the city through the Mawaqif parking system. The Mawaqif system in Abu Dhabi is administered by the Department of Transport (DoT), allowing residents to get a Mawaqif permit to park their vehicles at available spaces in the standard parking areas without having to pay at the roadside meters.
It is important to note that all parking zones in Abu Dhabi are paid zones, and free parking is solely available on Fridays and national holidays. Additionally, multiple parking meters are installed in Abu Dhabi to ensure easy access to parking spaces.
Several Mawaqif permits are available in Abu Dhabi, and you can apply for one that aligns with your requirements. The permit eases the parking process in Abu Dhabi and significantly enhances residents' and visitors' driving experience.
Types of Abu Dhabi Parking
There are primarily two types of public surface parking in Abu Dhabi -
The major difference between the two is that standard parking is valid for 24 hours, whereas premium parking is valid for about 4 hours. The standard and premium parking in Abu Dhabi can be identified by different kerbstone colours. The standard parking is black and turquoise, while the premium parking is indicated by turquoise and white kerbstone.
Fee Structure for Standard and Premium Parking
Tabled below is the general fee structure for standard and premium parking in Abu Dhabi:
Type of Parking
AED 2 per hour or AED 15 for the whole day
8:00 am -12:00 am (free on public holidays and Sundays)
8:00 am - 12:00 am (free on public holidays
Types of Standard Parking Permits in Abu Dhabi
Individuals and corporations who regularly use standard parking spaces can apply for a parking permit. Discussed below are the types of Mawaqif parking permits in Abu Dhabi -
1. Residential Parking Permit
Property owners and tenants can apply for a residential parking permit through the Mawaqif system, which allows them to park their vehicles in paid parking zones within the residential area without paying additional charges. However, a residential permit holder is not entitled to reserve a bay or park in a premium parking area.
Each residential permit is specific to the vehicle and sector, with each household being eligible for only two parking permits. Moreover, the parking area for holders is only available between 9 pm and 8 am. If anyone parks their vehicle without a valid permit, they would be liable to pay fines.
Interestingly, the residence permit is virtual, meaning that the parking inspectors can track cars simply with the licence plate number enrolled in the database.
Application Process for Residential Parking Permit
Follow the steps below to issue residential parking permits in Abu Dhabi –
Visit www.itc.gov.ae and click on the 'Mawaqif’ option under the 'service' tab
Tap on the 'residential parking permit' and click on 'apply'
Log in using the UAE pass and submit the application
Submit the required documents and pay the applicable fees
Once the application is approved, you will receive the permit
As an alternative, you can also visit one of the Mawaqif customer service centres and apply for the same.
Required Documents for Residential Parking Permit Application Process
You would be required to submit only a copy of your Emirates ID while applying for a residential parking permit.
Fees Associated with Residential Parking Permits
Here are the general fees for residential parking permits:
Residential Parking Permit Type
For expatriates (first car)
For expatriates (second car)
For UAE nationals
Note: The same charges shall apply to renew or modify the residential parking permits in Abu Dhabi
2. Limited Term Permit for Standard Parking
You can also apply for a limited-term permit for standard parking in Abu Dhabi. As a holder of this permit, you can use the standard public parking spaces without paying extra charges in all sectors of the Emirate. You can apply for the limited-term permit for standard parking for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months and renew it two weeks before the expiration date.
It is to be noted that the permit does not apply to residents' parking lots, multi-story parking, villa areas, and premium parking.
Application Process for Limited Term Permit for Standard Parking
Here’s how you can apply for the limited term permit for standard parking -
Visit www.itc.gov.ae and go through the eServices section
Click on the ‘individual’ option under limited term permit for standard parking
You will be redirected to a new page - tap on ‘new’ at the bottom of the page
Enter the traffic code and verify your registered mobile number by entering the OTP in the required field
Select vehicle and permit duration
Tick on the terms and conditions and pay the applicable fees
You will receive the permit after the fees are paid
Another option available for you would be to head to one of the Mawaqif customer service centres and apply for the required permit.
Things to Remember While Applying for Limited Term Permit for Standard Parking
All private vehicles can apply for the limited-term permit except public and freight vehicles
As the permit is virtual and linked to the licenced number plate of the vehicle, you can have an unlimited number of permits
Limited-term permit holders can park in standard public parking spaces marked with turquoise and black or identified with unique signs
You can modify your permit details in specific circumstances like a change of vehicle owner, vehicle type, plate number, and so on
Fee Structure Associated with Limited Term Permit for Standard Parking
The fees for the limited-term permit vary as per its duration. Check out the table below to learn more about the fee structure of the application process:
Limited Term Permit Duration
3. Multi-Storey Parking Permit
Multi-storey parking permits allow individuals, government entities, and companies to park their cars at the multi-storey parkings. You can choose the permit tenure per your requirement, say three months, six months, or even twelve months.
It must be noted that government entities are required to write a letter to ITC consisting of the name of employees along with car registration details to get a multi-storey parking permit.
Application Process for Multi-Storey Parking Permit
Keep the following steps in mind when applying for this parking permit -
Visit www.itc.gov.ae and navigate to the 'eService' section
Tap on the multi-storey parking and you will be redirected to the new tab
Click on the ‘apply’ button and provide the requisite details
Pay the fees to complete the process and receive the permit
Documents Required for Multi-Storey Parking Permit
Applicants are only required to submit a copy of their Emirates ID to apply for the multi-storey parking permit.
Fees Associated with Multi-Storey Parking Permit
Listed below are the fees regarding multi-storey parking permits in Abu Dhabi -
Multi-Storey Parking Permit Duration
Free Parking in Abu Dhabi
UAE nationals get free parking in Abu Dhabi in their area of residence. Apartment owners get 2 parking spaces free, while villa owners get 5 free parking spaces subject to DoT approval.
During Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Adha holidays, the government announces free parking in Abu Dhabi
On Fridays, 45 minutes of free parking is provided near mosques
You can also avail of free parking on Sundays as well as religious and public holidays
One of the convenient ways to pay Abu Dhabi parking fees is by sending an SMS to 3009. In the ‘text’ field, write a message as per the new format, which is mentioned below -
The format is this - City & Plate Code category <space> Plate number <space> Parking type <space> Duration
In the parking type, use S for standard parking and P for premium parking
After you send the message, you will receive a confirmation message.
A reminder message shall be sent to the registered mobile number 10 minutes before the designated parking expires
To extend the time, type 'E' and send it to the same number mentioned above
In case you are in Abu Dhabi and your car is registered in another city, refer to the given table for SMS parking codes -
SMS Parking Code
Umm Al Quwain
Ras Al Khaimah
For instance, if you have a vehicle registered in Ras Al Khaimah, you can reserve your parking space in Abu Dhabi public space by sending ‘RAL11345 S 1’ to 3009.
Other Ways to Pay for Parking in Abu Dhabi
The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has introduced multiple methods to help vehicle owners pay their Mawaqif parking fees.
Some of the channels through which you can pay the charges are mentioned below -
1. Paying Abu Dhabi Parking Fees via Cash
You can pay parking fees in Abu Dhabi via Mawaqif pay and display machines of turquoise colour with the Mawaqif logo embossed on them. The notable feature of these machines is that they accept cash. As an alternative, you can also visit any of the Mawaqif customer service centres and recharge your Mawaqif account with cash.
2. Paying Abu Dhabi Parking Fees via Rechargeable Cards
Mawaqif also offers a rechargeable card to pay parking fees in Abu Dhabi. To use the card, you would be required to link your rechargeable card to your Darbi account, which can be easily recharged. You can buy a Mawaqif rechargeable card for AED 50, and the balance of the exact amount will be added to your Darbi account after the activation process.
Activation Process for Mawaqif Rechargeable Card
Follow the steps given below to activate your Mawaqif rechargeable card –
Log into your Darbi account via the official website or mobile application
Click 'manage wallet cards' and tap on 'add new wallet card'
Enter the card details and add the card
You can also activate your Mawaqif rechargeable card via SMS. Simply send the SMS ‘LINK<SPACE>CARD NO<SPACE>CVC’ to 3009. Additionally, you can use your credit card at one of the Mawaqif customer care centres for the activation process.
How to Use a Mawaqif Rechargeable Card?
To use the Mawaqif rechargeable card, insert your card into the machine and select the number of hours you want to park your vehicle. Tap on the green or ‘Ok’ button and remove the card. After confirmation, take the ticket and exit the parking.
3. Paying Abu Dhabi Parking Fees via Darbi Application
Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has launched a new way of paying parking fees via the Darbi mobile application. This development has been brought to streamline the transactions and make the entire process quick and easy. The parking fees will be deducted from the application's e-wallet designated for each vehicle. This online service also helps in adding vehicles that are not registered with a Darbi account, and the parking duration can be extended for additional hours with a few taps.
How to Use Darbi Application to Pay the Parking Fees in Abu Dhabi?
Given below are steps to be followed to pay the Abu Dhabi parking fees –
Log into your account
Choose the vehicle and the category of parking space, i.e. standard or premium.
Fill in the number of hours
Confirm the transaction and pay the applicable fees
4. Paying Abu Dhabi Parking Fees via MWallet (M-Mawaqif)
M-Mawaqif service is combined with a Mawaqif account to allow vehicle owners to pay their m-Mawaqif permit using their registered DU or Etisalat mobile number. To avail of the service, you would be required to register your DU or Etisalat registered mobile number and follow the prompted instructions.
Once your Mawaqif account is recharged, you can use the funds to pay for the m-Mawaqif permit. Remember that only the vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi can use this service and that owners of other vehicles should first create a Mawaqif account to take advantage of the service.
5. Paying Abu Dhabi Parking Fees via Credit Card
You can also pay Abu Dhabi car parking fees via credit card. The minimum value to be paid via credit card is AED 15.
Refer to the following section to learn more about the Abu Dhabi car parking system via some commonly asked questions.
Q1. What is a residence parking permit in Abu Dhabi?
Ans: A residence parking permit is issued to the owner of the property or tenant to park their vehicle in their own residential area.
Q2. How to get an Abu Dhabi parking permit?
Ans: You can get a parking permit in Abu Dhabi by visiting the official website of the Integrated Transport Center and applying online. As an alternative, you can also visit any of the Mawaqif customer service centres or Department of Transport customer service centres and apply for the same.
Q3. What are the repercussions of parking my car in the wrong parking space?
Ans: If an individual or corporate parks their vehicles inappropriately or illegally, they are liable to pay fines after a 10-minute grace period. Given below are the charges for the possible scenarios –
Parking in prohibited areas – AED 200
Abuse of parking space – AED 200
Parking vehicle on pavements – AED 200
Q4. How to renew a Mawaqif online?
Ans: You can renew Mawaqif via the official website of the Integrated Transport Authority or by heading to one of the customer service centres of Mawaqif or the Department of Transport.
Q5. What are the benefits of using the M-Mawaqif wallet to pay Abu Dhabi parking charges?
Ans: Some of the key benefits of using the M-Mawaqif wallet to pay Abu Dhabi parking charges are –
No need to carry money and find a parking meter
Free reminder alerts via SMS when the M-Mawaqif permit is about to expire
You can extend your m-Mawaqif permit from anywhere
Q6. How can I renew the Abu Dhabi parking fee through the Darbi application?
Ans: In the parking ticket screen or control panel, click on the 'ticket extension' button on the Darbi dashboard to renew the Abu Dhabi parking fee. The parking will be renewed for one hour by deducting the fees.
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