With the approach of the summer vacation, the Sharjah Municipality has unveiled plans to offer long-term parking services for residents who intend to travel outside the country.
Thabit Al Turaifi, director-general of the Sharjah Municipality, said the initiative will help curb the practice of "distorting the aesthetic appearance of the city and will ensure safety of the residents' cars".
He said the long-term parking lots will allow residents to park their cars without fear of it being towed away.
Al Turaifi explained that the service will help ease traffic congestion as it will eliminate the practice of parking illegally under buildings, in front of houses and mosque yards as owners leave for their vacation. In previous years, many cars that accumulated dust during the vacation period were towed away by the municipality.
Al Turaifi pointed out that the service offers many other advantages. "Most importantly, the vehicle will be secure under the supervision of security guards deployed in the designated parking areas. This is in addition to keeping the cars safe from accidents resulting from improper parking. Also, the cars will be kept clean.
"Everyone can benefit from this service and parking spaces will be provided in shaded places."
Last year, municipality inspectors had seized more than 8,000 vehicles, many of which were parked for long periods of time. As per the current practice, vehicles found parked for long periods of time in residential areas are given a 72-hour warning, after which they are impounded. The warning period is 48 hours in commercial areas and 24 hours on main roads.
Parking in unauthorised areas attracts a fine of Dh1,000, and Dh500 for "distorting the image of the city".
Al Turaifi said the Sharjah Municipality is keen to offer services that ensure happiness for residents.