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    Abu Dhabi

    World's largest Parking Contract.


    This study describes the work undertaken to introduce a comprehensive system of parking management to the City of Abu Dhabi. At the outset the task was to implement a citywide parking management system as a single project over 2 years. This would be equivalent to introducing parking management to the whole of the central London, an effort that took over fifty plus years. Making this the biggest single parking project in the world to date.

    The City of Abu Dhabi is the federal capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The city is located on an Island on the south coast of Arabian Gulf. The Island is approx. 18 km long and approx. 7km wide at its widest point in the north. At its southern end it is connected to the mainland by three road bridges.

    Growth of the city has been meteoric. In 1962, it was little more than a small coastal town where many of the buildings were single storey huts. Today it is a modern cosmopolitan city with a population of about 700,000 with a grid pattern of dual carriageway, main roads and many high-rise buildings.

    The Problem

    The main roads are freeways and the stopping and parking restriction were largely observed. However, between the grid pattern main roads each city block has a network of service roads, which parallel the main grid, local distributor roads and surface parking areas. It was estimated that these had a capacity of about 70,000 surface parking spaces in the CBD. However studies showed that demand reaches as high as 100,000 cars at peak times. This lead to double parking, parking in aisles and parking where parking is banned for safety and access reasons.

    In Summary:

    The Requirement

    Most cities throughout the West developed their parking systems gradually over years or decades. Parking management systems have been introduced incrementally, gradually growing both in complexity and geographical size as demands increased, experience grew and technology developed.

    In Abu Dhabi the situation was very different. The city has arrived into the first decade of the 21St century with the sorts of parking demands and problems that face any modern western city of three quarters of a million but with no parking management. Looking at this optimistically it gave a unique opportunity, because there is no investment in parking. The City could adopt a completely modern solution unconstrained by earlier decisions or equipment.

    The approach adopted was to identify systems and ideas that were of proven worth and to build a totally integrated parking system of products and services called the Parking Management Programme or PMP.

    Main components of the Parking Management Programme were:

    Parking Policies. Define the City’s parking policies.

    The parking spaces. Layout the city centre, providing enough space to park approx. 70,000 cars on the surface and a further 5,000 or so in pre-existing municipally owned and operated underground car parks.

    Signs and markings. Create a number of authorised traffic signs to conform to international norms.

    Central Parking Management System (CPMS)

    This is the core of the operation and the most innovative part of the programme. Most cities have IT systems; sometimes they will have several systems each managing a part of their parking services. Since this project started with a clean sheet Abu Dhabi was able to specify one complete integrated holistic system to do everything.

    The Solution

    As part of the new parking management project, “Mawaqif”, Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DoT) selected GlobeTech as its IT partner of choice to provide their innovative world class Central Parking Management System (CPMS).

    Today after 3 years of controlled parking management Abu Dhabi has an effective and efficient traffic management operation that adds order to the cities parking and reduced congestion.


    The key to Abu Dhabi’s success is in the approach taken to implement controlled parking. They with the help of industry experts, developed a plan, centred on the cities needs and the best-proven technologies available. They then future proofed their solution by defining a holistic Central Parking Management System, tying together all the different aspects of parking management under a single management system. This allowed the City to successfully phased the rollout of the largest parking operation undertaken worldwide to-date and setting the standard for other cities to follow.