Time Frame: A shot in the park

Powered by automated translation

With prosperity and growth comes parking - or at least the struggle to find a spot to leave your car. Things have greatly eased in Abu Dhabi with the introduction of paid parking through Mawaqif in 2009. Before then, finding somewhere to stop was a matter of good luck, persistence or having a 4x4 vehicle that could climb up on the kerb.

How long Abu Dhabi had to wait for proper parking system is illustrated in this photograph taken by an Al Ittiahad photographer in the early 1970s. It shows a pick-up truck making its way passed packed rows of parked cars, most likely on Hamdan Street. The population of the city in those days was well under 100,000 whereas today it is estimated at over one million and still rising. Given that the number of cars on the Emirate’s roads is now confirmed at 830,000, it is hard to imagine what life would be like without those now familiar blue and white striped bays.

* James Langton

Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation’s past. Readers are invited to make contributions to: yourpics@thenational.ae