Arif Sibte, a resident, inspects an abandoned car in the English Cluster of International City in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National
Arif Sibte, a resident, inspects an abandoned car in the English Cluster of International City in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

International City residents fed up of parking problems

DUBAI // Fed up with struggling to find parking near their homes each day, people living in International City have appealed to authorities not to renew the licences of transport and car hire companies in the area.

Residents have complained of parking places being taken by lorries, school buses and even oil tankers overnight.

“It is a massive problem. Sometimes it takes more than an hour to find parking,” said Arif Sibte, who has lived in the apartment community for the past seven years.

“There are oil tankers parked and this is very dangerous. Surely tankers should not be parked anywhere near residences and where children play.”

The affordable housing development has about 60,000 people living in 22,000 flats. They share parking spaces with 5,000 businesses on the ground floor of the 380 buildings.

Nakheel, the developer, said that it was working to tackle the congestion.

“The parking of trucks in International City is prohibited, with warning signs in place. In addition, Dubai Police issue fines for any vehicle illegally parked in the community,” said a Nakheel spokeswoman.

“We continue to liaise with the police and explore new ways of overcoming these challenges. Illegal parking is a challenge facing all communities in Dubai and we continue to take action to rectify the situation at International City.”

Signs from Nakheel went up in March cautioning that vehicles parked illegally and breaching community rules would be towed away if not removed in two weeks, while police signboards were put up in May that warned: “Heavy vehicle parking not allowed.” Both warnings have gone unheeded. More than a dozen lorries and buses are regularly left in front of buildings.

Left with no other option, residents said they are forced to park illegally on the kerb or pavement, at the risk of being fined Dh200. “I have been fined five times in the past two months,” Mr Sibte said. “I was tired of searching so I parked where I thought it would not obstruct traffic. But why are heavy trucks still allowed?”

Transport and rental companies said they were not breaking the law. “My drivers are gone during the day, they only use the parking at night near the office,” said Sultan Noor, manager of Rent-a-Car. “Where else will we park?”

Residents backed a recent Roads and Transport Authority plan to issue R, or reserve, permits in free parking zones to prevent commercial vehicles using residential parking overnight. Owners of vehicles parked overnight without the R card would be fined Dh200. The first area to be studied as part of the plan will be Mankhoul in Bur Dubai, followed by Al Badaa and Hor Al Anz. While there are no plans yet to include International City, RTA officials said they were talking with developers Nakheel and Emaar to regulate parking in residential areas with similar constraints.

“I will get peace of mind if this happens,” said Syed Yaseen, a resident since 2008. “This is the solution. Like the card we swipe to enter our building, if we can keep a card in our vehicle then the police know we are residents and won’t fine us. I search for parking for one to two hours. My concern is for myself, I will worry about my visitors being fined later.”

What is 'Soft Power'?

Soft power was first mentioned in 1990 by former US Defence Secretary Joseph Nye. 
He believed that there were alternative ways of cultivating support from other countries, instead of achieving goals using military strength. 
Soft power is, at its root, the ability to convince other states to do what you want without force. 
This is traditionally achieved by proving that you share morals and values.

Day 5, Abu Dhabi Test: At a glance

Moment of the day When Dilruwan Perera dismissed Yasir Shah to end Pakistan’s limp resistance, the Sri Lankans charged around the field with the fevered delirium of a side not used to winning. Trouble was, they had not. The delivery was deemed a no ball. Sri Lanka had a nervy wait, but it was merely a stay of execution for the beleaguered hosts.

Stat of the day – 5 Pakistan have lost all 10 wickets on the fifth day of a Test five times since the start of 2016. It is an alarming departure for a side who had apparently erased regular collapses from their resume. “The only thing I can say, it’s not a mitigating excuse at all, but that’s a young batting line up, obviously trying to find their way,” said Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s coach.

The verdict Test matches in the UAE are known for speeding up on the last two days, but this was extreme. The first two innings of this Test took 11 sessions to complete. The remaining two were done in less than four. The nature of Pakistan’s capitulation at the end showed just how difficult the transition is going to be in the post Misbah-ul-Haq era.

Points classification after Stage 4

1. Arnaud Demare (France / FDJ) 124

2. Marcel Kittel (Germany / Quick-Step) 81

3. Michael Matthews (Australia / Sunweb) 66

4. Andre Greipel (Germany / Lotto) 63

5. Alexander Kristoff (Norway / Katusha) 43

Tailors and retailers miss out on back-to-school rush

Tailors and retailers across the city said it was an ominous start to what is usually a busy season for sales.
With many parents opting to continue home learning for their children, the usual rush to buy school uniforms was muted this year.
“So far we have taken about 70 to 80 orders for items like shirts and trousers,” said Vikram Attrai, manager at Stallion Bespoke Tailors in Dubai.
“Last year in the same period we had about 200 orders and lots of demand.
“We custom fit uniform pieces and use materials such as cotton, wool and cashmere.
“Depending on size, a white shirt with logo is priced at about Dh100 to Dh150 and shorts, trousers, skirts and dresses cost between Dh150 to Dh250 a piece.”

A spokesman for Threads, a uniform shop based in Times Square Centre Dubai, said customer footfall had slowed down dramatically over the past few months.

“Now parents have the option to keep children doing online learning they don’t need uniforms so it has quietened down.”

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