Posted on June 24, 2011

The pay parking scheme at the City Center Doha (CCD) mall is generating mixed reactions from people a week ahead of its implementation. While some say it would solve the current parking problem of the leading mall, others say it is a profit-making scheme with some fearing some other public places would implement it in the near future.

LuLu Hypermarket, however, denied rumours they would charge motorists for using their parking facility. “Our parking areas are currently undergoing expansion. This is to provide them with better parking facility without additional payment,” said an official of the leading hypermarket. City Center management’s decision to introduce pay parking was prompted by employees of nearby companies who are using a big portion of the mall’s parking space as their offices did not have enough parking lots.

Parking fees have been fixed at QR2 for the first hour, QR3 for the second hour, QR3 for the third hour and QR10 each for further hours, according to a circular issued by the mall management to the tenants. The first week trial, however, will be free of charge to famialiarise visitors with the new system.

“Hopefully, this will put an end to overcrowding in the parking area especially during weekends since it will reduce car parking time of visitors allowing other people who wish to come to the mall to park conveniently,” said an Asian expatriate, adding it will also put an end to illegal park hiring.

“This is a significant and bold step taken by the mall management to prevent staff of some neighbouring offices to park during working hours. However, frequent visitors to the mall should not be forced to pay to encourage them to come,” said another expatriate.

However, some customers were not happy with the management’s move to charge people for using the mall’s car park. “It is very clear this is a profit-making scheme of the management,” said an Arab resident. He fears the management would impose the same scheme in other places like Hamad Hospital, which charges QR15 for valet parking with penalties reaching over QR200 for parking beyond the maximum time allowed.

Some also fear that this might cause overcrowding in the Tower Area for customers who would avoid being charged for parking their cars in the CCD mall. Others also worry it would cause precedence as it might be implemented in public parks, ministries and other offices.

source: The Peninsula