Free trials for paid parking at two of Dubai's busiest malls caused heavy traffic congestion yesterday.
Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre, both operated by the Majid Al Futtaim Group, became gridlocked during the afternoon as many customers experienced the system for the first time, UAE daily Gulf News reported.
But Fareed Abdul Rahman, vice-president of Divisional Asset Management at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, told the paper he was very pleased with how the trial period had begun.
He said: "There has been some congestion [over the last few days] but that is because we have personnel at every gate communicating with the public and educating them about the scheme...It is very important that visitors to the mall feel confident and understand the new system."
During the trial period, customers don't have to pay for parking but they do have to validate their tickets at any of the machines located at entrance/exit points around the mall.
The trial period runs until September 10 - the day after the opening of Dubai Metro - when parking charges will apply to vehicles staying for longer than three hours.