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Posted On: 20 April 2015 07:22 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

Festival visitors jostle for space at Souq Waqif car park

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Visitors of Souq Waqif, particularly those who attended the Souq Waqif Celebrations 2015, have observed that there is a need to build more parking areas to address the growing demand in Qatar.
Only recently, Souq Waqif had opened the newly-constructed North Underground Car Parking facility, which could accommodate as much as 2,000 vehicles.
But during the 10-day Souq Waqif Celebrations 2015 held from April 9 to 18, visitors who flocked to the area had difficulty finding parking in the new underground facility and in other areas within the vicinity.
Last Friday, some motorists had to go around the underground parking’s three levels for more than 45 minutes just to get a parking space. Some motorists stayed behind while their families left the parking lot. Other drivers, meanwhile, drove around the three levels until they chanced upon other vehicles leaving the area.
A motorist speaking to Gulf Times said: “The trick to finding space in a crowded parking lot is to park your vehicle in one area and wait for other motorists to leave. The practice saves on petrol but more than just fuel efficiency, staying put is less stressful rather than driving around in circles.”
This was echoed by an attendant of the North Underground Car Parking facility, who lamented that many drivers “have very short tempers.”
He narrated that last Thursday night some motorists honked horns for almost a minute as a long queue of vehicles formed at the exit points of basement 2 leading towards
basement 1.
“The noise inside an enclosed space only added to the frustration of other drivers, agitating them further.
“Our job is to make sure that traffic flow is continuous, especially at the entrance and exits of the parking facility. But once inside, drivers can park alongside other cars if they prefer to wait for a
vacant slot,” the attendant said.
A waiter of one of the restaurants along the Souq Alley said throngs of customers flocked to the area on the eve of the Souq Waqif Celebrations 2015 forcing him to take on double shifts.
“I was supposed to end my shift at 2am but due to the large number of customers that arrived that night, the management had asked a few other waiters, including myself, to extend our working hours,” he said.
A staff of the Souq Waqif Information Centre said preparations are underway to build the Shiyouk car parking, which is expected to accommodate around 3,000
Shiyouk car parking is located in between the Emiri Diwan and the Msheireb Downtown project.