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Posted On: 7 May 2013 04:50 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

Free parking near airport can cost you dearly

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Most people flying short trips overseas tend to park their cars in the free parking lots near the Doha International Airport (DIA) park avoiding parking slot. They are, however, shocked upon their return as they see not one or two but three to four stickers on their cars for wrong parking. Avoiding paying parking charges they end up coughing up huge fines just like ‘penny wise, pound foolish’. It has been discovered that some vehicles parked at wrong places, near the old airport park carried about three to four stickers for traffic violations. Investigations revealed that some car owners, not finding proper parking space in the lot, park their vehicles along the walk-ways for several days, in haste of catching up flights. It has been become a common practice of some frequent fliers who prefer to park their cars at the free-parking space outside the departure terminal (which is meant for the park visitors) instead of parking at the DIA facilities to avoid paying heavy parking charges. “I went to Delhi for a week to recruit some sales executives for our company. As I live at Ain Khalid, finding taxi to the airport was difficult. One of my colleagues advised me to take my car and park it here. But when I reached, the parking was already full. And I never wanted to pay the airport’s QR120 per day parking charges. Not knowing what to do, I just parked here, and now I am seeing four stickers. I really don’t know how much it will be,” said an Indian who looked apparently upset. Due to such practices, the daily park visitors, not finding parking space, as it remains pre-occupied, are forced to park their vehicles along with the walk-ways. But unfortunately, when they return after jogging at the park, they also find stickers on their vehicles for wrong parking. As a result, previous violators already carrying stickers on their vehicles either prefer to wait for somebody to vacate a parking slot or leave with out exercise, as the waiting time may go over half-an-hour. The park, due to its proximity to the departure terminal, has become a favourite destination of car parking, especially for short trip fliers. It has also been noticed that some of the fliers, with more than two luggages, even do not mind carrying airport trolleys outside the airport premises up to the Airport park. At the DIA, there are 900 parking spaces outside the departure and arrival terminals for cars that will park for a maximum of 30 days. Cars requiring longer term parking and for employees of the airport, the long-term car park, has 350 parking spaces with different parking rates. Long term car parking rates are QR2 per hour or QR45 per day. The Season Cards for short-term parking are also available at QR1000 per month. Parking charges at some shopping centres are not cheap either. The rates are progressive and sometimes the amount may surpass the bill of your dinner at a restaurant in a mall. For example parking charges at a prominent shopping mall in West Bay is QR2 for the first hour and QR3 each for the next two hours, which sounds reasonable, but after three hours they charge QR10 per hour which may go up to QR100.