Shortage of parking space has become an increasing problem at many shopping malls as the number of parking slots are not enough to meet the number of visiting vehicles.
The situation becomes worse when more people visit shopping malls during the weekends. People say that they have started to park their vehicles at places away from shopping malls and on the roadside, leaving their vehicles under the hot sun in day time.
Adding to the burden Villaggio Mall has temporally closed a section of its parking area for construction work. The section would be closed for a long period until the building work is completed and the parking area is reconstructed, according to sources.
Villaggio Mall has about 220 stores and it receives over one million visitors per month. There are several covered sheds for parking and each of them has capacity to park approximately 40 vehicles. However, visitors to the mall at many occasions are forced to park their vehicles near the Aspire Park, The Torch Tower or on roadside as no empty slot could be found.
“We go to the Villaggio usually during the weekends and it is very difficult to find a parking space and the situation has become worst since the closure of a section. Last week we had to park near the Aspire Park and walk, said Ishani Prasad, a frequent visitor to the mall.
Visitors to the Hyatt Plaza too experience similar parking problems as new showrooms and department stores have been opened in the mall, although the parking facilities have not been expanded.
“They have opened new shops. And it becomes a problem during the weekends because many people come here,” said Aman, an Arab national at the Hyatt Plaza, yesterday.
The problem is experienced in a different dimension by visitors to the City Centre due to the pay parking scheme and less space even though the mall has space for nearly 2000 vehicles. Even with the huge parking space still people park their vehicles on roadside and other places.
The parking fee has been fixed at QR2 for the first hour, QR3 for the second hour, QR3 for the third hour and QR10 each for every hour thereafter.
“We spent a few hours and ended up paying nearly QR50 for parking, its expensive. If someone has to watch a film and does shopping it might coast more,” said an Indian expatriate.
Besides the visitors, even people working at outlets within the City Centre face problem in finding parking space. The tenets are given a special rate of nearly QR500 as a monthly rate. “We actually don’t have a proper place to park the vehicles and the issue is not taken up. QR500 is expensive for us. We have to be careful while parking on road side as we might end up fined by the traffic department,” said an employee at an outlet in City Centre.
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