Heavy parking fines fail to deter ‘furniture movers’ in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Despite the heavy fine for taking unallocated spaces in public parking lots in Abu Dhabi, “furniture makers” are continuing the practice saying they have no other option.

Furniture makers, also known informally as “house servants”, said they had very few parking spaces allotted to them in the city center, which is their main business location.

These expatriates own pick-ups or delivery vans that are used to move furniture and other items from residents who change homes.

The moving companies stated that they would be fined between 500 and 1000 Dh for violations. The Abu Dhabi Police, Mawaqif and Abu Dhabi Police are fines.

Mawaqif is the government agency that issues parking permits in Abu Dhabi.

Overcrowding problem

The situation has resulted in an overcrowding of moving companies in the parking lots, as Gulf News recently discovered during a recent visit to Madinat Zayed, a popular shopping area in Abu Dhabi.

The moving companies, who earn around Dh3,000-4,000 per month, sometimes collect fines of Dh1,000-2,000 per month.

Ebrahim Khan, a 24-year-old furniture maker, said, “We have a freight permit to move goods, but parking is a big problem for us in the city. Mawaqif and the municipality do not allow us to park in the public parking lots. They only gave us 10 parking spaces which stay full all the time. This area [Madinat Zayed] gives us good business – good customer participation – and we risk parking here all day. “

Despite paying such heavy fines, the moving companies said they are still in the business as it is not easy for them to find alternative work as they have been in the same business for years.

They work legally according to the traffic rules, but are fined for violating parking and street regulations and for “distorting the cityscape” through clustering within the city.

Your transport vehicles are not allowed to stay in the city – they must park in Musaffah for long-term parking.

However, Rauf Haider, a resident of Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi, said they are struggling to get parking as these movers occupy slots: “Paking is a big problem in the city and they are [movers] should move out. Always near the post office area and other neighborhood streets, these truckers park fearlessly here, making it difficult for residents to find parking. “

Madinat Zayed is one of the most densely populated areas of the capital, and according to Haider, finding parking space is a Herculean task, especially in the evenings when shoppers are crowding the area. “I believe you [movers] should park outside of town and leave space for residents. Even though park inspectors drive them away, they keep coming back, ”said the Indian expat.

“Whenever we pass them, they immediately approach our vehicles and wave their hands to ask us if we need a transport service,” he said.

Cheaper choice

These furniture makers are supported by residents who want to move as they offer cheaper prices than professional moving companies and packers.

“For moving house furniture from Abu Dhabi to Musaffah on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, we only charge Dh200 to Dh250, while a similar move by larger moving companies and packers would cost more than Dh1,000,” said Khan, a furniture removal company.

“It’s been about two months since Mawaqif gave us about 10 parking spaces in a row next to the mosque at the post office, but that’s not enough for us. If we park outside these parking lots, we will be punished by the Mawaqif inspectors, ”he said.

He added, “Mawaqif and the police – they each punished us Dh500 for the same injury. But when community inspectors make a round of the area, they impose a Dh1,000 fine. “

Practice on the street

There are a lot of large trucks in downtown Abu Dhabi, but there are around 80 to 100 trucks in Madinat Zayed.

Police fined truck drivers for breaking traffic rules by blocking access to other parked vehicles in the city and starting to load the trucks onto the streets themselves.

Rasool Habib, 30, a Pakistani expatriate, said: “In some areas of the city, parking is difficult to find, even after waiting for hours. So ultimately we risk charging on the street. If we’re lucky, the police won’t catch us and we won’t be punished. “

The moving companies are usually in the parking lot next to the main post office on Muroor Road from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day.

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