New technology spells end to UAE parking hell

A robotic car park opened today in Dubai that is hoped will alleviate the emirate's dire parking problem. The 765-vehicle facility is part of Ibn Battuta Gate, the 40,000m2 mixed-use scheme on the Sheikh Zayed highway.

Drivers simply leave their vehicles at an entry station where they are picked up by computerised lifts that place them safely into a shelving system. When you leave you wait at a pick up point while the machine retrieves your car and delivers it back to you.

The car park is part of phase one of Ibn Battuta Gate, which is now complete. The scheme is being developed by Dubai-based Asteco Development Management, which was appointed by owner Seven Tides.

Andrew Chambers, managing director of Asteco, said: “This robotic car park will be especially convenient for the office tenants; parking or retrieval can be completed in less than 160 seconds. It is safe and secure and obviously doesn't expose expensive paintwork to the abrasive elements during lengthy office hours.”

The technology behind the automated parking system was developed by US-based Robotic Parking. The car park is the first of its kind in the Middle East.

Sami K Issa, general manager of Robotic Systems, the technology licensor, said: “As more and more vehicles in the UAE and the Middle East share a limited volume of available space, the need for a solution has become acute.

“In our view, it is not simply more space but more intelligent use of space which will solve the parking problems of today and tomorrow. With this technology, you don't need to drive through the garage to find a parking space.”