Complete guide on how to use SMS parking in Sharjah

Complete guide on how to use SMS parking in Sharjah

Sharjah, the third most populous and largest city among the seven emirates of the UAE, faces a significant challenge in parking management due to its heavy traffic. Despite efforts by the municipal corporation to streamline parking, finding a slot remains a daunting task. The introduction of SMS parking has revolutionized this aspect, offering a cashless facility that significantly eases the burden for drivers.

Through this guide, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of how to utilize SMS parking in Sharjah, ensuring that you can navigate this convenient system with ease and efficiency.

Understanding SMS Parking in Sharjah

SMS parking in Sharjah is a modern, user-friendly system designed to facilitate cashless parking payments through simple text messages. This system allows drivers to:

  • Register their vehicle and mobile number to use the service.
  • Send an SMS to a designated number to pay for parking.
  • Receive a virtual permit as a confirmation message, which serves as proof of payment.

The introduction of SMS parking in Sharjah represents a significant step forward in making parking management more efficient and user-friendly, aligning with the emirate's broader goals of leveraging technology to enhance public services.

Setting Up for SMS Parking

Getting started with SMS parking in Sharjah involves a straightforward registration process. Here’s how to set up your account for SMS parking:

  1. Registration Requirements:
    • Mobile Number: Must be registered in the UAE with networks like Etisalat, DU, or Virgin Mobile.
    • Vehicle Registration Details: Including the plate source and plate number.
  2. Registration Process:
    • For UAE-registered Vehicles: Send an SMS to 5566 with your vehicle's plate number and desired nickname for quick future payments.
    • For Non-private/GCC Plates: Registration is required via the Sharjah Municipality website ( or by calling 993. This step is crucial for vehicles with plates outside of Sharjah or non-private plates within the GCC.
  3. Activation:
    • Upon completing the registration process, you’ll receive a confirmation SMS. This confirms that your vehicle is now registered for SMS parking in Sharjah, and you can start using the service immediately.

This setup ensures that users can access the SMS parking system effortlessly, making parking in Sharjah a hassle-free experience.

How to Use SMS Parking in Sharjah

Using the SMS parking system in Sharjah is straightforward. Here's a step-by-step guide to ensure you can navigate the process without any hitches:

Paying for Initial Parking Permit

  1. Find Your Parking Spot: Once you locate a suitable parking spot in Sharjah, prepare to send an SMS to book your space.
  2. Compose Your SMS: Use the following format to request parking:
    • Format: [Plate source] [space] [Plate number] [space] [Duration]
    • Examples:
      • For a vehicle registered in Sharjah: SHJ 1234 1 (for one hour of parking)
      • For the parking permit in Arabic: Add A at the beginning, like A SHJ 1234 1.
  3. Send the SMS to 5566: After sending, you will receive a confirmation message, which serves as your virtual parking permit. Do not delete this message, as it may be required for verification.

Extension of Parking Permit

  • One-hour Parking Limit: Initially, SMS parking permits in Sharjah are valid for one hour. You'll receive a reminder SMS ten minutes before expiry.
  • Extending Your Parking: To extend for another hour, simply reply with Y to the reminder SMS from 5566. You'll receive a confirmation of your parking extension.
  • Locations: Paid parking zones are strategically located across Sharjah, including major areas like Al Ghuwair, Umm Al Tarafa, and more, ensuring coverage in all busy areas and major roads.
  • Timings: Paid parking is available from 08:00 am to 10:00 pm, excluding Fridays and public holidays. Some areas offer free parking outside these hours.

Fees and Charges

Here's a detailed breakdown of the fees and charges for using SMS parking in Sharjah, offering clarity on how much you'll be expected to pay for different durations of parking:

  • Standard Parking Rates:
    • For 1 hour: AED 2.00
    • For 2 hours: AED 5.00
    • For 3 hours: AED 8.00
    • For 5 hours: AED 12.00
  • SMS Charges: An additional charge of 38 fils applies to each SMS sent to 5566 for parking services. This fee is applied to your mobile service account or deducted from your prepaid balance.
  • Fines for Parking Violations:
    • Exceeding parking time without extension: AED 100
    • Failure to purchase or display a parking ticket: AED 150
    • Parking in spots reserved for the disabled: AED 1,000
    • Misuse of parking equipment or facilities: AED 500

It's crucial to be mindful of these charges and ensure that you're paying the correct amount for the intended parking duration to avoid unnecessary fines.

Benefits of Using SMS Parking

Choosing SMS parking in Sharjah brings several key advantages that enhance the parking experience for drivers:

  • Convenient and efficient way to pay for parking without needing cash or visiting a payment machine.
  • Saves time by allowing immediate and remote payment for parking spots, making it easier to manage parking in a busy schedule.
  • Flexibility to extend parking duration through a simple SMS, providing peace of mind if your plans extend unexpectedly.
  • Instant confirmation messages serve as proof of payment, ensuring compliance with parking regulations and avoiding fines.
  • Eliminates the need to find and use parking meters, reducing the risk of parking fines for expired meters.
  • Transparent payment system with clear fee structures, helping drivers to budget their parking expenses effectively.

These benefits underscore the value of SMS parking as a solution that not only simplifies the parking process but also aligns with the modern, digital-first approach of Sharjah's urban management.

Tips and Best Practices

To make the most of the SMS parking system in Sharjah and avoid common pitfalls, consider these tips and best practices:

  • Before sending, ensure your SMS follows the correct format: [Plate source] [space] [Plate number] [space] [Duration]. Mistakes can lead to failed transactions or incorrect bookings.
  • Verify you're parking within a zone that supports SMS parking and is covered within the duration you're paying for. Look out for zone signs to avoid fines.
  • Your confirmation SMS is your virtual permit. Avoid deleting it until your parking session concludes, as it may be required for verification.
  • Be aware of your parking session's expiration time. If you plan to extend your stay, do so before your current session expires to avoid fines.
  • Ensure you have sufficient credit on your prepaid mobile account to cover the parking fees and the SMS charge.
  • If you're a frequent user, consider registering your vehicle with a nickname for easier and faster bookings in the future.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a hassle-free parking experience in Sharjah, fully leveraging the convenience and efficiency of SMS parking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I pay for parking in Sharjah via SMS?
Send an SMS to 5566 in the format: [Plate source] [space] [Plate number] [space] [Duration]. For Arabic, prepend "A" to your message.

What if I don’t receive a confirmation message after booking?
Double-check that the SMS was sent correctly. If issues persist, contact Sharjah Municipality's support for assistance.

Can I use SMS parking for multiple vehicles?
Yes, once registered, you can add multiple vehicles to your SMS parking account for easy management.

Is SMS parking available on Fridays and public holidays?
Paid parking zones are enforced from 08:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday to Thursday, excluding Fridays and public holidays. Some exceptions apply, so check local signage.

How do I extend my parking time via SMS?
Reply with "Y" to the reminder message sent 10 minutes before your session expires. You'll receive a confirmation of the extension.

What happens if I park longer than the time I paid for?
You risk receiving a fine for exceeding your parking duration. Extend your parking time via SMS to avoid this.

Can I cancel my parking session and get a refund?
Once a parking session is activated, it cannot be canceled or refunded. Plan your parking duration accordingly.

SMS parking in Sharjah offers a seamless, efficient, and user-friendly method for managing parking, aligning with the emirate's digital innovation goals. By embracing this system, drivers can significantly reduce the hassle associated with parking, enjoying the convenience of cashless transactions and the flexibility of remote management. This guide aims to equip you with all the knowledge to utilize SMS parking effectively, making your journeys in Sharjah smoother and more enjoyable.

Remember, the key to a seamless parking experience is understanding the system, adhering to the rules, and taking advantage of the digital conveniences offered by the city of Sharjah.

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