Sunday, January 19, 2014
11

The Oman Met office (facebook page here) has announced that it thinks it is going to rain here in Muscat (any pretty much everywhere else in Northern Oman) in the next 3 days... so I'll hold off on getting my car washed then.

Thanks to Mark for the image
Now then, a few months ago the parking situation at the airport got a little... impossible. I blogged about the situation here, and local papers even commented on it (the parking issue, not my blog post)! I remember reading in December this Muscat Daily article and thinking, wtf? In summary, the article said: More space and increased fees from January 1st. Yet when you read the article it went on to say parking fees would now be universally be 500bz per half hour (after the first hour) and Car Park 2 would be dedicated to airport staff only. I meant to write about it in December, but, well, OK I was lazy and didn't.

I'm not sure what went through the journalists mind when they wrote that article, but that headline should have read LESS parking spaces, and higher fees. It appears the spin doctors of Muscat International Airport - carparks division had done their job well! For those of you reading this that are not familiar with the Car Park's at the airport here, the single largest park is Car Park 2 - now dedicated to airport staff only, and always half empty, or half full, depending on how you like to look at things.

I've had the misfortune of visiting the airport twice in 2014 so far, one was a pick-up and one was a drop-off. I've noticed that in front of Car Park 1 and 3, there is now a new strip with spikes in it that will puncture a vehicles tires if reversed over. That's right, if you line up to enter the parking lot, and find that you can't get in, you have literally no choice but to sit there now until the gate opens (theoretically if there is a space that's become available) or be prepared to deal with 4 punctures.

How this has been allowed to happen (the reduction in parking spaces) is beyond me, and my only thoughts are is this to push more use of taxi's at the airport? How many of you have ordered a taxi to pick you up at your home, and have had that taxi turn up late, or not at all? My experience with this is... they never turn up when they're supposed to. Seeing as there is no worth-while public transport links to the airport, it would seem that MCT are attempting to annoy as many of their customers as possible.

Staff are there to run the airport, it's the customers that are the reason they have a job. Staff should not be parking in these badly needed parking spaces, yet here we are. I doubt it'll change now, and so we're doomed to not knowing whether we're actually going to find a parking spot or not when we go to the airport. So once again I ask... is there not a consumer protection organization that can be approached to force the airport to provide adequate facilities to it's customers?

le fin.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Public Toilets and Public Transport - Without addressing these two major issues, I don't see how/why Oman is promoting itself for Tourism.

Anonymous said...

I had to catch a flight last week to Bombay and took my car. It was a chaos at the airport, no clear sign stating that Park 2 is now for staff, (a staff member informed me when I was in the queue) by the time i reached Park 1 and 3 it was a pandemonium let loose. Finally had to call my friend who stays near the airport to pick up my car and i went inside for my flight. Better to have someone drop and pick up from airport or you will end up missing your flight !

Anonymous said...

I left my car in the car park and came back to find they had increased the fees with out telling me.... so instead of 22 rials to get the car out I had to pay 55 rials.... a bit of a price increases!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I left my car in the car park and came back to find they had increased the fees with out telling me.... so instead of 22 rials to get the car out I had to pay 55 rials.... a bit of a price increases!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

There is indeed a consumer protection organization in Oman, and yes, they can certainly be approached regarding poor service, misleading advertising, and many other types of grievances. They're known as the PACP, and one can read about their objectives and their work on their website (and one can even file a complaint on line).

Anonymous said...

They combined parking lots 1&3 to create more spaces. I'm not sure that makes up for the fact that parking lot 2 is now only for staff.

Anonymous said...

Nice article, unfortunatley it will most likely not make an impact with thei authorities as usual. I am in Dubai and when I came to muscat a few months back I went to the airport. HOLY CoW! I could not beleive that this was an international airport. The parking facilities were absolutely pathetic, even kabul airport in god forsaken afghanistan has better and more ample parking space lol. Apparently the authorities have never heard of something called MULTI storey car parks.. The last time I came to mct airport was over 15 years ago and it is the same, just goes to show the level of progress. All major govt. institutions in oman have done little. Just look at traffic accidents, Oman has the highest no of road accidents in the gcc and every year we read how many ppl have died in yet another accident. Nobody seems to be doing anything, the Police is either having to many doghnuts or just doesnt care about who they give licenses to. God damn petrol tankers of shell and oman oil are driven at above 130 kph on roads from sohar to mct and in the fast lane and yet the police doesnt fine such dangerous drivers. Even tough i drive a big cadillac escalade suv i still feel tense and uncomfortable everytimr I have to drive down to mct. Oh and now oman started marketing itself for Tourism when they dont even know the basics of it. The level of service, the facilities and standard that the UAe has is why it is such a hotspot off tourism. And look at oman, muscat's 5 star hotels arent even fully staffed during night hours, the famous grand Hyatt has just one poor guy standing in the reception from time to time after 12 midnight, no bellman nor doorman and no security staff, anyone could have done anything. I was able to waltz around the lobby for 20 minutes before one guy came. First he opened our car doors as I went back to sit in the car outiside the main entrance, then he went and got a trolley for luggage and then after taking the luggage in he finally said, WELCOME to the grand hyatt mr blah blah and then we checked in. That is the 5 star establishments. I was born in muscat and spent 15 years there and I have a deep love and care for the country, but somethings are just ridikulus. In countries Where the govt institutions really care for their people and their country, it shows in the level of infrastructure, the standard of life, the availability of amenites and services and the ease of communication between the public and the govt bodies.Just look at the Ministry of Oman's website, it says at the bottom 'Copy right 2002' yet we are in 2014. I wish that things will become better and my beautiful Oman will prosper and progress further. Long live His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, may he continue to lead oman in to the future under his wisdom and visionary leadership, and may Allah bless His Majesty with long and healthy life. And may the people of oman be blessed with more health, wealth and happiness :)

Anonymous said...

It's always been a nightmare parking at the airport. And if you're really unlucky, you will find your car blocked by some moron who thinks they can park anywhere..
Driving around Oman is another story. Once you get a license, make sure you have a life insurance too coz it's suicide out there.
And no, police didn't have too many doughnuts.. they eat shawarma here :)

Anonymous said...

The Parking situation at the Airport is FUCKING HORRIBLE!!! there I say it, fucking bloody pissed each time i go to the airport to take a flight.
Once got stuck at the gantry for fucking half hour just because the carpark is full, yeah it will be full when you fucking dont manage anything well. Capacity management is not Cold Fusion you fucktards airport management!!!
Go bulid some Multi-level parking you fucks!!! and teach ppl how to park!!! It fucking piss me off when the lots are all fill up and you can clearly see many double lots are park by inconsiderate FUCKTARDS who take 2 lots to park their Big cars.. Fuck you fucktards!!! dont just make the system hard to get licenses for silly reasons but ..GET A FUCKING PROPER school to teach these Fucktards to park, drive, SIGNAL properly and fail them again and again till they get it right !!!
Ok I'm done ranting...I will board my flight and not come back ...

Anonymous said...

"To better serve you MCT have doubled the price and given over half the parking to staff". Because obviously the staff have to park for free less than 50m from work or they won't actually turn up (not that they do much when they are there) and its not like you have an alternative airport you can use is it? Aren't monopolies just great??? On the same subject what is it with the parking in the Grand Mall? There is never any space - it is packed by 10.00 in the morning. It must be all the office workers parking there which sounds like a brilliant bit of planning - lets build a shopping mall in a country with no public transport without any car parking and they wonder why the place is deserted???

Anonymous said...

@ Anon above --- FUlly agree with parking space matter at MGM. Its a big disaster in planning stage itself. Wonder how come the biggies didnt think of this ? On what basis are they going to compete with Lulu ? No wonder Lulu rules. And there is nothing like Asian/ European taste, but the sheer amount of space they provide for easy in and out.

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