Will an 'Airbnb For Parking' Work In Dubai?
No one likes parking fines.
Two young Dubai entrepreneurs are in the process of launching an 'Airbnb for parking' called YallaParking. For those who haven't used one of these services, it will allow you to rent out someone else's car space on-demand. We don't yet have an app for parking in Dubai, so we're interested to see if it'll take off.
Craig McDonald and Harrison Jones are building YallaParking to make it easier for people looking for parking in Dubai. Having spoken with friends they believe many drivers find it 'impossible' to find a spot when they need it.
However, a report found that 80% of professionals spend ‘no time at all’ finding parking at work. Admittedly the sample size for the study was only 50 people, which isn't enough to take the results seriously.
When Uber first came to Dubai, many felt it wouldn't take off. How wrong they were. We don't have data on the number of Uber users in Dubai but if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, it's been a huge success and now has a strong local competitor, Careem, clearly signifying demand.
Parking apps have taken off in the US and elsewhere.
One company, SpotHero, has raised nearly USD$30m and is now available in over 10 cities in the US. Their model allows you to see on your smartphone where the free parking spots are in the city and book them in real time. SpotHero began by working with individual parking space owners but found that model too difficult to scale so now they partner with car park owners who have 100s of car spaces that are not always in use. Having access to lots of car spaces allows SpotHero to offer drivers parking when they need it.
Another company, Luxe, allows you to drop your car off wherever they you and then to collect it at a location you choose later that day. It's now common to see Luxe parking valets zipping around cities in the US wearing blue Luxe jackets going from one car pickup to another.
YallaParking seems to be replicating the SpotHero model. They haven't published how much it'll cost nor is it clear how many parking spaces they will have available and where. If the success of Uber, Airbnb and other on demand products are anything to go by, we reckon YallaParking will take off if the technology is easy to use and if there are car spaces readily available at peak hours.
If you are interested to give it a try, you can search for available spaces on their site or request to have your free space made available to rent.