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Dubai parking operator IPO will fund EV expansion plans

Parkin controls more than 90 percent of Dubai's paid parking provision Unsplash/Boitumelo
The IPO, the first privatisation deal of 2024, gives Parkin an overall valuation of AED6.3 billion
  • Parkin IPO opens in March
  • 25% of shares available
  • To fund tech upgrades

Parkin, the Dubai government’s parking management company, plans to channel proceeds from its initial public offering into technological upgrades, including expansion of its electric vehicle services. 

The company will release nearly 25 percent of its shares on the Dubai Financial Market next month. 

The offering begins on March 5, with a price range to be announced on the same day, and the subscription period ends on March 12.

Parkin has already rolled out technology, such as 100 percent solar-powered charging meters, paperless tickets and fines, transitioning to a hybrid vehicle fleet, and expanding smart parking inspection capabilities, as part of its plans to have net-zero operations by 2050.

“Customer experience is all about the underlying technology and what it offers, so that’s going to be our main focus going forward,” Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, chairman of Parkin, told AGBI at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Globally, parking is the most suited platform to provide EV services because it is spread across locations and because of the time it takes to charge the vehicle. We are keen on exploring that opportunity.”

Mohamed Al Ali, CEO of Parkin, added that the company is in talks with potential strategic partners who are leaders in EV technology to fuel its expansion plans.

This initiative is still in its nascent stages but is considered a critical component of Parkin’s growth strategy, he said. 

Parkin, which has more than 90 percent control of Dubai’s paid parking, offers free EV charging at several stations.

The listing marks Dubai’s first privatisation deal of the year.

This Parkin IPO is also part of a broader strategy to monetise state-linked entities to boost capital markets.

In January, under new legislation, Parkin transitioned into a public joint stock entity, poised to float about 750 million shares. 

According to its prospectus, Parkin plans to target future revenue through various strategies, including converting unpaid parking spaces, partnering with real estate developers, introducing digital efficiencies and expanding commercial activities like food truck rentals and car services.

Parkin’s operations span 175,000 spaces in 85 locations and it has another 4,000 spaces at nine multi-storey car parks, as well as 18,000 spaces at seven developer-owned facilities.

Last year, Parkin reported revenues of about AED779 million, up from AED686 million in 2022.

It is the third Roads and Transport Authority entity to float and list on Dubai Financial Market, after toll-road operator Salik and Dubai Taxi Co. 

The Roads and Transport Authority raised $1 billion in 2022 through the sale of a 25 percent stake in Salik, followed by an additional $315 million in December from divesting a similar stake in the Dubai Taxi Corporation, its public taxi venture.

Both were oversubscribed multiple times.

Salik’s stock has surged by 80 percent since its listing in September 2022.

Dubai Taxi, meanwhile, has recorded a 20 percent increase in its share price since its market debut on December 6.

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