Parking spaces have been added to the list of ladies-only perks in the UAE.

An Abu Dhabi mall has created more than 80 pink parking bays dedicated to female shoppers.

Al Wahda Mall says it is the first shopping mall in the emirate to offer women-only parking, in line with a recent government initiative.

In August, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport designated 182 pink-and-white parking spaces in the capital especially for ladies, saying they would help maintain women’s privacy.

As for the mall? Well, it wants to keep the ladies coming back to spend their dirhams.

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“More than 50 percent of shoppers at Al Wahda Mall are women, hence we are always looking at providing them with the best shopping experience,” said general manager Mohammed Nauman Thakur.

“Reserved parking spaces for women shoppers encourages them to visit the mall more often.”

The “pink parking” spots will be located in the ground floor of the mall, and in the extension area.

Ladies-only parking is not exclusive to the UAE. Designated spaces can also be found in Germany, China and Korea.

German authorities came up with the idea in the 1990s as a way of keeping women safe in carpark buildings, by ensuring the spaces were well-lit, close to exits, and under video surveillance.

However, the parking bays have also been criticised as sexist. In China, a shopping mall came under fire for introducing ladies-only parking spaces that were 30cm wider than normal.

Many argued they perpetuated the stereotype that women are worse drivers than men.

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