Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Car dumping

The reality behind that very silly tabloid story of thousands of cars left at the airport by fleeing expats is that abandoning cars is par for the course in this area.

There are figures based on reports from banks, car dealers and the police that about 1400 cars a year on average are abandoned around Dubai.

I guess the reason for the phenomenon is a combination of factors.It's a very transient society with people moving in or leaving every day. People come here 'for a couple of years', or they decide they don't like it and leave, or their contract finishes or, in more recent times, they lose their job.

Then there's the draconian debtor law.

And the time & frustration involved in doing anything like selling a car.

People borrow money from a bank to buy their car. Then for whatever reason they leave Dubai.

The easy way out is to think of the payments as a car rental or lease...and just leave it where you last parked it.

The giveaway is the amount of dust on the car.

Those left while the owners are on holiday get a layer of dust, but it's not too thick and it's cleaned off as soon as they get back.

Others though have a thick layer and they start to attract message writers.

In just over one kilometre in Dubai Marina this morning I saw a few that could still be holiday cars, but there are others in the thick dust category. It's quite a few abandoned cars for a short stretch of road:

But they're not all from Dubai:

And this BMW is a permanent fixture. It had already been there for months when I first posted about it in August 2009.

Here it is this morning...


EyeOnDubai said...

Amazing, isn't it. Where I used to live in the UK, the wheels would fall off on the first night, the interior would vanish the second, and by the third night there would be nothing left but a charred shell.

Gotta love this city sometimes!

Seabee said...

Good point EoD. There's stuff safely left lying around all around the city and it doesn't get taken.

Some shops in places like Knowledge Village are completely open, when they 'close' the shop they just pull some chairs across the entrance. The dhow loading dock on the Creek in Deira has millions of dollars of cargo just lying about night and day. And the gold souk - billions of $ in the shops and one cop sleeping in a chair at one end of the souk!

I must do a post on it...

Dave said...

And how many times do you head into a shop only to see several cars with their engines still running and the driver/s nowhere to be seen.... how long would these cars be left idling in a lot of other countries?

Bush Mechanic said...

It's a wonder that someone looking for a cheap car can't find the details of the bank and take over the repayments. Unless of course that as long as the cars remain lost, the bank can claim from their insurance for the lost vehicle.

rosh said...

I think one of the culture shocks relocating to NYC was stealing cars! I never understood why or HOW someone could / would want to steal a car?! It was alien. Not anymore though.

The other, seeing iron bars once stores closed. Sort of cold and scary.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way I could get these cars cheap as hell and ship them to the UK?

Seabee said...

Anon@7.02, they're auctioned off by the police so I guess they could be cheap as chips...except that the buyer has to pay outstanding traffic fines on them. And they're left hand drive.