While other cities suffer from high crime rates, or a lack of affordable housing, Dubai, the capital of all that is golden, is suffering the ultimate first world problem. It's streets are becoming strewn with abandoned luxury cars. Yes, with more than 3000 of them discovered in 2011, abandoned luxury cars are becoming a problem in Dubai.
Luxury cars are everywhere in Dubai, and throughout the United Arab Emirates. All that oil money must be spent, and often it is blown on the latest and greatest high-end super cars. However, even oil-rich Dubai is not immune from the markets, or the global economic crisis. Believe it or not, many in Dubai have fallen on hard times. In particular, newly wealthy ex-pats, often British have got caught up in the extravagant lifestyle of the rich Middle East states, and suffered when markets crashed.
High end sports cars are found with increasing regularity, covered in thick layers of dust at airport parking lots, or even on city streets. Many of these are some of the finest automobiles ever made. When wiped out by Dubai's own financial crisis, both locals and expatriates fled Dubai in a hurry, to avoid crippling debts, often abandoning their luxury super cars at the airport, as they skipped town, never to return. In the Middle East, having unpaid debts or having a cheque returned as NSF is a criminal offence. There are no bankruptcy laws in the UAE, so there is no protection for those who fall into debt, even accidentally. There have even been instances of foreigners being forbidden to leave the country after bouncing a cheque or missing a credit card payment.
One British expatriot said: "It's not just expats to blame for the irresponsible act of leaving expensive cars behind as they flee their debts, but many locals too. The aftermath of the global financial crisis affected people from all walks of life, not just foreign workers.
"Many took out big loans to finance flashy cars to keep up with their peers. But when things slowed down they have struggled to make repayments and have fallen into debt. Foreigners and locals have been caught out alike."
Many times these abandoned luxury cars are found in the parking lot at Dubai International Airport. When found, loan documents and letters of apology are sometimes found on the windshield, with the keys in the ignition. Abandoned vehicles that are discovered, are sold at auction by the police, often at bargain prices. Hundreds are auctioned each year, after a warning period during which owners may reclaim their vehicle.
While abandoned Ferraris, Porsches, BMWs, Mercedes and Range Rovers might seem like a good problem to have, local residents have been complaining. These abandoned luxury cars are becoming a problem, taking up valuable parking spots at the airport, and creating unsightly views in the luxurious city.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca