Don’t you hate it when you have too many luxury cars? I mean, how annoying is that?! You’re always like, Man, I don’t even know where to park all these luxury cars. Well, it’s actually a problem in Dubai. The city has been faced with the issue of people abandoning their high-end sports cars and leaving them to gather dust. After Dubai had a bit of a financial meltdown, car owners riddled with debt just started leaving their rides at the airport and taking off. The cars are still there.
This is a familiar sight when walking around the country’s airport parking lots.
Dusty sports cars, long abandoned, clog up parking lots.
It’s not just BMWs and Mercedes vehicles that get abandoned in Dubai. It’s also Ferraris and Porsches.
According to the BBC, a Ferrari Enzo worth more than $1 million was once abandoned in a Dubai airport parking lot.
So why are people leaving their luxury cars at the airports in Dubai?
The answer is actually relatively simple: Sharia law.
The UAE, like many Arab countries in the Middle East, observes Sharia law. Under Sharia law, not paying your debts is a criminal offense.
If you fall behind on your car payments, bounce a check, stop paying your credit card, or default on your mortgage, you go to prison. There is no bankruptcy protection in the UAE.
This means that all those fancy cars gathering dust in airport parking lots across the UAE were abandoned by owners who chose to escape the country instead of going to prison.
Many people took out big loans for fancy cars when things were booming as a way to keep up with their peers. Things then took a turn, and many decided to fly the coop rather than face jail time.
Both locals and foreigners are being blamed for abandoning their expensive cars.
When police discover an abandoned car, they issue a warning notice. If the owner fails to appear after 15 days, the car is impounded.
Most impounded vehicles are never claimed by their owners.
Police then auction off the cars, usually for pennies on the dollar.
Sadly, the trend of luxury cars being abandoned in Dubai shows no signs of slowing. On average, police in Dubai recover around 3,000 abandoned luxury cars every year.