Officials in Abu Dhabi have caused outrage after passing a new law that allows them to issue large fines and confiscate cars to protect the city’s appearance.
Many residents of the United Arab Emirates’ capital city spend summer abroad to avoid the searing heat. During this time, they leave their cars out in public and residential areas, where they gather dust.
Officials are confiscating such vehicles as they ‘disfigure the public appearance’. Owners can be fined and have their cars towed away even if they’re parked with valid permits and documentation.
Residents are now paying people to clean their cars while they’re away, and new mobile car cleaning businesses have popped up to help people avoid fines.
Tarun Tankha, a resident of Abu Dhabi, told local newspaper The National: “Most expatriates who live in the city don’t have underground parking for the building, so we have to park in the residents-only parking areas and we pay for that.
“Since I have seen fines issued, I asked my building security guard to clean it and I give him some money.”
The Abu Dhabi Municipality, which is responsible for issuing fines, said that it costs owners Dh3,000 (around £640) to have a dirty car removed.
“If the vehicle is found to be disfiguring the public appearance, a warning is pasted to remove the vehicle within three working days. If they fail to remove or clean it, a fine is issued and the vehicle is towed away,” a municipality spokesman said.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.