OK, we have all read the articles claiming that over 3000 high end vehicles have been abandoned at Dubai airport because their owners had lost their jobs and couldn’t make the payments. We have also read the denial from the local government that the actual number was four.
So what are the facts? First of all, the reporter who wrote the original story was quoting an “unnamed source” at the airport. That should tell you something right there. We were also told that people left for Christmas, didn’t return, and thus abandoned their cars.
OK, let’s review the bidding.
You have an airport parking operation. How long does a car have to be in the lot before it is considered abandoned? People living in Dubai travel a LOT. They stay away for months at a time. Surely the locals have figured that you don’t tow a car from that lot after two weeks. So just how long do you wait. This is a problem, I should think.
The second issue concerns what was done with the cars when they were towed. It would seem that the airport would impound and sell the cars at a discount. So there should be a web site
This article seems to add some clarity.
There were just over 3000 cars repossessed by banks in Dubai last year. Not abandoned at the airport, although some were. My guess is that most were left wherever or picked up by the lending companies when the payments weren’t made. There are over half a million cars in Dubai,. Most of them high end vehicles. This would mean that less than one percent were repossessed, abandoned, or otherwise so disposed.
I don’t know if this is a big number or not. But it seems that the local parking folks at the airport aren’t the ones stuck with the problem. According to this article, about 40 were picked up at the end of the year.
However it makes a great story. ABFAB Dubai is now in the dumps, the gazillionaires are now destitute and have to leave their Mercedes and Rolls Royces at the airport as they flee the town. Turns out most of them are crooks who abandon their cars when they find the cops hot on their trail.
But why should we let a little thing like the facts get in the way of a good story. It’s the beginning of a wonderful urban legend. The airport parking operation is finding a hundred abandoned cars a day. That’s about 4 an hour. They must have a very busy operation. Don’t people look at these stories and question them prima face? Editors sell papers, not facts.
PS – I’m told by reliable sources that Dubai makes its money on trade, it has no oil. So everything is fine as long as trade is fine. All the money in the emirates is in Abu Dhabi.