ABU DHABI // Almost 1,600 impounded cars are to be auctioned off to the public if they are not claimed by their owners.
The vehicles have been left for more than a year at the Bani Yas Vehicles Impounding Yard, the state news agency Wam reported.
The unclaimed vehicles will be put up for auction.
Last month, an auction held in Dubai drew international attention after it was rumoured that a Ferrari Enzo, worth US$1million (Dh3.6m), was to be put up for sale.
Although potential owners were left disappointed when the car failed to show, there is a possibility it will be offered for sale at a later date.
The municipality's tough stance on abandoned cars has been welcomed by residents.
Syed Yousuf Aftab, from Abu Dhabi, said: "This is a good move, it would ease traffic in car parks as abandoned cars choke vehicular movements."
He also suggested that the municipality should come up with solutions for those who leave their cars in car parks while they are out of the country on holiday.
"I would urge the concerned authorities to provide more parking spaces for residents where parking has already been implemented," Mr Aftab added.
Another resident, MA Mannan, said those who abandon their cars and leave the country only create problems for others. "It's good that the authorities will notify the owner and impound the car."
The Dubai Municipality classifies a vehicle as being abandoned once it has been left unattended in a public area, such as a car park or public road, for two weeks.
On the 14th day, ministry officials put a notice to the vehicle warning the owner that they have a further 24 hours to move it before it is impounded.
According to the municipality, there has been an increase in the number of abandoned vehicles over the past year.
Records for the first quarter of 2012 showed 3,040 abandoned vehicles - up more than 10 per cent from last year's statistics.