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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Abu Dhabi authorities fine 500 motorists for dusty cars 

Holidaymakers caught out by drive against dirty vehicles, though long-stay municipal yard may prove popular

A dirty car with the fine ticket parked in the parking area near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National
A dirty car with the fine ticket parked in the parking area near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National

Almost 500 motorists have been fined for having excessively dirty vehicles in part of a crackdown that has seen holidaymakers caught out for leaving their cars in the street.

Abu Dhabi Municipality handed out the Dh3,000 penalty for 'distorting the public image' since the beginning of April.

As The National reported on Sunday, city residents returned from holiday to find either fines on their windows or their cars impounded.

Municipal officials said they must store them in a garage or underground parking if available, or ask a friend or family remember to the car cleaned.

Yesterday the municipality said a low-cost parking lot is available in the Zafranah area of downtown Abu Dhabi for those jetting off on holiday.

The authority also said it had issued 479 fines between April 1 and July 22. It said inspectors are obliged to place a daily warning on dirty cars three times ahead of issuing a fine and towing the car.

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“So if after the first warning, the owner did not move the car, and the second, and the third it means that the car is neglected,” the spokesman said.

Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Abu Dhabi Police commander-in-chief, said that abandoned cars can pose security risks.

“We coordinate with the municipality to have them removed,” said Maj Gen Al Romaithi said at a police event yesterday.

He reminded drivers that they cannot park in the airport before they travel, adding “they should park in their building or garage".

Residents expressed their frustration at not being able to park their scar outside their home while away, as inspectors have been checking residential areas.

A dirty car parked in the parking area near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National
A dirty car parked in the parking area near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National

A 2013 ban on washing vehicles in the street means that the simple option to clean a neighbour's car is also not available, meaning they could have to take it to a professional car wash.

“And to commission someone to take my car to the car and wash it means I have to leave my car keys with them for two or three weeks, and I don’t think this acceptable to anyone,” said Mohamemd Al Daqqaq, a 31-year-old marketing manager from Jordan, who received a warning after returning home to find his car dusty.

He added that he has been seeing many fines on the windshield of dusty cars at the parking lots close to where he lives, near the Corniche Formal Park.

“The warning wouldn’t make a difference when people are on holiday, because they can’t see it, and once they return they will be surprised with the fine.”

Instead the municipality proposed a solution for travellers to park their car at an open yard for a small fee of around Dh 15 per day.

“Anyone can go to the Zaafaranah Municipality Center and they will guide him where to take his car – the yard is inside the city,” added the spokesman.

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