Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Residents unhappy that ‘dirty’ cars are towed away while they’re on holiday

Abu Dhabi Municipality says the fine for having an unwashed car towed is Dh3,000 under laws protecting the city’s appearance and public health.
Dirty cars draw fines of Dh3,000 as the law seeks to protect the city’s appearance and public health. Delores Johnson / The National
Dirty cars draw fines of Dh3,000 as the law seeks to protect the city’s appearance and public health. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // The municipality is towing away dirty cars that are left in paid residential parking areas while their owners travel overseas.

Residents have expressed anger at having to pay large fines to have their vehicles returned because the cars were “disfiguring the public appearance”.

“I believe residents who pay for a year’s parking to Mawaqif should be exempt from fines as we don’t violate rules,” said Raufullah Baig, a Pakistani who lives in Al Zahiya and travels home for more than a month each year.

“A couple of years back we used to park in our area and no fines were issued, but now the municipality issues fines if it finds the car dirty, so we ask our friends to get it cleaned every 15 days to avoid fines.”

Indian Dinesh Srivastava, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for five years, said the municipality started to issue the fines only about a year ago.

“I asked a Mawaqif inspector in the area about parking when on vacation. He told me you park until your contract ends,” Mr Srivastava said.

An annual Mawaqif parking permit usually costs Dh800.

Mr Srivastava said the municipality should exempt those who park in residents-only parking.

“We pay for a year’s parking, so we should be exempt,” he said.

Tarun Tankha, an Indian who lives in Electra Street, also has his car cleaned whenever he is away.

“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,” Mr Tankha said.

“Since I have seen fines issued, I asked my building security guard to clean it and I give him some money.”

Abu Dhabi Municipality said cars would be towed away for being dirty whether owners had paid for a space or not.

It said the fine for having an unwashed car towed was Dh3,000 under laws protecting the city’s appearance and public health.

“Up to 50 vehicles each month are fined and towed away to the impound yard for being abandoned in public places, which disfigures the city’s image,” a municipality spokesman said.

“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.”

The municipality said that the number of confiscations is high during holiday periods but low on working days.

“There are private companies for car washing in Abu Dhabi Island and residents can get a contract with the company or they can park their vehicles at any airports of the UAE,” the spokesman said.

One resident did agree that dirty cars should be towed away.

“When outside the UAE, ask your friends or the building guard to clean it in your absence,” said Ata Mohammed, an Egyptian.

“I do the same. It is good for all.”

anwar@thenational.ae

Updated: October 2, 2016 04:00 AM

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