Photos of Dubai’s abandoned cars come up fairly frequently and it really seems weird that anyone would just leave their six-figure car to be worn away by the sand.
Donut Media has done a quick rundown on why this happens and how you could actually get one if you’re really committed to it. As it turns out, the answer to the first question is debt.
As a result of its oil wealth and its location on the Persian Gulf and near the Gulf of Oman, Dubai attracts a lot of foreign business people. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 90% of its population may not have been born in the United Arab Emirates.
As a result of the money, people can afford lots of stuff and supercars and luxury cars are, as you’re no doubt aware, very popular. But people in Dubai who default on a loan can be arrested and sent to jail. It’s not hard to imagine how someone who has lost their job (or whatever) and starts sinking into debt might decide that fleeing the country is a better option than staying and risking jail time.
There are other paths available, but apparently fleeing is a popular one. The result is cars being left on the side of the road, sometimes with the keys in the ignition. The cars do eventually make their way to a lot, though, and from there they are often auctioned.
The sales are open to Americans as well; however, as the video point out, it’s probably smart to be cautious. Any used car is a bit of a risk and one that’s half a world away and that has been abandoned is difficult to be certain about.
There are companies that have been set up to buy these cars, fix them up, and then sell them on, but you’re probably losing a lot of the potential savings in that scenario.