Photos started cropping up a few years back that revealed—much to the horror of car enthusiasts everywhere—abandoned luxury and sports cars all over Dubai. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, BMWs—they were all left behind like clunkers and many couldn’t wrap their heads around it. As much as people decried the cars’ owners, there seemed equal amount mystery surrounding the circumstances.
Since then many theories have floated around to justify these poor abandoned cars. Some thought that their rich owners merely got bored with them and had moved on to different rides altogether. Others believed that their owners, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, had to ditch the cars because they could no longer afford to make regular payments.
There’s another idea that’s getting the rounds though and it conflicts with everything else. Some are asserting the cars were never abandoned in the first place! They think the cars just appear deserted because of the frequent sandstorms in the region, which cover the cars in a layer of dirt, when in reality, they have loyal owners.
Whatever one’s stance on the issue is, there’s no denying that a lot about these cars—abandoned or not—doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Since their release, these photos have only raised questions.
We’re going to look at all the things that don’t make sense about these cars that continue to baffle the masses who have an appreciation for these expensive and rare automobiles. Be sure to also check out 25 cars their owners left behind in Dubai.
20 The Cars Get Sold For Dirt Cheap
It’s not all bad news concerning Dubai’s abandoned cars. Some people do benefit from all these cars lying around, eventually. As the site Car Keys notes, if enough time has passed, law enforcement ends up auctioning off many of the vehicles. Many people can’t afford to buy these cars for what they were worth originally.
On top of that, the vehicles have been lying around for years in some cases. That means many of the vehicles get sold for a lot less. The city’s officials just want to get rid of the cars at the end of the day, but it doesn’t make much sense to those who know their real value.
19 Owners Leave Keys In The Ignition
The original car owners are either trying to make someone else’s day or are completely out of their minds. Many of them, as Car Keys reports, not only end up leaving the cars behind but the actual keys to the ride.
It doesn’t make sense why they’d leave it behind like this and at the same time risk it getting stolen. Then again, maybe carjackers feel possessing these cars would be too big of a burden. It makes one wonder why the owners don’t just hand the cars over officially to the cops instead of leaving it on the side of the road with the keys inside.
18 A Deserted Car Has been Sitting There Since 2008
It’s hard to believe, but one car has been sitting in a parking lot for at least a decade. According to Gulf News, this sedan has sat nice and snug in a basement parking garage since 2008. They report the parking area is part of a retail outlet. It makes no sense that a car would sit in a public parking space for this long.
Something tells us the owner isn’t interested in it anymore. When that happens, then it’s up to officials to move the car and free up space again. Otherwise, it’s only going to infuriate other shoppers.
17 Around 3,000 Luxury Vehicles Get Abandoned There Every Year
It’s hard for many to wrap their heads around the number of cars that are seemingly abandoned in Dubai every year. The site Car Keys estimates between 2,000 to 3,000 cars get left behind on an annual basis. Not all of those are inoperable or beaters either. Many of them are luxury sports cars that deserve better.
What’s so staggering is the number of cars owners are willing to part with, leaving them on the side of a road or in a parking garage. Many of these owners have no intentions of claiming their vehicles, leaving law enforcement with a headache to deal with.
16 Owners Didn’t Try To Sell The Vehicles
The abandoned vehicles in Dubai make little sense, but even some of the questions surrounding them are strange. While The Daily Mail reports that many owners left Dubai and their exotic vehicles to avoid paying debts, they also wonder why owners didn't try to sell them. This speculation is odd though.
In the U.S., as per NerdWallet, it’s necessary for owners to pay off their loan or the lender in order to transfer the vehicle to someone else. Assuming these laws are the same or at least comparable in Dubai, that could explain why owners don’t try to sell the vehicles.
15 They Only Move Some Cars
The owners of these abandoned cars aren’t really thinking about what kind of problem it creates for the city. It forces officials in Dubai to do some digging to try and track down a vehicle's history and original owner.
According to the site Car Keys, if the car blocks a major road or poses a potential risk to others’ safety, then they’ll move the car. Otherwise, they leave the car as is (which we go into more detail below). On one hand, it makes sense considering how much of a hassle it is to move vehicles; on the other, one imagines a city full of abandoned vehicles scattered about.
14 Cars Worth Over $1 Million Were Left To Rot
It’s hard to justify why someone would leave behind a car that’s worth more money than most people will ever see. They must have been truly desperate to get rid of their Ferrari Enzo, which is one of only four hundred ever made. As hard as it is to believe though, cars worth up to $1 million are among the unfortunate cars orphaned in the harsh desert.
There are reports as to why this happened, which we detail further below. On the surface though, it doesn’t make much sense to the general public leaving behind a car that’s rare and valuable.
13 Cars Belonging To Expats Leave The City With A Mess To Clean Up
There’s a theory about the owners behind many of these discarded cars. According to the site Car Keys, some of the luxury cars belonged to foreign expats who came to Dubai with the hopes of striking it rich. The source goes on to suggest though that when the going got tough, they ditched their cars in the city they hoped to succeed in.
What doesn’t make sense is Dubai having to pay the price for these expats' financial troubles. These abandoned cars become a burden for both the city’s residents and officials who now have a mess on their hands they never started in the first place.
12 Cars Get Ditched Because Of Parking Tickets Piling Up
There are lots of different theories about why the cars become abandoned in the first place. Many of them suggest owners can’t afford the cars any longer. The blog Urban Ghosts Media suggests that some cases are due to being unable to pay previous parking tickets. If that’s really the case for some of these vehicles, it makes one wonder why owners couldn’t pay them in the first place.
How could one afford to buy a Ferrari but draw the line for a couple of parking tickets that are a drop in the bucket compared to the car's actual cost? It makes zero sense.
11 Owners Don’t Just Leave Expensive Cars Behind, But Lavish Lifestyles Too
There are reports that suggest owners of these cars aren’t just leaving behind these valuable rides. Many suspect they’re leaving Dubai and the United Arab Emirates entirely, never to return again. The site Car Keys reports that the owner of the Ferrari Enzo, for example, left the city because he couldn’t make payments on the car anymore.
Not only did he leave behind one of the most expensive cars found there, but whatever home he had there as well. To most people, it doesn’t make sense to up and leave one’s home all of a sudden, but the owner had his reasons.
10 The Seized Ferrari Enzo Sits In A Warehouse To This Day
Ferrari didn’t envision this for their special edition car when they made it. With only so many made, the car is extremely valuable due to its rarity. According to The Viveur, officials have no plans to auction off this priceless vehicle. They report that it’s currently in a warehouse. It’s a shame that a car with that much beauty and performance should get locked away.
It deserves better than this. It makes no sense that one of the best Ferraris should have to deteriorate for mistakes people have made. At the minimum, let Ferrari take the car back and find a new use for it.
9 They’ve Found Deserted Bentleys, Koenigseggs and Porsches
We’re not just talking about Audis and BMWs getting the shaft when it comes to Dubai’s abandoned cars, but supercars no one could imagine getting rid of. We’ve already mentioned there being Ferraris, Lamborghinis and more, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. According to the site Car Keys, there have also been Porsches, Koenigseggs and Bentleys—which have long symbolized status and wealth. Astute car fans have even spotted Nissan Skylines and a Honda NSX among the thousands of cars abandoned.
It doesn’t make any sense why so many great models from a wide range of legendary brands ended up going to waste.
8 People Use Them For Dirt Art
With Dubai located in the Arabian Desert, the city is susceptible to sand kicking up and covering parked vehicles. The abandoned cars get it the most, considering they’re left in the same spot for a long period of time. The thicker the sand coating is around the car, the worse it looks. This stands out to people passing by who can’t resist but draw dirt art with their finger on sandy windows.
What makes little sense here is that some of the best cars in the world have become monuments of dirt art. We could understand if this happened to Toyotas or Jeeps, but not supercars.
7 Many Cars Are Still In Perfect Working Condition
There are owners today who can’t imagine abandoning a Ford Pinto, let alone a luxury sports car. Cars have always been a high-priced commodity and it doesn’t look to change any time soon. So when people see any kind of car deserted, it causes confusion. What separates these abandoned cars in Dubai from typical cases though is their sheer number and value.
Going even further, as ViralNova reports, many of them are perfectly good and likely still run without any problems. While leaving the cars immobile for years won’t help its condition, many of them appear to have been in perfect shape when owners abandoned them.
6 All Cars Get Covered In Sand Whether They’re Abandoned Or Not
There’s an idea going around that the supercars of Dubai were never abandoned in the first place. According to the blog Urban Ghosts Media, there are Reddit users who think it’s all a widespread untruth. They suspect that many of the photos have captured cars just after a sandstorm, which explains why they appear abandoned but in reality are not. While an interesting theory, it would conflict with reports about how many cars officials in Dubai have found each year.
Perhaps they’re just looking for an alternative explanation after struggling to accept why so many owners would actually desert such beloved cars.
5 They Take Up Airport Spaces
These cars don’t just turn up on the streets, but in parking garages too. That means airports get filled up with cars many owners have no plans of recovering. There may be a reason why so many turn up at airports. Business Insider thinks it’s because owners ditch their expensive cars there before hopping on a flight out of the city forever. This has to be one of the biggest inconveniences though, considering how busy and packed airports already are in the first place.
As the same source notes, these are precious spaces law-abiding citizens deserve to park in but can't because a slick Lamborghini covered in dust takes priority.
4 Owners Leave Credit Cards And Apology Notes Inside The Cars
It would seem that owners are leaving behind more than just their car keys. The site BuzzNick reports that these car interiors have even contained maxed out credit cards. It isn’t surprising they would have such a lavish lifestyle, considering the cars they drove around in. What’s puzzling though is that they’d leave the credit cards behind, especially for officials to use as part of their investigation.
As if that’s not enough for the cops to sift through, the same source notes that some have even had apology notes. At least a few owners recognized their leaving behind a car was something of a drag.
3 Abandoned Cars Become Evidence For Officials Investigating Offenders
There’s something that seems awfully amiss with owners leaving their cars behind. As the site Car Keys asserts, many of them end up leaving cars behind after failing to make costly payments. The source goes on to note that the United Arab Emirates doesn’t look too fondly on debtors, which considers it a major crime. Yet if that’s why owners are fleeing and leaving their cars behind, doesn’t that provide officials with a clue in the case against them?
Officials can then use the car to help bring those offenders to justice. Then again, it’d be a lot of work for owners to make their cars completely disappear before they leave town.
2 Some Cars Sit Neglected For Years
Expanding on an earlier point, only some cars ever get moved. The rest stay put until officials are able to find a solution. The site Car Keys reports that many of the cars remain where they are for a long time, in some cases even years. This is mind-boggling considering all the room they can take up. On top of that, it would seem to prevent the city from making changes over the years, like knocking down a building.
It’s peculiar they wouldn’t impound the vehicles in the meantime while working to find its owner or a new home for it; although that may have to do with the plentiful number of cars they’d have to impound.
1 Abandoned Cars Turn Up In One Of The Middle East’s Richest Countries
It doesn’t add up that so many cars would become abandoned in Dubai. One would think that an affluent region wouldn’t have this sort of problem. According to ViralNova, the United Arab Emirates, which is where Dubai resides, is one of the most affluent Middle East countries. They’ve even managed to keep their economy stable following the financial crisis.
When it comes to Dubai’s abandoned cars, however, it raises some eyebrows. While the quality of cars fits in line with the country's wealth, it doesn’t make sense that owners would struggle to make payments. We can only assume the matter is more complicated than it seems on the surface.
Sources: Car Keys, ViralNova, Business Insider, Urban Ghosts Media, NerdWallet, The Daily Mail, Gulf News, The Viveur, BuzzNick