Here’s a question for you: you’re a successful businessman (or woman) and you have a couple of neat cars – a Ferrari, say, and an Aston Martin. You work in the USA, or the UK, and you are having a great time. Then things take a turn for the worse; your company is struggling, and you have to make ends meet. What do you do with the Aston and Ferrari? That’s right, you sell them.
Now, relocate that same situation to the United Arab Emirates; you’re an American, or a European, doing pretty well until things go sour. You sell the cars, right? You don’t have the chance, because hanging around in those countries with debts to pay will see you end up in prison! You have no choice but to leave everything behind, and get out quick!
If this all sounds implausible to you, trust us, it’s real. Dubai, and countries in the same region, have undergone a serious boom followed by a fast bust, and there are supercars lying abandoned all over the place, waiting for the authorities to haul them in and sell them on.
Abandoned Cars: Ferrari F40 Looking For Love
The picture on the left is one of the most famous of all the abandoned cars. It shows a beautiful red Ferrari F40 – one of the most desirable of all the supercars – lying abandoned in a street in the UAE. Covered in dust and in need of some serious TLC, this once proud machine is reduced to hanging around, waiting for someone to do something.
If this were the USA, the UK or just about anywhere else there would be a perfect partner for the car, but not here.
Who was the owner of this fabulous, forlorn machine? We don’t know for sure, but you can bet that he was a high flyer, perhaps in the construction and engineering industry that paid so well during the boom years, from the USA or Europe, and you can bet that when the company he was associated went down, he was gone the next morning with little more than a note to excuse his absence.
It’s a situation that has led to supercars coming up for auction in Dubai, for instance, at knock down prices, yet still they are difficult to sell. The reason is that under Islamic law debts are not permitted, full stop. You pay up, or you go to jail, and hanging around to sell your F40 before you leave will see you locked away.
Abandoned Cars: Rare Jag Languishes in Desert
You did a double take there, didn’t you? It’s another famous casualty, a very, very rare Jaguar XJ220 left languishing in the desert in Qatar. Rumour has it this one was originally sold to a guy in Dubai and later moved to Qatar, but his whereabouts now are unknown. He must have been in some trouble to have to leave a beauty like that in the desert.
What’s it worth? Even in that state an XJ220 is such a special car that it must command somewhere around £100,000 ($160,000) given that it is almost exclusive. To get the car out of Qatar, however, may be prohibitive, so it will likely end its days there, among other abandoned cars, rotting in the desert, covered in sand and dust and left to its own devices. Do you find that as sad as we do?
How many people would love to drive a car such as this, and see the picture of it in the desert and simply cry? It hurts to almost look at it. But then, take a look at this….
Abandoned Cars: The Ultimate Abandoned Supercar
It’s a Ferrari Enzo, quite simply one of the most incredible cars of all time, and it is lying, unloved, in a police compound in Dubai. How did it get there? What happened to the owner? Who knows, but all we can say is that this is a tragedy.
The Enzo, of which less than 400 were made, is among the most exclusive of all cars, and to leave it in the desert is something that must have hurt the owner greatly. Still, he may have left the country safely, which is the main thing.
For him that is, but for us the wanton dereliction of a beautiful, wonderful supercar is simply a tragedy!
What can be done about this problem? Not a lot, because the debt laws are here to stay, and as long as the boom and bust culture continues there will be supercars left to languish in the deserts of the Middle East. Who are we, after all, to challenge the laws of the land?
If you spotted abandoned cars feel free to send us pictures and we will publish them here. Please leave a comment below to get in touch with us.