Monday, 16 August 2010

The Effect of “Debtors Prisons”: Abandoned Supercars in Dubai

The above is just one of hundreds of such instances in Dubai. Residents are skipping town in a hurry and leaving their assets strewn about for the authorities to take stock of. Many times, these “assets” are $450,000 Ferraris and the like. Here’s a small gallery  of similar cars left by the wayside.

So why are these guys in such a hurry to leave without a care as to what happens to their possessions? Well, as the world is painfully aware, Dubai has recently gone through a “boom and bust” cycle, which has left many executives on the hook for not only personal debts, but corporate ones as well if there name is tied to the corporation.

On the surface, such instances are no different in the US. Guys live large, then go broke and their stuff gets taken away and they have to start from the bottom. So what’s the difference?

Debtors prisons are the difference. Whereas Stateside, you get you credit score knocked down (and maybe bankruptcy) when you don’t pay your bills, in Islamic countries, not honoring one’s debts is goes against Islamic law, so trespassers can be tried and locked up if they don’t have the means to make right on their debts.

Since many of the investors, residents and executives of Dubai are expatriates of other countries, rather than stay in Dubai and face the music, they leave a note and haul ass back to the safety of their own country. Hence the cars with the notes on the windshield (often parked at the airports while the debtor is on their way out of dodge). The good news is that it’s now a buyer’s market on used cars in Dubai, with exotics going for 60 cents on the dollar over there. Just make sure you can make the payments.

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