Illegal car traders in Al Shamkha continue to ignore municipal warnings

Despite municipal warnings and the threat of fines, many residents are selling their cars illegally at the Al Shamkha roundabout on outskirts of the capital.

Car sellers are back to illegally parking their cars for sale at the roundabout in Al Shamkha despite postings by the municipality. Delores Johnson / The National
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ABU DHABI // Residents are ignoring municipal warnings and the threat of fines to sell their cars illegally at Al Shamkha roundabout on the outskirts of the capital.

The location is close to the purpose-built Motor World, where traders have complained of losing business.

It would appear, however, that it is the prices being charged by Motor World traders that have led to trading at the roundabout, where cars are paraded throughout the week and transactions are common.

Selling cars in such a fashion is illegal. Abu Dhabi Municipality fines owners and confiscates their cars if it finds vehicles parked at the roundabout.

Residents who were selling their cars at the roundabout blamed Motor World traders for not offering the true value for their cars. Emirati Ahmed Abdullah said dealers at Motor World offered a very low price for his car.

“I am selling my Lexus 2004 model at Dh45,000, but Motor World dealers offered me only Dh35,000.

“They buy from us at Dh35,000 and resell it at Dh55,000 or Dh60,000,” Mr Abdullah said.

“I don’t want to get more money, but expect the actual value for the car,” he said.

“During weekends we don’t get any fines but on working days the municipality issues fines for such parking,” he said.

Last Friday several cars were parked at the roundabout with handwritten contact numbers on the dashboard of each vehicle.

Emirati Faisal Al Hosani said: “I am asking Dh17,000 for my 2008 model Subaru Outback. I am selling it here because Motor World don’t offer value for the car. This car also lacks demand in the market so traders refused to take it,” he said.

Another roundabout seller, who did not want to give his name, advertised his Ford GT 2010 model for Dh50,000. When asked why he was selling at the roundabout he said: “Why? I don’t want to sell at the Motor World. This is my car and my problem where to sell or not.”

“It’s not your problem,” another seller said, refusing to elaborate.

On October 8, Abu Dhabi Municipality fined the owner of a black Nissan Tida for breaking municipal rule No 2 of 2012. The fine slip was pasted on the windscreen.

The same day the owner of another car was warned of confiscation by the municipality if the car was not removed within 24 hours.

Motor World dealers countered roundabout sellers’ claims.

Syrian Mubarak Al Harethi, manager at the Motor World Automobiles Showroom, said: “Car sellers at the roundabout just add to further lowering our trade here. They are a big problem for our business. Rents are very high and business is poor. We pay Dh160,000 rent here,” he said.

“We work on the old vehicle, how can we pay more? We carry out thorough inspection of the car and fix technical problems, then sell,” Mr Al Harethi said.

Another Motor World salesman, Abdul Aziz, said dealers’ offers had to take into account the work they would have to put into the vehicle before selling it on.

“Our rent is Dh150,000 excluding Dh100,000 for other expenses annually. We sell barely 10 cars a month. How we are going to run the business?” he said.

“They [at the roundabout] sell cars illegally, which affect our business. That must stop,” Mr Aziz said. “We want to do good business and satisfy customers with good cars. But at the roundabout ... customers buy at their own risk,” he said.

Abu Dhabi Municipality did not comment.