DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 07 August 2018 - A Lamborghini car involve in a 170,000 speeding fine parked at Five Hotel, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.  Leslie Pableo for The National
The Lamborghini has remained put at the luxury Five hotel on Dubai’s The Palm Jumeirah. Leslie Pableo for The National

Lamborghini hire firm pleads with UK Embassy to pay British driver's speeding fines

The owner of a car hire firm who leased a Lamborghini to a British tourist has pleaded with embassy officials to pay the man's speeding fines.

Mohammed Ibrahim, who runs Dubai’s Saeed Ali Rent a Car, said he has spoken to British Embassy staff in the hope they can bring an end to his ongoing legal dispute with Farah Hashi, 25.

Mr Hashi, from Newport, south Wales, was caught driving the canary-yellow supercar at speeds of up to 230kph on July 31.

He triggered 33 separate speed traps in Dubai in the space of just four hours, leading to Dh175,000 in fines.

“We are a small company and cannot cover this amount,” Mr Ibrahim said. "I've tried calling him (Mr Hashi) but he has not been answering or returning my calls. Surely if he is here as a tourist it is up to his embassy to offer help?”

Since the incident first came to light, the Lamborghini Huracan – which does 0 to 100kph in 3.4 seconds – has remained abandoned outside the luxury Five hotel in Dubai's Palm Jumeirah.

Mr Hashi, a father-of-one, is still believed to be staying at the hotel, but has not been seen since reports of his exploits received international media coverage.

Speaking to The National, Mr Ibrahim strongly refuted suggestions that the Brit had not been warned of the UAE's speeding laws prior to hiring the vehicle.

He said every day that the dispute rumbled on was costing him Dh3,000 and that he feared it could continue for months.

"We tell everyone who rents a car from us what the speed limit is," he said. "To suggest otherwise is definitely not the case – we definitely made him aware before we gave him the car.

“I went to Dubai Traffic Department to try to get some help but I was told to try the courts. When I did that I was told that it could be at least six months before the matter is heard in court.


Read more:

Stand-off continues in case of British tourist who racked Dh175,000 in fines in rented Lamborghini

Speeding supercars: The world's biggest traffic fines


“It costs Dh3,000 a day to rent that car but it's not going to make any money when nobody can drive it."

Mr Ibrahim said he was now prepared to waive a large percentage of Mr Hashi's rental fees should he agree to cover the cost of the speeding fines. Under UAE law it is the responsibility of the hire firm to pay the fees rather than the driver who rented the vehicle.

“The problem isn’t really the rent," Mr Ibrahim added. "I can help him there by giving him a big discount on the rent."

It is understood that Mr Hashi had been due to end his holiday in Dubai last week but has been forced to extend his time in the emirate until the dispute is resolved. Mr Ibrahim is refusing to collect the car until all the fines are paid.

A spokesperson for the UK embassy said: “The Embassy is aware of the situation and we are offering consular support to a British citizen.”


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How to register as a donor

1) Organ donors can register on the Hayat app, run by the Ministry of Health and Prevention

2) There are about 11,000 patients in the country in need of organ transplants

3) People must be over 21. Emiratis and residents can register. 

4) The campaign uses the hashtag  #donate_hope

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Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

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