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Car wash fines shock Sharjah motorists

Residents slapped with Dh250 fine for employing illegal car washers

  • XPRESS report
  • Published: 21:49 August 22, 2012
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: XPRESS/ Ahmed Ramzan
  • Stiff fines await those who get their cars cleaned by illegal car washers such as this man in Al Wahda, Sharjah. Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

SHARJAH: Sharjah residents had a rude awakening after inspectors slapped them with Dh250 fine for employing illegal car washers, XPRESS has learnt.

The fines were imposed days prior to Eid following warnings by Sharjah Municipality against the practice of paying cleaners or watchmen in residential buildings to tidy up private cars. Shahzad, a resident of a building on Al Wahda Road, was unpleasantly surprised when he saw a Dh250 ticket stuck on his car windscreen on August 18.

“The fine came as a big surprise,” said the Sharjah resident whose car was parked on the ground floor of his building near Rameez Trading Centre on Al Wahda Road. “Several cars parked next to mine had similar slips on their windscreens. They were also cleaned by our building watchman.”

Around 600 motorists have been fined over the same offence since January this year.

Sharjah Municipality Director General Sultan Abdullah Al Mualla said the practise of employing illegal car washers, distorts the city’s image.

“Car owners who allow their vehicles to be washed on the streets or residential areas will be fined Dh250, and illegal car washers will be fined Dh500,” he said. Another municipality official said the car washers are illegal residents and pose a serious threat to society.

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Some residents are unhappy with the fine and some who wash or dust off their cars daily were alarmed they, too, may be fined.

“What about car owners like us who wash our own vehicles?” said Imran, a resident of a building on Al Khan Road. “Are we going to be fined for simply dusting off or wiping our car clean? The rules should be clear on this.”

A commercial car wash establishment typically charges Dh25 per job. “Commercial car washers should cut their charges to Dh10 from the existing Dh25 to Dh35 per wash,” said Ernest, another expatriate resident. “In these car wash stations, the queues are long and each car wash takes at least 20 minutes. This is a big damper, whereas our natoor (watchman) washes our vehicles as we sleep or rest at home.”

Aamir, a resident of Al Nahda, said: “This rule means a much bigger carwash budget.”

Some residents said they now ask car washers to put the car wipers back in place and remove any telltale signs that would give them away.

“So much water is spilled on the road by used-car showroom staff. They should be fined first,” said a resident of Abu Shagarah.

But not everyone disagrees with the new rule.

“Illegal car washers are troublesome people and rule over the area as if it’s their exclusive domain … they use swear words and stare at women when they pass by. This action will drive illegal car-washers out of business.”

Comments (15)

Your Comments
  1. Added 13:48 August 23, 2012

    You know what the irony in all this is? Have someone wash your Car – Fine You wash your own Car – Fine You leave your Car unwashed – Fine!

    Rolando, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:11 August 23, 2012

    Can car owners wash their own cars and still incur fines?

    Sinnerman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:05 August 23, 2012

    I went to Sharjah Muncilpality Office with the fine slip, i told them i have cleaned my car and didn't spill any water on road, but the person said you are not allowed to clean ur car glass, if you want to clean go to any car wash center. This means then we cannot wash our own car. from that day i have not washed my car.

    Althamas, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 11:08 August 23, 2012

    If all the residents in Sharjah follow the rule and decide to wash their cars in petrol stations, how will only a few petrol stations cope up with all the rush. Do we have a alternative arrangement? And also how do a middle class family adjust with an additional monthly Dhs. 300 - 500 car wash bill.

    Azaz, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:59 August 23, 2012

    This is not fair.yesterday I saw two or three cars washed by used car show room.They were use water hose to clean the car.Water was flowing nonstop and roadside was full of water.Do the inspectors see this? I think then Sharjah Muncipality has to start a cheap automatic car washing system and install this in different area and it should be cheap and less time consuming. Fine is not the Solution some alternatives should be provided

    STEVE, GEORGE, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:48 August 23, 2012

    well if they want to stop these kind of activities they should catch those illegal car washer too... giving fine to car owner doesn't seems look fair.

    annoting, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:14 August 23, 2012

    I think they should catch the people who do the car wash as a freelance job not the owner. There is no point of giving fines to car owner when the person doing also will do it for another owner. They can allow watchman to clean but not people who are staying illegal here. and If the government's issue is illegal expats living here and some of them do post some threats and these people sometimes harass women due to lack of education and poverty government should catch people who are staying illegal here. I have experience once while walking and one Asian guy grab my behind. and these kind of people must not be allowed to live here because they will spoil the image of this country who have a low rate of crime, but now because of unemployed illegal expats i feel no longer safe nowadays.

    Fate, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:11 August 23, 2012

    What happens to people like me i have a Black 4x4, i dust and wash my car every Alt. day, as a Car wash for a 4x4 is AED 40 to 50, besides the 30 minutes you need to spend there! Why should I be afraid of getting fined for dusting or washing my own car?

    Rolando, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:00 August 23, 2012

    Owner washing his own car will also lead to fine as it's not clear in the rules. Also the reason behind washing and cleaning own car is to avoid additional expense and if that has to be paid to the commercial Car Wash it is a burden. As owners of the car are not illegal residents, they should be allowed to wash their own cars.

    MEENA VERA, SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:10 August 23, 2012

    Our expectation from XPRESS: Please do not show the vehicle plate numbers in such cases, like previously newspapers and portals were doing.

    Nasir, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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