Cars collecting dust on a street in Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: You may be still staying home to protect yourself and family members from COVID-19 even as offices and commercial establishments have reopened in Dubai. However, that cannot be an excuse for neglecting your parked vehicles and not cleaning them up.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Dubai Municipality reminded the residents not to leave their vehicles in a way that distorts the general appearance of the city. The civic body reminded residents that dirty and damaged vehicles or the ones obstructing the city’s cleaning operations will lead to the owners losing them.

“#DubaiMunicipality asks everyone to maintain public safety and notifies them not to leave their vehicles in a way that distorts public appearance, such as a dirty and damaged vehicle or one that is obstructing city cleaning, which may lead to losing it. #We_Are_All_Responsible,” said the tweet which attached a picture of a vehicle under the slogan “Clean Vehicle, Sustainable City.”

As reported by Gulf News in January, Dubai Municipality had introduced a new system of SMS notification to help motorists get quick alerts to remove their dirty or abandoned cars and also to avoid disputes in certain cases.

It is learnt that the Waste Management Department of the municipality started cracking down on dirty and abandoned cars after the Stay Home period for the COVID-19 sanitisation and disinfection campaign ended and offices and commercial establishments reopened.

A Dubai resident, who continued to stay home without getting her car cleaned for about four months, said she received a warning SMS on July 5 to remove the dirty car within seven days.

“When I called the municipality’s call centre, I was told that I should get the car cleaned even if I am not going out. So, I did that before the warning period ended,” said the woman, who did not wish to be named.

In September last year, the department had launched a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the menace of vehicles and equipment left neglected in public places.

Cars left dirty can be fined Dh500 under the ‘My Vehicle’ campaign of the Waste Management Department of Dubai Municipality.

Confiscated cars are kept in the municipality’s yard for six months. If the owners claim the car in this time, they have to pay a fine of Dh1,381, including municipal fines, storage charges and towing fee.

If an impounded car is not claimed within six months, it will be auctioned.

As per the figures last revealed by the municipality, a total of 2,053 abandoned vehicles were impounded till the end of July in 2019, while as many as 3,577 vehicles were confiscated in 2018.