Before I went to Dubai last fall, I imagined a sea of supercars running rampant with few repercussions. I couldn’t have been more wrong (at least when it comes to the repercussions bit). Speed cameras in Dubai are no joke. The drivers, though occasionally erratic, steadfastly follow speed limits. And the penalties for breaking the law in the United Arab Emirates are quite severe. Apparently, a 25-year-old British tourist was expecting more freedom when he racked up more than $47,000 in fines in a rented Lamborghini Huracan in fewer than four hours.
The list of fines is impressive in its own way. All the infractions occurred between 2:31 a.m. and 6:26 a.m. on July 31, the day after he rented the car. He was caught driving between 78 and 143 mph on two stretches of road — 32 times on Sheikh Zayed Road and once on Garn Al Sabkha Road. That’s nearly twice the legal limit in some areas. Several of the fines were fewer than two minutes apart. Once, he managed to rack up two fines in under a minute.
Rather than waiting for a ticket in the mail, the fines were immediately sent to the registered owner, in this case Saeed Ali Rent a Car. The tourist paid just over $1,600 to rent the Lamborghini for two days. He left his passport with the rental agency as a guarantee. The tourist listed his address as a hotel. Because there’s a disagreement over who pays the fees, according to The National, he’s still in possession of the car, and the rental agency has his passport.
The rental company doesn’t want to take the car back because it knows it will be stuck with the bill to get it out of impound. The impound fees totaled more than $27,000, more than the cost of the speeding fines themselves. The rental company filed a motion for a travel ban, but it was denied. It has since contacted the British embassy, letting the embassy know that the passport is in their possession in case the tourist claims it’s lost.
One way or the other, someone is going to have to pay.