Police in Dubai have issued a warning to motorists to avoid leaving their motor vehicle unattended while the engine is still running, saying that they are easy targets for car thieves, particularly during the summer. The warning was issued on Monday morning by Dubai Police via their account on Twitter. Car theft is not the only worry for motorists who do leave their car engine on while the vehicle is unattended, as a Dh300 fine still applies to any who are caught having done so. It has become a common occurrence for motorists in Dubai to leave their car with the engine running, unattended and even unlocked, particularly during the summer season, when they head into restaurants or grocery stores to pick up food, or to draw money out from an ATM located in front of banks.
Motorists are advised never to leave the vehicle when the engine is still running, even if they are only going to be away for a couple of minutes. Car doors should also never be left unlocked, and vehicles should not be left overnight in dark and unlit areas. Motorists should also do their best to avoid parking their vehicle in sandy areas or remote places for long periods of time, and if they have to leave valuables in their car, they should always cover them up so that they cannot easily be seen by potential thieves looking through the car window. The best places to park a motor vehicle are in safe and well-lit areas that are under constant monitoring by CCTV security cameras. It is also a good idea to invest money in a car alarm.
Although following advice such as not leaving a car unattended with the engine still running is a good way to cut down on the risk of having it stolen, theft can still happen to even the most conscientious motorist. It is therefore also a very good idea to ensure that up-to-date car insurance is still in place to protect against at least some of the financial consequences should such a theft take place. It is the law in Dubai and all of the UAE that all vehicles are covered by car insurance, but ensuring that this is the case is also in the best interests of the car owner, particularly in the event of theft.
Police in Dubai actually issued a similar warning against leaving the engine running on cars last year in September 2018, following a series of robberies in the industrial areas of the city. While a number of arrests were made at the time, the number of car thefts in the city have fallen considerably over the course of the last few years thanks to determined efforts by Dubai’s police. However, motor vehicles remain at risk of theft, particularly in instances where motorists leave their car doors unlocked while quickly going into a shop.