Authorities in Abu Dhabi have urged owners of impounded cars to finalise the release of their vehicles or risk having them sold at auction. Officials in the emirate said 1548 vehicles had been left in the capital’s impounding yard for more than a year, according to a statement by the UAE’s state news agency. “Banks and owners of impounded vehicles at Bani Yas Vehicles impounding yard… [should] contact the external centers division at the municipality’s head office at Al Salam Street to sort out their cases and finalise the release of their vehicles,” WAM said. “The municipality is making it clear that failure to comply with the above requirements will result in confiscating and selling off those vehicles in an open auction,” it added. Abandoned cars became synonymous with the UAE debt crisis in 2009 to 2010 in which thousands of expatriates fled the emirate in a bid to escape imprisonment as a result of loan defaults. Abu Dhabi authorities said any car thought to be abandoned will be monitored for 14 days before a notice is given to the owner, warning them it will be removed within 24 hours. Failure to move the car will result in its removal. Neighbouring Dubai has held several car auctions in recent years. Last month an auction thought to include a US$1.6m limited edition Ferrari, abandoned by its owner during Dubai’s debt crisis, garnered international attention. The red Ferrari Enzo, one of only 399 in the world, could be offered at auction at a later date. Dubai police have raised a total of AED10m in their last five car auctions.