File this under your ‘Only in Dubai’ folder.
A motor vehicle number plate has sold for AED1.5m (USD $408,391) at auction in Dubai, according to the emirates’ Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The sale, the agency’s 72nd, fetched AED16.9m with the licence plate K 50 attracting the highest bid. The second most popular plate of the day, I 26, sold for AED1.3m, followed by the plate G-36, which fetched a price of AED1.14m.
The practice of auctioning number plates to the highest bidder is a quirk that is common practice amongst the GCC countries due to the heavy influence of the high-end car culture, seen by many as the ultimate in luxury. The value of a plate depends on a a mix of letters, math and emotional appeal. Normal license plates have 5 randomized numbers. From there, they get more expensive. Prices go up for fewer digits and cooler numbers. Number one is considered the most prestigious, so if the driver of license plate #1 is next to you at the traffic lights, you may well be next to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
According the the RTA website:
“The said open Auction was skillfully managed by the Emirati national Mohammed Rashid Al Ali, Director General of Orasia Auctioneers whose first-ever participation added a touch of class to the proceedings of the auction and was well received by bidders who were relieved to note that an Emirati has been able to master this profession in a skilful, interesting and immaculate manner, and has a keen interest in training individuals interested in pursuing auctioneer career.”
If you fancy getting your hands on a prized number plate, the next auction will be held in September.