Abu Dhabi number 1 car licence plate auctioned for....
Abdullah Al Mahri, a 32-year-old Emirati in Abu Dhabi, just got his hands on the exclusive number 1 vanity number plate for a whopping Dh31 million.
"I am very proud and happy to get number 1," Al Mahri told reporters after the auction of distinguished number plates on Saturday evening at Emirates Palace. The auction was held by the Abu Dhabi Police and Emirates Auction.
Another exclusive number plate sold during the auction was the number 7, which was sold for Dh13.4 million.
During the bid, the auctioneer said: "Seven is a significant number in life, we have seven days, we have seven emirates."
Emiratis and residents who bagged numbers for whopping amounts told Khaleej Times why having an exclusive number plate was important to the buyers.
"There are so many reasons why number plates are important to us. One reason is they are the number plates from the UAE's Capital. Another reason is that it's the 50th anniversary of the Government of Abu Dhabi," said bidder Ali Makki, who was able to purchase number 10 for his boss, Ahmed Rahma Al Masood, a businessman. He bought the number plate for Dh4.5 million.
"My boss is really excited that I got this number for him," said Makki. "It's not a big deal. He already has 110, 666 and 77. So it's more of a hobby for him to collect these.
"Having exclusive number plates is also a trend. Some people think of it as an investment, while others think of it as a luxury. Wherever you go, in each country, there is a certain trend. We love fancy cars and fancy number plates," he added.
Another bidder, Mosa Al Johari, also agreed that exclusive number plates are a significant trend, representing luxury and prestige.
"I have the number plate 77 at home."
"Whether it is a one-digit number plate or two or three, the bidders would have a certain limit on their minds," he explained.
A young bidder who wanted to remain anonymous, said that he came to get his hands on the number 999, which he plans to put on his Lamborghini. He bought it for Dh1.7 million.
"999 is a special number for me, which is why I'm willing to go up to two million for it. It is one of the most special numbers as it's the last number of three digits and it's the police's number.
"Number plates are important to many people, and we like to show them off."
Another bidder said he was keeping an eye on the number 99990 because it's an important number to him personally. In 2008, the UAE Capital broke the world record for the most expensive number plate, number 1, which fetched a whopping Dh52,200,000 in a fierce bidding.