The Dubai License Plate Numbers Game
In a land where bigger is better (Burj Khalifa anyone?), the ATMs dispense Gold, and even just a trip to the mall is larger than life (it’s home to the largest mall in the world) there is one peculiar area in Dubai where pint-sized is king, and that my friends, is the humble Dubai number plate.
You see, Emiratis have a thing for small digits — the lower the number on the license plate, the more money they’re willing to shell out for it. And in many cases, the number plate costs much more than the car it’s put on.
Notice the license plate? Two-digits baby.
So how much do you think he paid for it?
I did some research to try and find out.
These are actual Dubai license plate numbers from an auction held earlier this year by the Roads and Transport Authority of Government of the Dubai (www.rta.ae). The prices next to the number plates up for auction are the reserve prices in Emirati dirhams (AED) – that’s what the bidding starts at.
A lowly G 515 plate will set you back a minimum of 80,000 AED — that’s roughly $21,779.99 USD. Of course, that’s just the starting price. A respectable H 27 plate comes in at 250,000 AED, or 68,062.40 USD. But you should probably expect to pay a lot more.
Dubizzle (the Craigslist of the Middle East) also lists vanity low-number plates for sale by owners including the Dubai plate F 599 at the rock-bottom price of 360,000 AED ($98,009.86 USD.) You could probably haggle him down to $95,000 though.
The World’s Most Expensive License Plate
The honours for the most money ever paid for a license plate go to a gent in the neighbouring Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Businessman Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri paid the equivalent of 14.3 million USD for the number plate of every Abu Dhabian’s dreams – plate #1 — at an auction back in 2008.
The upside of all this is that any money raised through government auctions goes directly to charity. In the auction above, proceeds went to support victims of car crashes in the UAE.
The Price of Vanity
So how much did the chap who purchased the Q 63 plate pay? Unless he’s willing to come forward, there’s no way to know for certain. One thing is for sure — he paid a lot more than he did for his Mercedes. And definitely a heck of a lot more than the guy in the lane next to him.
Although if you ask me, I think they’re all a little nuts.