$98,000 for a License Plate? Yep, We Must be in Dubai…

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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.

Take this SUV for example. It’s a Mercedes G-Class, and an entry-level 2012 model in the United Arab Emirates starts at 331,000 Emirati dirhams (AED), or about $90,114.65 USD.Dubai License plate auction, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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. 

Dubai License Plate Number Auction RTA.com

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.

Dubai License Number Plate F599 for sale on Dubizzle

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.

expensive Dubai License plates, Dubai, UAE

Although if you ask me, I think they’re all a little nuts.

What are your thoughts on the cost of vanity number plates in Dubai?

I am a travel blogger and freelance travel writer. I left behind my cubicle-shaped cell to see the world. Now I inspire others to shake the shackles and escape through travel. This is my blog.

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