Man pays almost $5 million for '1' license plate

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Auction of “1” license plate in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - Image via Emirates Auction

Auction of “1” license plate in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - Image via Emirates Auction

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A man in the United Arab Emirates state of Sharjah bid Dh18 million (approximately $4.9 million) to secure the “1” license plate at an auction on Saturday.

The winning bidder was Arif Ahmad Al Zarouni, who told Gulf News (via Motor1) that he was willing to purchase the special plate at any cost.

“I attended the license plate auction only to win number one,” he said. “My ambition is always to be number one.”

Auction of “1” license plate in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - Image via Emirates Auction

Auction of “1” license plate in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - Image via Emirates Auction

Enlarge Photo

The bidding was furious, as you can imagine, with the opening bid of Dh1 million escalating to the closing figure of Dh18 million within minutes.

There were 1,340 registered bidders at the license plate auction, which is run to raise funds for the state. Other high bids went for the plates “12”, “777”, “911” and “99999”. For the record, Al Zarouni has no intention of selling his new plate.

Although paying almost $5 million for a license plate seems hard to beat when it comes to license plate lunacy, it’s not the most extreme we’ve seen. The “1” license plate for another state in the UAE, Abu Dhabi, was sold at a 2008 auction for $14.5 million!

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