A new world record for the highest amount ever paid for a car license plate was set this weekend when an Emirati businessman placed a bid of Dh52.2 million, about $14.5 million, for the number "1" at an auction in Abu Dhabi.
This almost doubles the previous record of Dh25.2 million that was paid for the license plate "5" and makes last month’s sale of the United Kingdom plate "F1" for $880,000 look like a bargain.
Buyer Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri told local reporters from ArabianBusiness that he hadn't bought the plate as investment but predicted its value would likely double within two years. In fact, Khouri revealed to reporters after the auction that he was willing to pay up to Dh100 million for the plate, roughly equal to $30 million, and that he hadn’t decided what car to use it on yet.
The auction was run on behalf of the Abu Dhabi police department and the money raised will go to a fund that helps victims of car accidents.
The new record also means the United Arab Emirates now holds the seven most expensive license plates in the world.