How much would you be willing to pay for the license plate of your choice? For businessman Arif Ahmed Al Zarouni, the answer is 18 million Emirati Dirham, or $4.9 million US dollars.
In the United Arab Emirates, low number license plates are collectors’ items which often sell for staggering amounts of money. The license plates are auctioned off by the state, and the third-largest emirate Sharjah is responsible for auctioning off the number ‘1’ license plate at a record breaking price. For display purposes, the license plate was affixed to a Pagani Huayra, a luxury car which still cost less than half of what its coveted plate sold for.
At the same Emirates Auction, several other low number license plates were sold for similarly mind-boggling prices. Plates numbered ’50’ and below sold for roughly half a million, while plates ‘100’ and ‘333’ sold for approximately $400,000 each.
Al Zarouni, however, wouldn’t accept anything but number ‘1’. “I attended the license plate auction only to win number 1,” he said. “My ambition is always to be number 1. I have no plan to win other numbers.” Al Zarouni does not intend to resell the plate in the future, but instead plans to keep it for personal use. However, he has not disclosed the kind of car to which he will attach the famous plate.