In the UAE, rare license plate numbers cost more than an apartment


Residents of the United Arab Emirates really love flashy license plates, with some rare numbers fetching six figures. Moreover, the country holds the world record for the most expensive tag ever auctioned.

Plate No. 1 went for a whopping Dh52.5 million (roughly $14 million) in Abu Dhabi in February 2008. However, it was for a good cause, with the money going to a charity for accident victims.

Ninety other plates were also auctioned off for an astronomical Dh88.15 million ($24 million). In fact, UAE residents hold all the Top 5 records when it comes to car registration plates.


“Open auctions are extremely popular as they offer individuals a chance to attend in person and engage in bidding for snatching the distinguished plates they fancy. Moreover, open auctions are hugely competitive often marked by intense bidding in a transparent manner,” says Sultan Al Marzooki, Director of Vehicles Licensing at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority.

The Emirates 24/7 News reports that the trend continues on March 19th at the 90th Number Plates Auction in Dubai, where exceptional car registration numbers valued at half-a-million dirhams will be up for bid. According to data from 2020 Special Number Trading, an online site for selling plate numbers in the UAE, plate number L 171 is being priced at Dh420,000 (about the price as a furnished apartment in the area’s International City).

The forthcoming auction — the first-of-its-kind this year — will offer 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-digit plates,” said Sultan Al Marzooki, Director of Vehicles Licensing at RTA Licensing Agency. It will present numbers appealing to those into fashion plates, covering codes H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q and R.