The first auction for distinguished number plates organised by Emirates Auction with Sharjah Police was attended by 1,340 participants of different nationalities.
The 60 unique numbers on auction drew a total of Dh45 million in bids.
Organisers had a tough time controlling the proceedings in the charged atmosphere. Within minutes after the bidding began, the price of the No 1 plate shot up to Dh18 million from Dh1 million.
Arif Ahmad Al Zarouni, successfully bid for the number plate after a furious contest in the final stages of the auction conducted at Al Jawaher Hall. The Emirati businessman who made the winning bid on plate Number 1 said: “I attended the licence plate auction only to win Number 1. My ambition is always to be number 1. I have no plan to win other numbers.” He said he was determined to purchase the plate at any cost and the plate was for his personal use and has no intention to sell it, the businessman added.
The event held at the Jawaher Hall attracted dozens of licence plate aficionados, most of whom were Emiratis.
Along with No 1, a total of 60 distinguished licence plates were sold, which generated more than Dh50 million. Special numbers included 12, 22, 50, 100, 333, 777, 1000, 2016, 2020 and 99999.
Bids began anywhere between Dh3,000 to Dh1000,000, depending on the licence plate. Numbers with recurring digits, such as P333, started at Dh150,000.
The auction had categorized the initial bid values of the number plates depending on the numbers on the number plates.
The plate number ‘1’ was sold for Dh18 million to the UAE’s Arif Al Zarouni.
Brigadier Saif Al Zari Shamsi, Commander of Sharjah Police, said: “This will drive us to organise many initiatives in the future. ”
Said Abdullah Matar Al Mannai, Executive Director of Emirates Auctions, said, “The winners in the auction will receive a certificate of ownership.”