Prices for vanity plates in the UAE are too damn high!
Over in the United Arab Emirates, vanity plates are a big deal. Shorter plates are highly valued and seen as status symbols. Just this year a “1” license plate was auctioned off for $4.9 million in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven member city states. That’s an impressive sum, but it’s almost half the amount that “5” recently sold for at a Dubai auction. The Independent reports that Indian businessman Balwinder Sahani won the plate with a bid of $9 million.
Each member of the UAE has its own plate system. There can be only one 5 plate in Dubai, although the other Emirates can issue the same plate. That being said, owning 5 in Sharjah or Abu Dhabi is a bit less special, at least we assume so. (Dubai is the most well-known Emirate.) If you have the kind of cash to spend $9 million on a license plate you’d better have a cool car to put it on. As expected, Sahani does. He’s going to put 5 on his, wait for it, Rolls-Royce Phantom! Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Mr. Sahani has spent big bucks bidding on vanity plates. Just last year he spent $6.8 million purchasing a license plate reading “O9.”
We’re not sure what car currently sports that license plate, but if it’s the Phantom then we suspect the businessman will be swapping the two out. Spending $9 million and $6.8 million on two license plates may sound insane—because it is—but these figures aren’t record-setting for the UAE. Back in 2008 someone dropped $14 million on Abu Dhabi’s “1” plate, a record that still stands today. The money from these auctions is supposed to go towards public works; the $14 million spent in Abu Dhabi was ironically supposed to be used to build a hospital for car accident victims. The proceeds from the 5 sale are said to go towards the Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority.