That's not even close to being a UAE record either.
In the US it’s not too tough to get a custom license plate. Some people sell off their rare plates, but the prices at which they go for pale in comparison to the auctions held abroad. One businessman from Sharjah, UAE, recently scored a much-coveted “1” license plate for a cool $4.9 million. Arif Ahmad Al Zarouni won the fierce bidding war, which actually started at $272,000. Each of the seven city-states that make up the UAE has its own license plate system, so Al Zarouni is technically not the only No. 1 in the entire county.
Still, being “1” in Sharjah is a big accomplishment, especially since the bidding was so fierce. Despite being a businessman the new owner of the ultra-rare plate has no plans to sell it for profit. “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. Other number plates were auctioned off as well, including 777 and 333, 2015, 2020 and 9999 with a total of 1,340 bidders participating in the auction. If this sounds insane, it’s because it is. But then again, you need something extra to help your Pagani stand out in the Middle East. Besides, these auctions often raise money for good causes.
Back in 2008 the “1” plate for Abu Dhabi sold for a record $14 million, with the organizers of that auction saying the funds would go towards building a hospital for car accident victims. (Maybe they were doing hagwalah?) These auctions are a great way for governments and charities to raise money and as long as it's not our money being spent we say keep 'em coming.