Etisalat auctions unique two-digit phone numbers as top bid hits Dh200,000

Hundreds of offers made on 40 unique numbers starting with a hashtag, including 10, 11 and 50

Etisalat will auction numbers such as #10. AP
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A UAE auction of unique two-digit phone numbers has attracted bids of up to Dh200,000 ($54,458).

Telecommunications company Etisalat is offering shortened phone numbers with hashtags that act as the user's unique identity.

Lots going under the hammer on the Emirates Auction website include #10, #1234, #11 and #55555.

More than 350 online bids have so far been lodged on the 40 numbers on offer.

The price will cover use of the number for 12 months, with monthly rental charges also to be applied.

Only Etisalat customers with post-paid numbers can subscribe to the service.

The most popular number so far is #10 ― the lowest available ― with a top bid of Dh200,000 out of 26 offers, ahead of #11 at Dh113,000 from 21 bids.

The number #1000000 has had the most individual bids so far, at 44, with a high offer of Dh45,500.

Another number catching the eye of phone users is #1000, with 30 bids, the largest of which is Dh31,000.

People can bid online until 8pm on June 22.

Etisalat is auctioning short phone numbers with hashtags that act as the user’s “unique identity". Photo: Emirates Auction website

“The service is a premium value-added service which allows an Etisalat mobile post-paid customer to subscribe to a unique identity (a ‘#TAG’) and have a right to use #TAG as per this agreement,” it said on the Emirates Auction website.

“Such a #TAG allows the customer to be called by dialling the customer’s #TAG instead of dialling the customer’s 10-digit mobile number.”

The number cannot be transferred to another person and the cost will not be refunded if the customer wants to terminate the service.

Once the number is activated, the customer may not receive calls from non-Etisalat callers for up to five business days, as other telecom operators will have to configure their settings.

The subscriber will be able to receive only local calls because the service is not compatible with international operators or from customers using roaming.

Latest auction is a hit

The success of the auction comes as little surprise, given the popularity of car number plate auctions regularly held in the UAE.

In April, Abu Dhabi's exclusive "2" car number plate sold for Dh23.3 million ($6.3m) at a charity auction for a global free meals campaign.

A total of Dh111m was raised for rare licence plates as well as exclusive mobile phone numbers.

Proceeds from the Most Noble Numbers event went to the One Billion Meals initiative to provide food for people in need in 50 countries during Ramadan and beyond.

Top 10 Etisalat number bids

#10 – Dh200,000 (current high bid)

#11 - Dh113,000

#55 - Dh94,000

#99 - Dh91,000

#22 - Dh91,000

#50 - Dh73,000

#69 - Dh71,000

#90 - Dh71,000

#333 - Dh61,000

#55555 - Dh55,000

Updated: June 16, 2022, 1:01 PM
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