Abu Dhabi licence plates to be auctioned this Saturday

Rare series 1 plates commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Police

Rare and low numbered licence plates will be on auction at Emirates Palace Hotel this weekend to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of Abu Dhabi Police. All plates are series 1. The lower the series, the higher the value and prestige of the plate.

Bidding for licence plate No 2 will start at Dh5million.

Other numbers to go under the hammer will include No 10, starting at Dh230,000 and No 11, starting at Dh240,000.

No 22, 101, 110, 333, 600, 999, 1111, 6666, 1000 and 55555 will also go on the block.

For spend thrifts, plate number 1957, which starts at an affordable Dh1,000.

The high price of number plates has caused confusion and consternation to some but bidders consider plates a status symbol, a secure financial investment and even an investment in road safety. Vehicles low plates tend to be shown greater respect by other drivers.

Part of the money raised is donated to charity.

The value of each plates varies according to series number and emirate, with low-series Abu Dhabi and Dubai plates being the most coveted.

Abu Dhabi plates are associated with high salaries and a federal government that takes care of its citizens with housing grants, infrastructure and healthcare.

Dubai licence plates are associated with entrepreneurialism, glamour and ambition.

For youth, licence plates play an important part in local cruising, or 'rounding', culture.


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Last November, a series-50 No 1 plate, issued for the Gold Jubilee of UAE Founding Father Sheikh Zayed’s accession as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, sold for Dh31m to Abdullah Al Mahri.

Mr Al Mahri, who was 32, told The National he bought it to honour the Rulers' efforts to make the country "number one" in the world.

Just a few weeks earlier, the Indian billionaire Balvinder Sahni paid Dh33million for a 'D5' Dubai plate during an auction by the Roads and Transport Authority for "one of his Rolls Royces".

"Why D5?" he told The National in August. "D is number four in the alphabet and four plus five is nine – my lucky number."

A few weeks after the purchase, he came under the spotlight when a video circulated on social media of his D5 plated Rolls Royce parked in a disabled space.

Abu Dhabi still holds the record for the most expensive plate, a No 1 plate that sold in 2008 for Dh52.5million to a 25 year old businessman.

The event is run by Emirates Auction, which also specialised in VIP mobile numbers and has broken seven Guinness World Records since its establishment in 2004.

The auction will be held this Saturday, November 18 at 4pm at Emirates Palace Hotel.

For further information, visit: emiratesauction.com or call 600 54 54 54.