The UAE loves a vanity plate – let’s be honest, we all clock a number plate when it consists of three or less digits.

Well, at a recent auction at the Al Jawaher Hall in Sharjah, Emirati businessman Arif Ahmad Al Zarouni purchased the Sharjah plate number 1.

In a bidding war that saw the plate start at Dhs1 million, the price quickly shot up to Dhs18 million at which point it was snatched up by Al Zarouni.

*More: Dubai license plate auction sees values of Dhs500,000 upwards*

Al Zarouni told Gulf News, “I attended the license plate auction only to win number 1. My ambition is always to be number 1. I have no plan to win other numbers.”

He apparently has no intention to sell it.

A young Emirati boy stands alongside a Ferrari equipped with license plate 33333:

number plate dubai

Alongside number 1, a total of 60 unique license plates were sold – raking in more than Dhs50 million.

Other expensive number plates sold in the auction included number 12, which sold for Dhs2,070,000, number 22 for Dhs2,080,000, number 50 for Dhs1,900,000, while number 100 and 333 sold for Dhs1.5 million each.

*More: Possibly the coolest hypercar in the UAE’s police force*

Other special numbers included 50, 777, 1000, 12345, 1971, 2016, 2020 and 99999.

The winner of plate number 3 can be seen cutting a congratulatory cake in a video posted on Instagram:

Although Dhs18 million is a serious amount of money to splash out on a vanity plate, the most expensive plate ever sold in the UAE was for almost three times that amount in Abu Dhabi – with the Abu Dhabi plate number 1 selling for Dhs52.2 million.

Abdulla Matar Al Mannai, the Executive Director of Emirates Auction told Gulf News, “With 1,340 bidders, this auction is considered to be the biggest in the UAE in terms of the number of bidders.”

Participants who placed the winning bids can now either register their plates in their name or transfer to another person.

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