How much would you be willing to pay to be Number 1?

Let’s be honest, we’d all have a vanity plate if we could afford one.

The idea of being able to shunt your way through traffic as people glance nervously at your number plate is somewhat appealing.

Some people are willing to pay more for that luxury than others though, as this weekend’s auction in Abu Dhabi proved.

A No. 1 limited-edition licence plate sold for Dhs31 million to Emirati bidder Abdullah Al Mahri on Saturday at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

number plate abu dhabi

The huge sum was actually six times the reserve price for the coveted item.

The auction was held to commemorate the Abu Dhabi Government’s Golden Jubilee, with sales from the number plates raising more than Dhs99 million in total.

The limited-edition golden jubilee plates all feature the number 50 in the top left corner.

number plate abu dhabi

The No. 1 plate with the golden jubilee 50 in the top left corner

“I’m very proud to get No. 1, especially for this Golden Jubilee, 50 years of the Abu Dhabi Government. I’m very proud and very happy,” 32-year-old Al Mahri told The National.

He also told Gulf News he “was willing to pay any amount to get the plate number”.

“I often come to auctions like that and fetch the most unique numbers at the highest bids,” Al Mahri said.

The event was hosted by Emirates Auction and Abu Dhabi Police, with the organisers hoping to see the record broken for world’s most expensive plate.

We recently saw the No. 5 plate go for a whopping Dhs33 million in Dubai, but the record is still held by a No. 1 plate sold in 2008 in Abu Dhabi for Dhs52.5 million.

Here’s a video from Emirates Auction highlighting the event:

*6 things to do at the Al Ain Oasis*
*The Special Olympics are coming to Abu Dhabi*
*This Dubai guy just paid Dhs33 million for a number plate*


While Dhs31 million for a number plate is staggering, there were still a fair few other hefty purchases.

Number 7 sold for Dhs13.4 million, followed closely by No. 50 for Dhs6.8 million.

Number 11 started off at Dhs240,000, but quickly jumped to and sold for Dhs6.15 million.

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Images: Instagram/@emiratesauction, Twitter/@misbarcommunic