The bidding for licence plate No22 started at Dh400,000 and quickly accelerated to Dh3.4million (US$926,000) as enthusiasts competed fiercely in a charity auction at the Emirates Palace hotel last night. No22 was the lowest of 82 numbers available, but intense bidding was also anticipated for plates 666 and 800, as well as 5555 and 99999.
Last February, the auction drew the attention of the international media when plate No1 was bought for Dh52.2m. Other single-digit plates have drawn large amounts. No7 and No5 each sold for Dh25m last year. Nine of the world's 10 most expensive number plates have been sold in Abu Dhabi by Emirates Auction, the company that runs the auction, according to its website. Last month, bidders spent nearly Dh22m on 90 number plates. Plate No40 fetched Dh3.8m and No17 sold for Dh2.8m.
The money raised goes to charity, organisers say. Dh1.3m from last month's auction was donated to the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group, to support its aid work in earthquake-struck countries. * The National