x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

60-year-old licence plate under the hammer

Bidding for licence plate expected to exceed Dh1.7 million

A private auction to sell a 60-year-old British licence plate with letters for "Dubai" begins Monday and is expected to exceed the UK record of Dh1.7 million.

The 1962 plate, 1 DUB, which was bought four years ago by its current owner for Dh154,000, is now being resold with a reserve price of Dh500,000.

According to M I Khan, the head of the Dubai-based MIK Legal Consulting, which is handling the private auction, the plate has already attracted interest from several high-rollers in the UAE.

Mr Khan said the current owner, who bought the plate as an investment, is a "very prominent and successful businessman" in the property sector in the UK and UAE.

The three-week auction, which ends on May 14 at 1pm GMT (5pm UAE), has already attracted an offer of Dh350,000, which was rejected.

All the registered interest has come from Emiratis living in Dubai, according to Mr Khan, who said he expects a minimum of six "serious" bids this week.

He said the handful of people who have registered for the auction will initially be monitoring the sale.

"As we have a reserve on this sale, we believe the real push will happen towards the end."

In February Mr Khan's company facilitated the private auction of a licence plate spelling out Abu Dhabi.

It was hoped the sale of the British plate, AB11 DHB, which was originally bought for Dh2,300 in 2011, would exceed the UK record.

It was eventually bought by a Dubai-based Russian businessman for Dh730,000.

Mr Khan said he expects the Dubai plate to generate "a lot more" interest than the Abu Dhabi plate.

"This time around we are very confident we can achieve a new UK record."

molson@thenational.ae