Qataris fork out $4.6 million for 'vanity plates'

Qataris fork out $4.6 million for 'vanity plates'
An online auction in Qatar raised more than $4 million in four hours, as residents in the oil-rich gulf state fought for the most exclusive 'vanity' licence plates.
1 min read
23 Sep, 2016
The oil-rich gulf is notorious for its obsession with luxury items [Getty]
A Qatari auction for exclusive licence numbers raised more than $4.6 million this week, in the latest frenzied spending on ‘vanity plates’ in the oil-rich Gulf.

The event, hosted online by Qatar’s ministry of interior, was open to the public and lasted for four hours.

Three of the 25 licence plate numbers sold on the night cost more than half a million US dollars each, while the cheapest plate going for $52,000.

“People usually prefer three- or four-digit numbers, yet the symmetry in the six-digit numbers make them eye-catching and some people find them to be a good omen, too,” a local who spoke to al-Sharq said.

But the obsession with ‘exclusive’ luxury number plates venture beyond the borders of Qatar and into the wider Gulf region.

In June, an Emirati businessman made headlines after to splashing out on the novelty ‘number one’ number plate in Dubai.

Arif Ahmed al-Zarouni paid almost $5million for the most expensive licence plate in Dubai, with reports suggesting auction bids shot to $272,000 in under just one minute.

In 2008, an Emirati forked out $14.2million dollars at an auction for Abu Dhabi’s ‘number one’ plate.