Qatar held its first ever private vehicle license plate auction and bids skyrocketed, with the lowest paid for a plate was QR 260,000 or just over $70,000.
The license plate number 411 was sold for over QR 3.5 million to a Qatari man, who bought two additional license plates for QR 1.36 million each, leaving the auction with a bill over QR 6 million.
The event was first of its kind. Usually car license plate number used to be electronically auctioned off by the Ministry of Interior. But the auction at Katara Cultural Village was a private auction, and brought together both buyer and seller.
About 30 black and white license plates were sold at the auction, summing up a total of QR 15 million for the “special” numbers. The most popular were four digit plates with numbers resembling dates from the 20th century.
The plates varied between three, four, five and six digit numbers, with the second most expensive number, 9999, being sold at QR 3.2 million.
Buying a license plate number for nearly a million US dollars might not seem like a good idea to people living outside of the Arab Gulf, but to locals they are signs of prestige, wealth and self-branding. The same status is usually given to what is called special phone numbers.
Auction participants had been asked to deposit a sum of QR 50,000, with all bids starting at QR 150,000.