Dubai Number Reg Plate Auction Hits High Prices
Spending money for fantasy vehicle number plates is a good investment in Dubai, said an Emirati entrepreneur who spent over Dh3 million to purchase his favourite number at an auction on Saturday.
In its first open auction of the year, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai placed 80 distinguished numbers for auction at the Godolphin Ballroom in the Emirates Towers Hotel. The numbers included numbers of two, three, four and five digits.
Waleed Abdul Khader spent Dh3.08 million to buy number 18 of O series on Saturday.
"I came here only for this number and I have got it for Dh3.08 million. It is a good investment that I am making and I advise others too to put their money in unique number plates," said the Emirati businessman.
"Investing in number plates is part of my business and I have full confidence in the potential value appreciation," he told Khaleej Times, in the middle of the auction, attended by a few hundred number plate enthusiasts.
"I have seen the value of number plates multiply several times over years. For instance, a number plate which was bought for Dh2 million about seven years ago is worth Dh30 million now.
The value of number plates has not come down and compared to investment in property or share market, this is an attractive option for me," said Abdullah Shahib, who was waiting to know the pulse of the auction before taking his turn. Some of the distinguished numbers were sold for over Dh1 million.
How close a series of letters or numbers are to a real name of word: if the match quality is high (and the numbers and letters are very convincing in making a popular word), the value of the registration plate will be higher. This means that a match like 5IMON, for the name Simon, will be worth a lot more than a more obscure set of letters and numbers that are not as convincing a match, such as S17 MMM for the name Sam.
The style of the plate: this means establishing if it is a new-style plate, an older-style format or if it is dateless or Irish, for instance. Other options are that it is a prefix-style plate or a suffix-style plate. New-style number plates, which have been produced since 2001, tend to be the least valuable because they are a bit less appealing to some collectors, plus the rule about not having plates that are newer than your car can also come into play, putting people off from buying a newer-style plate for their older car. Prefix-style number plates, which were in production between 1983 and 2001 can be more popular as more vehicles are entitled to have those licence numbers, and they may have fewer characters in total. Suffix-style plates, issued from 1963 to 1983 are relatively rare, which means they can attract higher prices than prefix-style plates and newer designs. Dateless number plates, also known as cherished number plates, were produced between 1903 and 1963 and are nearly always the most valuable number plate configurations; they have fewer digits and their dateless nature means that people can hide the age of their car. Irish number plates are similar to dateless number plates, especially because they don’t have a year identifier. They also tend to be cheaper than other types of vehicle registration plates.
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