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License Plate “1” sold for 14.5 million US $

Dubai, Cairo /

Emirates Auction smashed the world record for license plate prices when it sold the world's most expensive number plate for 14.5 million US $ a few days ago in the UAE's capital Abu Dhabi, earning itself a place in the Guinness Book of Records once again.

“Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri, paid Dh52.2 million, more than double the current record, to become the proud new owner of Plate “1” -- the ultimate car registration number,” announced Abdulla Matar Al Mannaei, Managing Director of Emirates Auction, the official auctioneer for Code 5 distinguished number plate auctions, supported by the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police.
Abdulla Matar Al Mannaei, Managing Director of Emirates Auction, in front of the Pagani Zonda with the \'Abu Dhabi No 1\' license plate

The earth-shattering price breaks Emirates Auction’s own record for the most expensive car license plate ever sold. Plate “5” sold for Dh25.2 million in May 2007 – almost 10 ten times the value of the luxury car it adorns. It was snapped up by Abu Dhabi businessman Talal Ali Mohammad Khouri.

“The expectations going in were huge. We were confident of delivering a positive outcome, but the final value exceeds our wildest hopes and dreams,’ Al Mannaei said.

“Today we set not just one, but two records, said Al Mannaei, adding that the auction – the sixth of such an event organized by Emirates Auction – attracted 750 participants, and generated a record Dh89 million (USD 24.25) from the sale of 90 number plates.

Al Mannaei is no stranger to breaking records. As of today, Emirates Auction holds the records for the top seven most expensive plates worldwide, including nine of the top ten. Plate “1” was only the third one-digit number plate to go on sale so far, and by far the most prestigious.

One of the winning bidders was 10-year-old Hazaa Seif Ali Hammadi, who bid Dh 2.15 million for Plate “51” on behalf of his father, Seif Ali Hammadi, an Abu Dhabi businessman.
The five previous auctions raised $56 million from the sale of 393 plates, which went towards the support of special needs projects and victims of road accidents.

All proceeds from today’s auction will go towards building a national rehabilitation centre for traffic accident victims -- the first of its kind in the UAE. It will be run along the lines of the most advanced rehabilitation centers in the world and will provide physiotherapy, and other medical, psychological, social, occupational and recreational support.
The exclusive event was held on Feb. 16, 2008 at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The auction was organized by Emirates Auction on behalf of the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police and sponsored by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Emirates Palace.

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