World Record: Dubai License Plate ‘P7’ Sells for $15mil USD

Lifestyle, News I By Justin Cornelison I April 12, 2023
Dubai License Plate P7

$15,000,000 USD is what it costs to show your status apparently, as a charity auction for Dubai license plate ‘P7’ ended over the weekend setting a new world record.  The $15mil selling price surpassed the previous record set in 2008 by businessman Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri who paid 52.2 million dirhams ($14.3 million) for a plate bearing the number 1 in Abu Dhabi.  The auction, conducted by Emirates Auction LLC, saw a wealthy bidder acquiring the rare license plate during a charity auction. The proceeds from the sale will be reportedly directed to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s global food aid initiative, the 1 Billion Meals Endowment.

Dubai is known for auctioning off vanity plates, which are used by the ultra-wealthy to flaunt their status and wealth. This practice has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes over the years. The winning bidder for the Dubai license plate P7 has not been disclosed.

The sale of vanity plates has also been observed in other parts of the world, with eye-watering prices being paid for unique and sought-after plates. In Hong Kong, the single-letter “R” plate was sold at an auction for HK$25.5 million ($3.2 million) earlier this year.

Dubai has been a popular destination for the ultra-rich to display their wealth and enjoy a tax-free lifestyle. The Emirate’s economy has remained strong, with high oil prices benefiting its neighboring countries and most important customers. The influx of wealth has also buoyed the real estate market.

Even moderately-paid expats in Dubai are able to afford cars they may not have been able to back home, thanks to the lower sales tax rates. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has driven up rents and squeezed the middle-class residents of the Emirate.

Businessman Balvinder Singh Sahni, also known as Abu Sabah, who purchased the plate D5 in 2016 for 33 million dirhams ($9 million), stated that Dubai is a city of big and secure people who want to display their status. He recounted how, during his first visit to the luxury hotel Burj Al Arab in 2006, he was denied entry due to his car license plate having too many numbers. He was told he needed either a two-digit number plate or a reservation. “It was always my dream to have a single-digit number,” he said. “When I got the chance, and they told me this money all goes to charity, I went all in.”

The Dubai license plate P7 can be transferred to any car registered in the Emirate, regardless of whether it is a supercar or not. Guinness World Records did not provide any comment on the sale of the Dubai license plate P7.

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