Dh35 million vehicle plate: 'Most Noble Numbers' charity auction returns to UAE

The auction for special mobile numbers in Dubai collected Dh53 million last year


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 5 Apr 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 7 Apr 2023, 10:49 PM

Tens of millions of dirhams have been raised in a single night of charity in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the past two years. Another ‘Most Noble Numbers’ charity auction is set on Saturday in support of this year’s ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ campaign.

For the uninitiated, it is really mind-boggling to think why would someone pay a whopping Dh35 million or Dh38million for a vehicle plate? Last year, the opening bid for special Dubai plate number ‘AA8’ started at Dh5 million. Bidding became fierce in no time and it went up to Dh20 million, before settling at Dh35 million, and it was finally bought by an anonymous bidder.

A year earlier, in 2021, the single-digit Dubai car plate number ‘AA9’ sold off for a staggering Dh38 million. The winning bidder also remained anonymous.

The first edition of the ‘Most Noble Numbers’ auction that ran alongside the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign in Ramadan 2021, raised Dh50.45 million in one night only. Last year, the auction for special mobile numbers in Dubai collected Dh53 million, on top of the Dh111 million raised by Abu Dhabi Police for the same campaign in 2022.

Generosity and charity

Two words would best describe how this was made possible: Generosity and charity – in support of the annual Ramadan initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).

For the bidders and organisers, acquiring fancy numbers (car plates and special mobile numbers) meant providing meals for the needy.

In 2021, the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign actually produced more than 220 million meals, thanks to donations from 385,000 individuals, companies, businessmen and philanthropists from 51 nationalities.

The Dh50.45 million raised from auctions that year contributed a big chunk to the overall collection.

Last year, the ‘1 Billion Meals’ target was achieved in less than one month after launch, securing meals to those in need across 50 countries, including Nigeria, Sudan, Albania, Jordan, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Angola, Uganda, Kosovo, Tajikistan, and more.

Sustainable food aid

All proceeds of this year’s auction will go to the ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ campaign, aimed aimed at establishing a food endowment fund for sustainable food aid.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, RTA, said: “The ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ campaign … is the embodiment of the values of humanity and solidarity with those in need around the world. It is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to providing sustainable aid as it invites both public and private sector players to take part and promote the role of social responsibility — a formula that ensures the success of all such initiatives launched in the UAE.”

Fares Khalaf Al Mazrouei, commander-in-chief of the Abu Dhabi Police, added: “Our support for the Most Noble Number auction this year builds on the success of last year’s edition and the big turnout of elite businessmen and philanthropists. The 1 Billion Meal Endowment is in line with the UAE's initiatives aimed at helping the less fortunate around the world, reinforcing its position as a global humanitarian action hub, inspiring other countries in this field."

Humanity wins

On April 8 at Four Seasons Resort Dubai, several fancy vehicle and mobile phone numbers are all set to be auctioned off. The auction is again expected to see the participation of prominent figures from various businesses and charities who are keen to support charitable initiatives.

Excitement will be high as there is big anticipation as to how much single digit plate number P7 and 10 two-digit numbers AA19, AA22, AA80, O71, X36, W78, H31, Z37, J57 and N41 will fetch.

There are more car plate and mobile numbers that will be auctioned and we can expect fierce bidding as soon as the gavel is raised. Bidders will try to outbid each other but this early, we already knew who are the real winners: charity and humanity.

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