FOR HIGH-ROLLING DRIVERS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, NO CAR IS COMPLETE WITHOUT A SINGLE-DIGIT LICENSE PLATE.
The oil-rich country’s wealthy elite are willing to drop millions of dollars to get their hands on one.
Dubai property developer Balwinder Sahni wanted a highly coveted plate bearing the number 5. He wanted it so much, he bid 33 million dirhams ($9 million) for it at a government auction earlier this month.
It was one of the largest sums ever spent on a license plate, although still lower than the $14 million record set in 2008 by an Abu Dhabi businessman.
Sahni found that his big purchase also brought him a lot of attention. He says he can’t go out in public without people stopping him and asking to take a photo — and some aren’t impressed, accusing him of wasting his money.
“It’s hard, people giving comments without knowing the type of person I am,” Sahni told CNNMoney. He described himself as “a simple man.”
The single-digit plates now adorn two of his six Rolls Royce cars. (He also has two more of the luxury vehicles on order.)