Unusual

Qataris spend millions on car number plates

DOHA: Super-rich Qataris are splashing out millions on “fancy” car number plates in an online auction run by a government department.

So far, more than 4.2 million Qatari riyals ($1.1 million) has been pledged on just 24 separate and unique car registration numbers being auctioned by the interior ministry of the energy-rich state.

The bidding started on Tuesday afternoon and ends on Thursday night.

By Wednesday, the highest single bid was 460,000 riyals for the number plate 377773.

Bid prices are expected to increase over the course of Thursday.

As in Dubai, owning a distinct number plate has become a desirable status symbol for Qataris to publicly show off their wealth.

Most in demand are those with fewer numbers — most ordinary Qatari registration plates have six figures — repeated digits, or those in sequence.

A previous auction for “fancy vehicle numbers” at the end of last year saw one driver bid a reported 200-million riyals (almost $55 million) for the number plate 333355. – AFP

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