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Sun 9 Oct 2016 10:04 AM

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Dubai number plate sold for $8.9m at auction

D5 plate sold at the Roads and Transport Authority's number plate auction

Dubai number plate sold for $8.9m at auction
Balwinder Sahani, a Dubai-based Indian businessman, paid $8.9 million for number plate D5. \nImage: Ahmed el Mehairbi/Twitter

An expat businessman has paid almost $9 million for a unique Dubai number plate at an auction.

Balwinder Sahani, a Dubai-based Indian businessman, paid $8.9 million (AED33 million) for number plate D5 at the Roads and Transport Authority's number plate auction on Saturday.

He is the owner of RSG International, a property management company, with interests in the UAE, Kuwait, India and the United States, Gulf News reported.

“I like collecting unique number plates and I am proud to have got this number. I like number nine and D5 adds up to nine, so I went for it," Sahani told the newspaper.


In 2015, he purchased the number O9 for $6.81 million (AED25 million).

Eighty unique numbers were offered on Saturday ranging from one two five digits. Q77 was purchased by an Emirati bidder for $1.23million (AED4.52 million), P27 was sold for $583,106 (AED2.14 million) while R7777 was bought for $318,801 (AED1.17 million).

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Phil Jones 3 years ago

A crazy waste of money by attention-seeking "look-at-me's". There is so much poverty in the world, including this region, and some of it could be alleviated if these obscene sums were directed there rather than at a number plate.
Previous generations of 'businessmen' were genuinely philanthropic and felt it their moral duty to share part of their wealth with people less fortunate. These days they just spend it on themselves.

Sonny 3 years ago

What a idiot! Couldn't find a better way to spend his money!

Fentoni 3 years ago

things are rarely as they first appear...who are we to say if this is wasted money or a canny investment? The value of rare plates may rise by 4% a year whilst his money in the bank I earning just over 1% (or zero if he opts for an Islamic account). I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you stand a significantly lower chance of being stopped by the Police with a single digit number plate on your car.

JRH 3 years ago

Maybe - but having read some of the comments attributed to the buyers in the local press I suspect this is all about status.

I'd heard that the money goes to charity but in fact this simply goes to the RTA (something they themselves confirm) so there is no benevolent angle.

who 3 years ago

agree with you in general.....but u should know that all the money the RTA raised is going to charity (not sure which ones though)

savio 3 years ago

If RTA finds rich buyers to pay such a huge amount of money for a number plate ( mainly Ego oriented..) they should use that amount for charity! He could have bought 9 Bugatti Veyron for that price, or 45 Porsche 911 Turbo or 90 Mercedes class AMG. thats for the funny part. But it is as well the annual salary 3000 construction workers. Over 1.5 billion people don't have access to clean water in the world and as little as 1 usd per year can change their life. Makes the maths 9 000 000 usd... To have a nice metal number plate on your Rolls royce to drive from Four Seasons Dubai to la Petite maison or any other better use... no comment

Omar 3 years ago

Ha! that would be a 5 metre journey :)

SA1 3 years ago

as per article ....RTA is using the money for charity....not clear how much percent of that and where.

P Singh 3 years ago

a= 33 million
b= 10 yrs schooling fees for 1 child (20000 for 1 yr)
c = no.of children who could have been sponsored for free education.
a / b = c
33000000 / 200000 = 165

Victory Red 3 years ago

I wish the charity was the extension to the Al Khail road!!! That whole area of Dubai feels like it has been forgotten. Endless traffic jams & with more towers being finished in the Sports City, JVC etc. areas, it is scheduled to only get worse.

A 12 lane highway - a road to nowhere.....literally