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Sun 26 Apr 2015 03:05 PM

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Mobile phone number sold for $2.2m in Dubai

Bidding for the phone number 052-2222222, which was being sold by telco du, lasted well over an hour

Mobile phone number sold for $2.2m in Dubai

A UAE mobile phone number was sold for just over $2 million at an auction held in Dubai.

Bidding for the phone number 052-2222222, which was being sold by telco du at a special auction, lasted well over an hour before reaching the final sale price of $2.2 million (AED8,010,000).

The eventual buyer was revealed as Mohamed Hilal, who said he intended to use the number himself, according to a report in The National newspaper.

“Yes, I’m going to use the number, with pride,” he said.

It was not known, however, whether Mohamed Hilal is the same CEO of the Dubai-based perfumer Mohamed Hilal Group.

The $2.2 million phone number was one of 70 special phone numbers being auctioned by du. Aside from the big sale, the other numbers sold for between $4,900 (AED18,000) and $190,500 (AED700,000). All phone numbers came with two-year package of thousands of free hours of calls and data.

Du’s chief commercial officer, Fahad Al Hassani, said there was a lot of demand in the UAE for the prized numbers.

“There is a lot of good numbers for cars, and good numbers for mobile phones,” he said. “We have had many situations where we can’t give people the numbers they want. We decided that the most fair way to deal with that is to offer 70 distinctive numbers and allow anyone to bid on them.”

The popularity of the event, which was held in Festival City, has led the telco to consider hosting a similar event each month.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales will go toward charity, with Alam wa Amal on Sharjah TV, and Emarat El Kheir on Noor Dubai Radio Channel named as the two beneficiaries.

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Mick 5 years ago

Like PT Barnum once said "there's one born every day". How is it even legal to charge $2.2 million for a phone number by a public company?? A bit opportunistic and not in an ethical way.

Mick 5 years ago

The most ironic thing is that, today, noone even knows anyone's phone numbers. This 2.2 mil number might as well be the same as my number since people dial you by name on their phone anyway. That 2.2 mil might have had more purpose in Nepal helping those in need.

Mosa 5 years ago

There is nothing wrong in exploiting one's enormous wealth, but spending it in THIS way---is a bit ridiculous in my opinion.
AED8m can convert an entire village into a city in poverty struck areas.
Yes, "portion of the proceeds" are going towards charity, but what portion is that? 10%? 20%? 30%? Even if its 50%, this is in no way a sensible expense.

C'mon man, AED 8,000,000 ON A MOBILE NUMBER? Is there NOTHING better one could do having that kind of disposable income??

Arabian Man 5 years ago

Who in the sanest mind can shell out 8 million dirhams for a number.
Most of the middle east and africa is in man made disasters and calamities.
Imagine how many mouths this money would have fed, how many lives this money would have saved,
how many homes this money would have made and more important how many hearts this money would have have won had it been used wisely.
Blame and hold Telco Du responsible for organizing a stupid event like this.

This wealth or resources are a gift from Almighty Allah, for using wisely and in the larger interest of the masses.
Such wasteful expenditure will be surely questioned on judgement day.
One of the five questions that every one has to answer on judgement day is " How did you earn your Living and How did you spend your wealth??

Awi 5 years ago

Lets call Mohamed Hilal every day to remind mind that it might not have been the best money spent. We all know his number. ;-)

Shehryar Khan 5 years ago

This is beyond ridiculous, its times like these when hope in humanity is totally lost. A huge percentage of the worlds wealth lays in the middle east and these are the kind of people that posses it, kind of makes you wonder how unfair life really gets.

But then again, who am I to judge. Money talks.

Mike 5 years ago

I wonder if the auction was happening at the same time a whole village in Nepal was being destroyed leaving thousands dead and thousands left homeless. But hey ho, who needs shelter when you have a kick ass telephone number

Paul King 5 years ago

To be fair to the buyer he will probably hold this number for a few years and then sell for a nice profit.