A wealthy bidder has splashed out a world-record 55 million dirhams ($15 million) for a prestigious car license plate in Dubai, smashing a bar set in the United Arab Emirates more than a decade ago.
Emirates Auction sold plate number P 7 — which, at first glance, looks like the number 7 alone, with the P off to the side — on Saturday during a charity auction, according to the company. Proceeds will go to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s global food aid initiative, the 1 Billion Meals Endowment.
The UAE has made a habit of auctioning off vanity plates, used by the ultrarich to show off their status and wealth, for charity. The latest auction broke a record set in 2008 by local businessman Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri, who paid 52.2 million dirhams for a plate bearing the number 1 in Abu Dhabi.
The identity of this weekend’s auction winner was not disclosed.
Vanity plates have also fetched eye-watering prices outside the Middle East: Someone bought the single-letter “R” plate at auction in Hong Kong earlier this year for HK$25.5 million ($3.2 million).
Lisa Fleisher and