Steane Klose | Feb 18, 2008

Money no object? Our pain at the pump is providing a windfall for the super-rich in the United Arab Emirates and what do you buy when you already have everything? Number plates of course! But the real question here, is what are you prepared to pay for the right ones?

If it’s the plate bearing the single digit “1” then the sky is the limit. Saeed Abdel Ghaffar Khouri a UAE businessman who made his fortune in Real Estate and stocks has just paid the equivalent of $US14 million for #1. Mr Khouri even considers it a fair price and plans to hang it on his wall at home rather than fix it to a car.

But don’t think for a moment that Mr Khouri is a fool for paying so much, he fully expects the plates to sell for more in a couple of years time. As he puts it, “who doesn’t want to be number one…”

The sale of #1 follows last year’s auction of #5 which netted a healthy $US5 million and the proceeds of these auctions do go to good causes, including a charity that builds hospitals for road accident victims.

The plates being auctioned were displayed on a bevy of exotic cars with #1 being affixed to a Pagani Zonda.

Mr Khouri admitted that he would have bidded higher for #1 if the competition were as keen as he was. His budget extended to 100 million dirhams ($US27.4 million) on the day…

Follow Steane Klose on Google+