It isn’t the first time and it’ll certainly not be the last.
UAE residents have a penchant for special numbers, and there have been world records made and shattered when the well-heeled in the country have opened their purse-strings to own that special car number plate or even special mobile number.
For the record, UAE holds the world record for the most expensive number plate, with Abu Dhabi’s No. 1 licence plate being won in a fiercely bid auction for a cool Dh52.2m in 2008.
It comes close to the most expensive mobile number too – the number 052-2222222 was auctioned by Dubai-based telco Du last year, and was sold for Dh8,010,000 to a local businessman, marking a new record in the history of UAE number auctions as the highest sold mobile number in the country.
The only number that trumped that deal was the number 6666666 sold in Qatar in 2006 for a cool QR10m (about Dh10m).
That record may now be in danger as Du will now be auctioning off the 1 series number in the same platinum category, with the number 052-1111111 set to go under the hammer next Saturday, on February 6, 2016.
The du auction for Exclusive Packages for Special Numbers, in collaboration with Al Jalila Foundation, is organised by OnLine Auctions, and features several other exclusive numbers offered with special packages under different categories.
In a statement, du said that the 2016 edition follows the unprecedented success of last year’s auction (that’s when du set the UAE record of Dh8.01m).
In line with du’s continued efforts towards sustainability, part of the auction proceeds will be allocated to support Al Jalila Foundation’s endeavours in scientific and medical research, said du.
A portion of the proceeds from the 2015 du special numbers auction too benefited charitable initiatives. The proceeds were used to support over 90 charity projects, like building mosques and arranging Umrah trips, and individual cases for people in need and special medical cases.
Du noted in a statement that the initiative falls under the telco’s ongoing initiatives aimed at contributing to the UAE’s national innovation strategy, where technology and healthcare are considered major players.
“We would like to praise the continued support from du for meaningful activities and projects, where medical research and healthcare industry development claim major interest,” said Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation.
“Corporate social responsibility plays a primary role in this field, as it aids in multiplying efforts and ensuring its continuity to meet the original purposes,” he said.
“At du, we believe in the importance of intellectual content development, particularly in the healthcare sector, as an essential ingredient to the overall success of the UAE innovation strategy. Hence, we are proud to support the Al Jalila Foundation, as it endeavours to improve medical efforts in the UAE and positively contribute to the populations’ overall health,” said Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Commercial Officer, du.
“We hope that our support aids in the development of our nation’s medical sector, so that it achieves revolutionary results and enhances the UAE’s reputation as the destination for international medical care.”
Al Hassawi added: “As a socially responsible business, we are always on the lookout for innovative ways to cooperate with various entities for the purpose of enriching all aspects of life in the UAE. Our partnership with Al Jalilah Foundation this year will enable us to extend further support for knowledge content in the field of medical research, and raise the level of health care in the UAE; thus contributing to the achievement of future development goals.”