IMAGE: Saeed Khouri
Manuel Salazar  /  AP
Saeed Khouri, foreground, and others bid on a No. 1 vanity license plate during a charity auction in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Khouri won with a bid of $14 million.
updated 2/18/2008 4:02:00 AM ET 2008-02-18T09:02:00

A license plate with nothing but the number "1" on it went for a record $14 million at a charity auction Saturday.

Saeed Khouri, a member of a wealthy Abu Dhabi family, wouldn't say how many automobiles he owned or which of them might carry the record-breaking single-digit plate.

"I bought it because it's the best number," said Khouri, whose family made its fortune in real estate. "I bought it because I want to be the best in the world."

The oil-rich UAE began auctioning off vanity license plates last May.

Ordinary automobile license plates issued to drivers here — and even most other vanity series plates — carry both Arabic and Western numerals and script, defining the issuing city and country.

Khouri's plate, however, has only the Western numeral and no letters.

The record sale surpassed the $6.8 million that was paid for an Emirati license plate at an earlier auction with the Western number 5 on it — also without Arabic numerals or letters.

Manuel Salazar  /  AP
The license plate sits in a display case before the start of the charity auction Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

Proceeds from the auctions, which are held in a lavish hotel here, go to a rehabilitation center for victims of traffic accidents.

On Saturday, 90 license plates were auctioned off in all, raising a total of $24 million. The previous five such events raised more than $50 million.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments