A bit like in the United States, even in the United Arab Emirates, the craze – original and expensive – of buying a special license plate for your car, and therefore having a personalized license plate, has spread.
It is normal in Dubai to see many luxury car shows: Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin … but it is not the cars that make the difference, but the plates.
In fact, a luxury car can look out of place – in the eyes of the locals – compared to a banal Jeep with a particular number plate.
The hierarchy of the plates is established by the number of digits that compose it.
They generally consist of 5 numbers; however, it is possible to purchase license plates with fewer digits. In Dubai, a license plate with 1, 2 or 3 digits is much more status symbol than the car itself.
Lower figures mean greater importance, prestige and sometimes power.
People who drive cars with this type of license plate are treated differently: they enjoy more respect on the roads, at the valet of restaurants and hotels have the privilege of having the best parking spaces and not having to wait to collect their car.
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum uses a Mercedes G-Class (personally driven), with number 1 plate, for daily commuting, while his son Sheikh Rashid drives a Mercedes G-Class with number 5 plate.
The cost of a plate with 2 digits (with only one figure is practically impossible to find, being all intended for members of the royal family) can exceed € 200,000!
Buying a license plate has also become an investment opportunity, as it can then be resold at higher prices. There are investors who study the different numbers and sequences of license plates available to find out which ones can become more. For example, triple zeroes on a 5-digit license plate number have an exponential value.
The one who draws the most benefits is certainly the Motorization, which leveraging people’s desire to have an important date in their lives on the license plate has set up the winning advertising campaign “Plate your special date”.