The trend of buying unique license plates and cell phone numbers is reaching a fever pitch in Qatar, such that people are taking out bank loans to acquire their own special digits, the Peninsula reports.
The most sought-after plates and phone numbers involve repeated numerals, the buyer’s birthday or match each other and can fetch up to QR150,000, the paper reports.
Qatar, home to the world’s second highest percentage of millionaires, is not the only GCC country experiencing this trend, but it is among the foremost, an official at the Ministry of Business and Trade told the Peninsula.
The craze is mostly among the younger and unmarried people, the official said.
“Their monthly pay packets are huge (on average, QR30,000 to QR40,000) and they have no family responsibility so they tend to splurge their earnings on such things,” he remarked.
Earlier this year, a buyer paid a record QR1.4 million ($284,000) for an easy-to-remember (unlisted) mobile phone number during a charity auction.