Qatar opens ‘special’ license plate numbers auction today

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The Ministry of Interior (MOI) is opening its fourth online auction for special license plate numbers today at noon.

The auction will be held on the government app Metrash 2 through Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10pm, MOI said on Twitter.

Like last year, bidders will be required to pay QR20,000 upfront to participate.

Anyone who wins a license plate must contact the Traffic Department to pay the bid amount within two working days, or forfeit their ownership of the plates and their deposit.

Opening bids start at QR100,000, the MOI added.

Debate

Last year, buyers spent nearly QR10 million ($2.7 million) on 24 license plates during the MOI’s auction.

And just a few months ago, another QR15 million was spent on a privately held auction for three- and four-digit number plates. That took place at the AlBahie Auction House at Katara Cultural Village.

In the GCC, extravagant cars, designer brands and unique license plates and phone numbers are a common way of flaunting wealth.

Albahie auction

Baba Tamim / Doha News

Albahie auction

But the events often spur a flurry of debate about whether wealthy people are wasting their money.

This is especially the case when the proceeds don’t go to charity.

However, Ashraf Abu Issa, co-founder of AlBahie Auction House, defended license plates auctions when speaking to Doha News during their event in May, saying:

“In some countries, some things are more popular than others. If you tell a Qatari about a baseball card or coin collection, he’ll say it’s stupid and superficial. Each society has a different view.”

Thoughts?

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