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UAE’s priciest mobile number tops Dh7.8 million Kelly Clarke (email@example.com) / 10 March 2014 Selling for a hefty Dh7,877,777, etisalat’s Diamond Plus mobile number, 0507777777, was the clear favourite among the 700 bidders on Saturday, and made more than six times that of the runner up. The UAE’s most expensive mobile number has raised a staggering seven-digit figure — or Dh7,440,777 — for charity, after going under the hammer during a live auction across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Selling for a hefty Dh7,877,777, etisalat’s Diamond Plus mobile number, 0507777777, was the clear favourite among the 700 bidders on Saturday, and made more than six times that of the runner up. Seventy of etisalat’s most exclusive number packages went up for grabs at the auction, with the top 10 numbers alone making a hefty Dh13,852,777. Pocketing only the starting prices of all number packages showcased by the auctioneer, etisalat will donate the extra earnings to several charities, including the Khalifa Foundation. Fifty of the 700 bidders were vying for etisalat’s most exclusive digits on the day and Emirates Auction’s managing director Abdulla Al Mannaei told Khaleej Times the atmosphere was electric. “I cannot describe the feeling in the room. It was so different from any other auction we’ve had.” And when the gavel finally hit the rostrum, it brought an end to a very tense few minutes, he said. “The price went from Dh7.5 million to the winning bid in a matter of seconds. One bidder even offered Dh7,777,777, in keeping with the mobile number itself,” a move which didn’t bag the goods he said, after the winning bidder raised the offer by a further Dh100,000. Starting at a price of Dh437,000, the Diamond Plus digits alone will see a number of charities receive donations totalling Dh7,440,777. “With all the events that take place at Emirates Auctions, we give a considerable amount to charity. Etisalat will be doing the same,” Al Mannaei said. Unable to reveal the winning bidders identity, Al Mannaei did confirm that it was a man and said he will be using the number personally. “Although it is the government who own all mobile phone numbers, this bidder has the right to use it himself. He can assign the number to someone else if he wants, but he can’t sell it on.” Back in 2012, a similar auction took place in Kuwait where local telecommunications company, Viva, sold a number for Dh2.8 million, making it the most expensive in the country at the time. “That number was actually better than this one I think, because it was one zero, followed by nine fives,” Al Mannaei said. And although the auction house was expecting the etisalat number to exceed this figure, Al Mannaei admitted many were shocked that it more than doubled it. “I don’t know in terms of the rest of the world, but this is certainly the most expensive mobile number in the UAE now,” he said. A first for Emirates Auction house, Saturday’s VIP mobile number auction took place across two halls at Emirates Palace in the Capital and the Armani Hotel in Dubai. On Sunday Al Mannaei was unable to confirm the total amount raised from the auction. For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →
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