What�s in a number plate?

The Sharjah police have revealed that complaints of car number plates thefts in the emirate have gone up considerably during the latter half of 2008 and the beginning of this year, reports Khaleej Times. Al Shurti, a Sharjah police publication, said that 263 complaints have been reported in the emirate.

Number plates amount to big business in the UAE. The Ras Al Khaimah police announced recently that it made AED25 million from the sales of the category C double-digit and three-digit car plate numbers. The first batch of the three-digit plate numbers included 100, 200, and 999, all of which were sold for prices varying between AED100,000 and AED120,000.

According to officials, category C plate numbers were in big demand, and were bought by enthusiasts from all over the country.

In January last year, an Abu Dhabi businessman, Salem Buharoon, paid AED2.61 million for car number plate �11111' in an auction conducted by Abu Dhabi Police and Emirates Auction. He won the number after fierce competition with three other bidders.

In May 2008, the emirate held another number plate auction to raise money for charity, in which the number plate 5 became one of the world�s most expensive numbers after it was sold for AED25.2 million.

The entire auction, where 41 car number plates were sold, raised AED100 million.

Currently, several number plates in the country have also been put up for sale on the website Dubizzle.

For the number plate B-499, the owner is demanding AED120,000 while for the so-called �VVIP Car plate number� F-5223, registered in Dubai, the seller wants AED10,000. To get the number B-119, registered in Fujairah, you will have to shell out AED49,000, and for D-750, another Fujairah registered plate, the price goes up to AED65,000.

Most of the plates cost anything between AED6,000 - AED8,000. Some of the cheapest number plates available on the site include I-5478 and B-78633, both priced at AED3,000, E-17577 costing AED3,500, and H-1347 costing AED3,900.

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