DUBAI: A mobile phone number was auctioned for a whopping over Dh8 million after a furious bidding war that lasted well over an hour, media reports said.
One Mohamed Hilal became the proud owner of the number in the auction that stretched credulity among guests at Festival City, with bidding for the number 0522222222 touching at times by Dh500,000, reported The National.
Hilal was quoted as saying that he wasn’t going to let the number remain not in use simply for the fear of the entire world calling him the next day asking for a loan.
“Yes, I’m going to use the number, with pride,” he reportedly said. The number itself comes with a smartphone and a two year package of thousands of free hours of calls and data.
The starting price was Dh250,000, but the tone was set early on with an initial bid of Dh1 million. The final sale price was Dh8,010,000, the report said.
The auction was among 70 distinctive numbers from du. Many numbers contained prized combinations like 2222, or 55555, said the Dubai-based news portal.
The lowest price a number fetched was Dh18,000, while the second highest was sold for around Dh700,000, the report said.
Du’s chief commercial officer, Fahad Al Hassani reportedly said the demand for unique, memorable numbers was prevalent across the country.
“There is a lot of good numbers for cars, and good numbers for mobile phones. We have faced situations where we could not give people the numbers they wanted. We decided that the most fair way to deal with that is to offer 70 distinctive numbers and allow anyone to bid on them,” he was quoted as saying.
He added that depending on the success of the auction, the company would consider hosting one every month.
A portion of the proceeds will go to two charities: Alam wa Amal on Sharjah TV, and Emarat El Kheir on Noor Dubai Radio Channel, The National reported.
The auction follows one by Etisalat in March, which saw someone pay Dh7.877777 million for the phone number 0507777777, the report added.