Smartphones have become a style statement of people’s life these days. The elite group carries expensive smartphones that are worth few hundred thousand dollars or even a million dollar. But have you ever thought that such group will take this competition to a level where they spend millions of dollars to buy a mobile number, that too, for a personal use? If not, then read on.
In Dubai – one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world – a mobile phone number was sold for whopping $2.2 million in an auction that lasted for over an hour. The number +971-052-2222222 was sold by telco du at a special auction. Telco du – a telecom operator of UAE – put 70 special numbers under the hammer and all the numbers were sold for between $4,900 and $19,500, besides the big number sale.
Mohamed Hilal, who also happens to be the CEO of Dubai-based, bought the number +971-052-2222222. However, when asked, he denied any possibility of setting the number for his business, unlike many other companies and is intended to use the number himself.
All the numbers that were auctioned were bundled with thousands of minutes of calls and SMS for 2 years. In fact, in Dubai, there is a huge demand for such special numbers.
“There is a lot of good numbers for cars, and good numbers for mobile phones,” says Fahad Al Hassani, Chief Commercial Officer – Du. “We have had many situations where we can’t give people the numbers they want. 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 adds.
After the grand success of the event, which was held at Festival City, Dubai, telcom companies in the UAE are planning to reserve premium numbers to sell in similar events every month. Telecom operators in Saudi Arabia and other neighboring GCC countries are also planning to host similar events in coming months.
This is not the first time when Dubai has seen such fascination towards belongings. In March, a customer of Etisalat – another telecom operator in UAE – paid nearly $21.1 million for the phone number +971-50-7777777. In 2008, a business named Saeed Abdul Ghafour set a world record by paying $14.3 million to own the local registration number “1” for his car. Dubai is also known for its luxurious life and extravagant life style. The ultra rich society of the emirate believes in showing their influence and position by owning a unique set of devices, cars, numbers, houses etc.
It is not clear that Mohamed Hilal, who bought the mobile phone number for $2.2 million, is going to use this number with which handset. But, considering his recent bid, it is safe to say that he must be jewelling the number with one of the most expensive mobile phones in the world – probably a Diamond Rose iPhone 4 32 GB, which costs $8 million.
It is also important to mention that UAE government has asked telco du to donate a portion of these sales for charity, which has been humbly accepted by the company and all the other telecom companies who are planning to host similar events in the future.