License plate auction UAE
A man bids for a license plate at auction in Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Police Force

A license plate has sold at auction in the United Arab Emirates for a whopping Dh10.1m (£2m), according to local reports – the highest sale at the auction of the status symbol numbers. Sixty vanity plates were put under the hammer on Saturday evening (18 November) in the oil-rich gulf state.

The auction was part of a celebration commemorating 60 years of the Abu Dhabi Police Force, the law enforcement in the UAE's capital city, The National reported. In total, over Dh55m was raised as the crowd bid higher and higher on the prestigious plates.

The Dh10.1m price tag went to the single number 2 plate while the newspaper reported that another stylish numeral 1111 was bought by a boy who could not even legally drive. Twelve-year-old Khalifa took the plate home to put on his family's Mercedes-Benz G-class, which he rides to and from school.

"When I came inside, I told my dad I would not leave without this number," the boy told The National. Dh500,000 (£100,000) of the final Dhs1.5m (£300,000) price came from money Khalifa won in a competition for reciting the Quran, and the rest came from his father.

The number 2 plate went to local businessman Ahmed Al Marzuoqi, himself just 23, according to the Khaleej Times. Marzuoqi told reporters he was "very excited and proud" to have bought the license plate, saying that it signified the 2 December date that six of the seven emirates that make up the UAE banded together.

The runner-up price tag at Saturday's auction was for number 11, selling for Dh6.4m.

In June 2016, the plate number 1 sold for a record Dh18m to Emirati buisnessman Arif Ahmed al-Zarouni – 18 times the reserve price at auction. "My ambition is always to be number one," al-Zarouni told Gulf News at the time.