New craze on unique mobile & car plate number
Are you willing to spend QR150,000 just to have a unique mobile or car plate number???
DOHA: There is so much craze for unique and easy-to-remember mobile phone and car plate numbers in the Qatari community that many people take bank loans to buy such numbers.
Taking advantage of the trend a whole new set of people has emerged in the community for whom buying and selling such numbers is a lucrative business.
These people buy several easy-to-remember mobile and car plate numbers at a time and insert advertisements in local newspapers as well as on websites offering them for ‘sale’.
Mobile phone or car plate numbers that begin with a digit that is repeated several times over such as 55555 or 66666 carry a premium. Such a number can sell for up to QR150,000, Al Sharq reported yesterday.
There are many people who want their mobile number to have some similarity with their car plate numbers and for that they are willing to spend hugely.
Then, there are others who prefer a mobile number that shows their date of birth. Such numbers are also sold at a premium.
And, interestingly, a very old car that literally has no value but has a unique number can be sold for tens of thousands of riyals.“There is so much craze for unique mobile phone and car numbers that many people take bank loans to buy them,” a citizen, Mohamed Al Rumaihi, told the daily.
A car plate registration can be changed by the traffic department if the owner is willing to transfer it to someone else. “Buying and selling unique numbers is a lucrative business for many in the community. If one has an easy-to-remember mobile number which one has bought for QR100,000, for instance, one can easily sell it for QR150,000, making a clean profit of QR50,000,” another citizen, Sultan Al Kuwari told the daily.
Contacted for comment, a senior official of the Ministry of Business and Trade told The Peninsula that since the entire issue involves people’s hobby, there is hardly anything the government can do to curb the trend.
“This is people’s private affair. All we in the government can do is raise awareness against it but cannot control it legally. Yes, the government should wage an awareness campaign since this is sheer waste of money,” said the official asking not to be named.
Confirming that many people were taking bank loans to buy unique mobile and car plate numbers, he said a welcome development has been that the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has imposed a maximum cap on loans.
The craze is mostly among the younger and unmarried people, the official said. “Their monthly pay packets are huge (on average, QR30,000 to QR40,000) and they have no family responsibility so they tend to splurge their earnings on such things,” he remarked.
The trend is not peculiar to Qatar and is prevalent elsewhere in the GCC, but Qatar is on top of the list, he said.
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