How much would you pay for an easy-to-remember phone number? If you were one of the mobile number bidders at a charity auction in the United Arab Emirates this past month, it would be over $2 million.
The phone number 050-777-7777 sold for 7,877,777 dirhams, which equates to about $2.1 million in U.S. dollars.
The number “7” has special religious and cultural significance to many citizens living in the United Arab Emirates.
Buying a $2.1 million phone number may sound the same as getting a collectible sports jersey from an auction, but there is a big catch that makes the phone number different. Individuals cannot technically “own” phone numbers in the UAE. The numbers belong to the government.
What does the high premium pay for then? A two-year phone contract with Middle Eastern phone company Etisalat. The buyer will receive the Diamond Plus package, which includes 22,500 text messages, 22,500 phone minutes, and 100GB of data every month.
While the thought of paying that much money for a phone number may seem illogical to most, a significant portion of the proceeds did go to the nonprofit charity of the UAE’s president.