A vision of blue amongst many white kandoras, Indian businessman, Balwinder Sahni told Khaleej Times on Saturday he had “no budget” when it came to getting his hands on the distinguished Dubai number plate D5.
One of many bidders at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) auction in Dubai, Sahni ended up paying Dh33 million for the exclusive plate – leaving plenty of change in his pocket compared to his first estimations.
“People were increasing the bids in their hundreds of thousands, I was raising the bids by Dh1 million,” the 44-year-old, 10-year Dubai resident said.
After a fierce bidding war between 16 wannabe owners, Sahni reined successful in the bid. But why was he so adamant to get his hands on the plate? “Because number 9 is my lucky number. D is the fourth letter in the alphabet and add that to 5, it makes 9.” Although he admitted it was a “tough bidding war”, he said he “had to win”.
Sahni’s bright smile captured the audience of many on Saturday evening when the hammer hit down on the gavel at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.
He also paid Dh1 million for another number plate in the same sitting. All the money raised at the RTA auction will be going to charity, so if anyone can say they’ve done their bit for charity this weekend, he can.
But Sahni is no stranger to generosity. Just last year at a Shaikha Haya Charity Initiative, he successfully bid on plate number 9 – paying Dh24 million for the privilege.
Born and raised in Kuwait, Sahni is the Chairman of RSG International Group of companies. When asked where he’ll be putting the pricey number plate, he said: “On my Rolls Royce,” of which he has six. A total of 80 number plates went under the hammer on Saturday.
Dubai plate number P 27 went for Dh2.14 million and Q 77 sold for Dh4.52 million. CEO of RSG International Group of companies, and close friend of Sahni, Jasjit Jaaj, told Khaleej Times: “This is such a generous move and celebratory news. This is not the first time he is giving to charity and it won’t be the last.”