Three-digit car number plate sells for millions in Dubai charity auction

Three-digit car number plate sells for millions in Dubai charity auction
The vehicle plate number A88 was sold at the ‘Most Noble Numbers’ charity auction. (WAM)
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Updated 18 April 2022

Three-digit car number plate sells for millions in Dubai charity auction

Three-digit car number plate sells for millions in Dubai charity auction
  • The vehicle plate number A88 was sold at the ‘Most Noble Numbers’ charity auction

DUBAI: A three-digit vehicle registration plate has sold for a staggering $9.5 million at a charity auction in Dubai on Friday. 

The vehicle plate number A88 was sold at the ‘Most Noble Numbers’ charity auction, where the three other unique plate numbers up for grabs — F55, V66 and Y66 — sold for $1.08 million, $1.08 million and $1.03 million respectively. 

In less than two hours, the auction raised a total of $14.4 million in support of the ‘1 Billion Meals’ campaign, which aims to provide food aid to those in need. 




Mobile numbers also went for over a million dollars. (WAM)

The audience also had the chance to bid on 10 different special mobile numbers, which rendered a total of $1.4 million. 

The highest bid came in for the number 549999999, which sold for $1.36 million. 

Organized by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the ‘Most Noble Numbers’ auction was held in collaboration with Emirates Auction, with the support of Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), and Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC (Etisalat). 


Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon

Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon
Updated 25 March 2023

Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon

Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon
  • An observatory in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, first spotted the asteroid on February 27
  • The asteroid will again swing past Earth in 2026

PARIS: A large asteroid will safely zoom between Earth and the Moon on Saturday, a once-in-a-decade event that will be used as a training exercise for planetary defense efforts, according to the European Space Agency.
The asteroid, named 2023 DZ2, is estimated to be 40 to 70 meters wide, roughly the size of the Parthenon, and big enough to wipe out a large city if it hit our planet.
At 19:49 GMT on Saturday it will come within a third of the distance from the Earth to the Moon, said Richard Moissl, the head of the ESA’s planetary defense office.
Though that is “very close,” there is nothing to worry about, he told AFP.
Small asteroids fly past every day, but one of this size coming so close to Earth only happens around once every 10 years, he added.
The asteroid will pass 175,000 kilometers from Earth at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour. The moon is roughly 385,000 kilometers away.
An observatory in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, first spotted the asteroid on February 27.
Last week, the UN-endorsed International Asteroid Warning Network decided it would take advantage of the close look, carrying out a “rapid characterization” of 2023 DZ2, Moissl said.
That means astronomers around the world will analyze the asteroid with a range of instruments such as spectrometers and radars.
The goal is to find out just how much we can learn about such an asteroid in only a week, Moissl said.
It will also serve as training for how the network “would react to a threat” possibly heading our way in the future, he added.
Moissl said preliminary data suggests 2023 DZ2 is “a scientifically interesting object,” indicating it could be a somewhat unusual type of asteroid. But he added that more data was needed to determine the asteroid’s composition.
The asteroid will again swing past Earth in 2026, but poses no threat of impact for at least the next 100 years — which is how far out its trajectory has been calculated.
Earlier this month a similarly sized asteroid, 2023 DW, was briefly given a one-in-432 chance of hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046.
But further calculations ruled out any chance of an impact, which is what normally happens with newly discovered asteroids. Moissl said 2023 DW was now expected to miss Earth by some 4.3 million kilometers.
Even if such an asteroid was determined to be heading our way, Earth is no longer defenseless.
Last year, NASA’s DART spacecraft deliberately slammed into the pyramid-sized asteroid Dimorphos, significantly knocking it off course in the first such test of our planetary defenses.


Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer
Updated 24 March 2023

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer
  • Scream as loud as you can for rescuers to hear you, 911 dispatcher the panicked lads

NEW YORK: Five mischievous boys had to be rescued after they crawled through a storm drain tunnel in New York City and got lost, authorities said.
In audio released by the fire department, 911 dispatchers work to pinpoint the boys’ exact location and then tell them to scream once rescuers are close enough to hear.
“Now you can scream as loud as you can,” a dispatcher says. “They want you to scream and yell.”
The five boys, aged 11 and 12, crawled into a storm drain on Staten Island at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, fire department officials said at a news conference Wednesday.
The boys walked about a quarter mile and then called 911 when they couldn’t find their way back, officials said.
“We’re stuck in the sewer,” one of the boys says on the recording. “You’re stuck where?” a dispatcher responds.
A second dispatcher says he is familiar with the area and tries to determine exactly where the boys are. “Once you went down, was the sewer left, right, straight — where was it?” the dispatcher asks. “I need you to guide me.”
When sirens can be heard, the dispatcher tells the boys to scream. At first the boys fear that the rescuers aren’t stopping.
“It sounded like they went past us,” one boy says.
The dispatcher assures the boys, “They’re not going anywhere, we’re going to get you out of there.”
Soon an emergency responder can be heard saying “We might have hands on the kids right now,” and then, “We have all five children removed from the sewer.”
Firefighters said the boys were in the tunnel for about an hour. The boys and one firefighter were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but none had significant injuries, officials said.
“Amazing that the cellphone worked in the tunnel,” FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens told reporters. “That was a key component of us finding them.”


Hollywood star Salma Hayek visits Jordan’s Wadi Rum

Hollywood star Salma Hayek visits Jordan’s Wadi Rum
Updated 24 March 2023

Hollywood star Salma Hayek visits Jordan’s Wadi Rum

Hollywood star Salma Hayek visits Jordan’s Wadi Rum
  • Hayek is the third celebrity to visit Jordan this week, along with Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King

AMMAN: US actress Salma Hayek, who is of Lebanese descent, visited Jordan this week with her husband, French businessman François-Henri Pinault.

Hayek took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a photo from her trip to Wadi Rum, with the caption: “Inhaling the magic of Jordan.”

The famous desert destination, characterized by its red sand, was a location for several major scenes in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin,” and the sci-fi adventure “Dune.”

Hayek is the third Hollywood star to visit Jordan this week, along with TV personalities Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

“Put it on your must-see list if you haven’t already” Winfrey posted on Instagram on Sunday about her recent trip to Jordan’s “Rose City,” Petra.


SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open on May 23

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open on May 23
Updated 23 March 2023

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open on May 23

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open on May 23
  • Marine-life theme park will host 150 species
  • Spaces were built to recreate the way sea animals would live in natural habitat

DUBAI: Property developer Miral announced on Tuesday that SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, a next-generation marine-life theme park on Yas Island, is set to open on May 23, Emirates News reported. 

The marine-life theme park will feature the region’s largest multi-species aquarium, with more than 58 million liters of water and 150 species, including sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. It will be constructed on five indoor levels with a total area of about 183,000 sq m. 

The theme park will offer up-close animal encounters, rides, and dining and shopping opportunities across eight themed guest environments. Meanwhile, the development also includes the UAE’s first dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return center. 

“As part of our commitment to the Year of Sustainability, the marine life park will embed Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and profound respect for nature and all its beauty, as well as play a key role in promoting environmental awareness and protecting marine life in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region,” said Miral Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak. 

“Through its innovative programs and its state-of-the-art facilities, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi aims to inspire the next generation of conservationists and marine life scientists while fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world,” Al-Mubarak said 

The theme park was built to allow marine creatures to live in dynamic habitats alongside other fish, birds and animals as they would in nature, WAM reported. Spaces have also been designed to mimic social seasonal patterns for animals and provide the health benefits of full spectrum light.


Media mogul Murdoch, 92, engaged for fifth time

Media mogul Murdoch, 92, engaged for fifth time
Updated 21 March 2023

Media mogul Murdoch, 92, engaged for fifth time

Media mogul Murdoch, 92, engaged for fifth time
  • The Australian Murdoch, whose media empire includes The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and other influential outlets, is worth more than $20 billion, according to Forbes

WASHINGTON: Conservative media tycoon Rupert Murdoch will tie the knot for the fifth time, at the age of 92 years, he said Monday in an interview with his own newspaper, the New York Post.
Murdoch is engaged to Ann Lesley Smith, a 66-year-old former police chaplain in San Francisco and widow of American country singer and media executive Chester Smith.
“I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be,” he told the tabloid. “I’m happy.”
Murdoch divorced his fourth wife, model Jerry Hall, last year after six years of marriage.
The Australian Murdoch, whose media empire includes The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and other influential outlets, is worth more than $20 billion, according to Forbes.
Murdoch met his new fiancee last year at an event he hosted at his vineyard in California and soon enough the pair decided to spend “the second half of our lives together,” the tycoon was quoted as saying.
“In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half,” said Smith. “I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me.”
The wedding will take place this summer and the couple plans to split their time between the United States and Britain.
Murdoch, who has six children, was first married to Patricia Booker, an Australian flight attendant, whom he divorced in the late 1960s.
He and his second wife, Anna, a newspaper reporter, were together more than 30 years before divorcing in 1999. His third marriage to Wendi Deng ended in 2013.