The Market


RM grosses $16.8m at inaugural Dubai auction

RM grosses $16.8m at inaugural Dubai auction 11th March 2024

In a no-nonsense event conducted over little more than an hour, RM despatched 16 of the 22 motor cars offered at its first-ever Dubai sale. The event had been pulled forward a day due to bad weather, but that did not stop lively bidding in the room and over the telephone.

Proceedings were conducted by Sholto Gilbertson with top European PR man Peter Haynes introducing the lots. There was no associated concours or racing event, and the auction was held in a smart modern conference centre.

In a region not noted for classic car auction success, this was a fine effort and proved that less is probably more: just market the cars properly, clearly explain each one’s tax status – vital in the Gulf – then sell them. The RM EMEA team did the basics and a came away with a $16.8m gross for motor cars alone. As a warm-up, it sold 23 lots of automobilia that totalled $595,320 with premium.

At a glance:

* Gross, motor cars: $16,785,725
* Percentage sold by number: 73%
* Top-selling car: 2016 Koenigsegg Agera RSR $3,380,000 gross, $3,000,000 net (est. $2.8m to $3.4m)

By way of comparison, RM conducted a sale on the starting line of the 2019 Abu Dhabi GP. No doubt costing multiples of last Friday’s event, five years ago that auction grossed $31.26m at a below-average 58% sold-by-number.

In Dubai, most of the cars went pretty well on estimate, with just two beating upper guide price: the $189,750, manual-gearbox 1997 Ferrari F355 Spider and 2022 Ferrari 812 Competizione that was bought for $1,467,500. All prices gross.

RM Sotheby’s in Dubai, 8 March 2024 – results

Gross, motor cars: $16,785,725
Number of cars not sold: 6
Number of cars withdrawn: 0
Total number of cars: 22
Number sold: 16
Percentage cars sold by number: 73%
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 80%
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 63%
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 81%
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 13%

Photo by RM Sotheby’s