The largest superyachts in the Middle East
Ahead of the Dubai International Boat Show we detail the biggest superyachts in the region.Neil Churchill February 24, 2015
The Dubai International Boat Show sails back into town next week and in tow will be AED 1 billion worth of yachts.
Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – organiser of the Middle East’s biggest yacht fair – has said the UAE is building on its position as one of the world’s leading yacht manufacturing hubs thanks to maritime industry expansions and new coastline developments.
The UAE ranks ninth in the world for building superyachts and has 15 projects currently under development. Some of those may be announced during the show next week, although we wonder if any will rival some of the goliath superyachts in the list below.
There are a high number of ultra net worth individuals in the Gulf; a region surrounded by water. It seems only natural then that not only are these the largest superyachts in the Middle East, but they’re also some of the largest in the world.
Azzam, 180 metres
Where: Abu Dhabi
Who: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan
News of Azzam first broke in 2013 amidst much shock and excitement. At 180-metres long, Azzam – Arabic for ‘Determination’ – is the biggest superyacht in the world, beating Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse by 17.5 metres. It’s estimated cost is AED 2.2 billion.
It’s believed to have a relaxed French Empire style interior and has a staggering speed for a craft of her size of 31.5+ knots, thanks to a four-way propulsion system – two fixed jet and two directional. It is currently in Spain but when it eventually docks in Abu Dhabi and is handed over to its owner, the president of the UAE, it will be hard to miss.
Dubai, 162 metres
Where: Dubai, obviously
Who: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Originally commissioned for a Brunei Prince under the name Platinum 525, Sheikh Mohammed took ownership before eventually naming it after the emirate that he rules. At 162 metres it is the third largest yacht in the world and cost AED 1.3 billion. Designed to accommodate 24 guests, there is the owner’s suite, five VIP suites and six guest suites.
On board there is a swimming pool, cinema, disco, helicopter platform, gym and submarine. Currently, ‘Dubai’ can be seen floating just offshore from the emirate, adjacent to Palm Jumeirah.
Al Said, 155 metres
Who: Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said Named Sunflower during its construction, there are some surprising elements about the Al Said. The yacht has an aluminium structure encompassing a concert hall larger enough to host a 50-piece orchestra and 70 guests. Valued at AED 1.1 billion, Al Said also has a cinema and helipad, and can travel at a speed of 25 knots.
Such is the secrecy surrounding the yacht that a single photo of the interior has never surfaced.
Topaz, 147 metres
Where: Abu Dhabi
Who: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan It may fly a Cayman flag, but the beautiful Topaz is believed to be owned by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi. Launched in 2012, there isn’t a huge amount known about her though her eight decks are rumoured to include a helipad, swimming pools, garages, and at least six staterooms.
Topaz’s exterior is designed by Tim Heywood, who added his signature touch of illuminating the outside structure, giving it its stunning appearance.
Prince Abdulaziz, 147 metres
Where: Saudi Arabia
Who: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud The first Saudi entry in the list, originally named Abdulaziz and belonging to King Fahd, the late King Abdullah inherited her and renamed it Prince Abdulaziz. We can only assume it has now been inherited by King Salman.
Originally costing AED 676 million, she has a large lobby on the main deck that is believed to have been based on the design of the infamous Titanic. Below deck there is a hospital, mosque, cinema and there’s even rumours it has surface-to-air missiles.
Yas, 141 metres
Where: Abu Dhabi
Who: Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan With a hull adapted from a 1978 former UAE Navy warship, the Yas is not like the other superyachts on this list. With accommodation for up to 60 guests and 56 crew, the structure is built with advanced composites and glass, all inspired by the shape of a dolphin.
With a top speed of 26 knots, the futuristic yacht has a ‘green’ fuel economy, on-board spa, watercraft garage and outdoor pool. You can expect to find it moored near the Formula One circuit.
Al Salamah, 139 metres
Where: Saudi Arabia
Who: the late Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Al Salamah had the codename “Mipos” during her construction, which stood for “Mission Possible”. And so it was. Delivered in 2009, the 139-metre yacht was owned by the late Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Who owns it now is unclear.
Below deck there is a library, business centre, gym, spa, cinema and hospital. With an aluminum structure and steel hull, she can reach 22 knots.
Al Mirqab, 133 metres
Who: Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani Owned by the former prime minister of Qatar, Al Mirqab was known as Project May during its construction period. The menacing-looking yacht can house 24 guests and that’s not including the two VIP rooms. Costing AED 918 million, Al Mirqab has a helipad, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and cinema.
The Dubai International Boat Show at Dubai International Marine Club-Mina Seyahi is open from 3pm to 9.30pm daily during March 3-7. For more visit: boatshowdubai.com Image credits: superyachts.com, Daniel Ferro.