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Abramovich dethroned by Emirati royals in race for biggest megayacht
08-14-13
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The Emirati royal family has dethroned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in the race to own the worlds biggest megayacht, Yachts France magazine has reported.

The 180-meter Azzam built for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the president of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi, has ousted Abramovichs 163.5-meter Eclipse from the top of the league table, the magazine said in its annual survey of the worlds 100 biggest yachts.

After holding the top spot for three years, the Eclipse was pushed into second place by the Azzam after its delivery this year by German builder Lurssen Yachts.

The floating palace features six bridges and a 550-square-meter lounge decorated in the opulent turn-of-the-century Empire style, the magazine reported.

Despite its size, the behemoth can also move at a top speed of 31.5 knots (58 kilometers per hour), making it the third-fastest yacht among the top 100.

The magazine did not divulge its price but previous media reports suggested the Azzam cost between $400 million and $600 million to build.

The race to build larger megayachts has been intense in recent years, with industry experts saying the trend is for ever-bigger and more luxurious ships.

The yachts are often available for charter at costs of several million dollars per week and frequently navigate along Frances Cote dAzur between Monaco and Saint-Tropez.

Of the 100 top yachts profiled by the magazine, 31 were owned by people from the Middle East, 19 by Russians and 17 by Americans.

Among this years eight new entries to the top 100 was also Steve Jobs Venus a Philippe Starck-designed 78-meter superyacht ordered by the Apple co-founder before his death in 2011. It ranked 88th.

The Dutch-built yacht, which features a control panel made up of an array of iMac computers, was only allowed to leave Amsterdam in December after Jobss estate paid a deposit to resolve a dispute with Starck over payment for the design.

The top-ranked American yacht on the list was the 138-meter Rising Sun owned by music and film magnate David Geffen, at 10th. Geffen also owns one of Abramovichs former yachts, the Pelorus Vast in Greek.

Director Steven Spielbergs 85-meter Seven Seas was 54th on the list.

The biggest British-owned yacht on the list was the 36th ranked 91-meter Nahlin, belonging to inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson.

Source AFP