World's Biggest Yacht Title Now Belongs To Emirati Royal Family

08/14/2013 10:21 am ET | Updated Oct 14, 2013

THE Emirati Royal Family has ended Roman Abramovich's three-year-reign as owner of the world's biggest yacht.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi, has been revealed as the owner of Azzam, a 180-metre superyacht so big few berths can accommodate it.

The boat beats Chelsea Football Club owner Abramovich's Eclipse to the top spot in a survey of the world's 100 biggest yachts by just 16.5 metres.

After its sale earlier this year, the identity of Azzam's buyer was not known.

But according to the annual survey in Yachts France magazine, it belongs to the emir, whose half-brother and government colleague, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, is owner of the investment company that acquired Manchester City Football Club.

Azzam was designed by Nauta Yachts and built by Lürssen Yachts, in Bremen, Germany, who called it the "most complex and challenging yacht which has ever been built".

With a top speed of 31 knots, driven by a combination of two gas turbines and two diesel engines, it is the third-fastest yacht in the top 100.

It is reported to have cost between $400 million (£258 million) and $600 million (£387 million) to build, and features a lavish 6,000-square foot salon. Mr Abramovich's boat, though smaller, still has room for two helipads, two swimming pools, a disco and a mini-submarine.

Of the 100 yachts listed by the magazine, 31 were owned by people from the Middle East, 19 by Russians and 17 by Americans. The biggest British-owned yacht was inventor James Dyson's 91-metre Nahlin, ranked 36th.

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