Influential businessmen, Russian billionaires and top politicians from the Middle East all have one thing in common - enough money to buy the most expensive yacht. Luxurious yachts are more than a moving mansion; they are designed with such elegance that owning one is a preserve for the uber-rich.
Superyachts are the most popular luxury asset among top billionaires. These vessels are custom-built with the finest materials to suit their tastes. Inside the most expensive yachts are designs and finishings crafted by top professionals. Therefore, it is not surprising that these yachts are worth an eye-watering amount of money.
10 of the most expensive yachts in the world
Why are these fancy boats such a status symbol? How much is the most expensive yacht? It would take an in-depth analysis of luxury yacht builders, materials, interior decor and maintenance costs for one to understand why the rich go out of their way to own one.
Here is a list of luxury boats that have jaw-dropping sizes, designs and price tags.
10. Al Mirqab - $250 million
Al Mirqab was built at an estimated cost of $250 million. It was commissioned to a German shipyard called Perswerft-Kusch, designed by Tim Heywood and its interior was crafted by Andrew Winch.
This flamboyant vessel is owned by the former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. According to Forbes, he is worth $1.2 billion due to his illustrious political career and ownership of stakes in Deutsche Bank.
Al Mirqab is 133 meters long and has a maximum speed of 23 knots. It has spacious suites, a sitting area, a film theatre, an indoor pool, and a pub. Also included is a helipad and watersports equipment. Al Mirqab can host a maximum of 60 guests.
9. Radiant - $270 million
This superyacht was commissioned by the late Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky at a price of $168 million. He was unable to pay the 7th monthly deposit for its construction and eventually sold it before completion. During the sale, Berezovsky got caught up in a legal battle with brokerage firm Edmonton over agency fees.
Radiant is now owned by a United Arab Emirates billionaire called Abdulla Al Futtaim. According to Forbes, Al Futtaim is worth $2.1 billion.
His wealth comes from being the only Toyota distributor in the U.A.E. His company, the Al Futtaim group, is licensed to operate IKEA, Toys "R" Us, and Zara outlets in the country.
This yacht was built by Lurssen at the Lemwerder shipyard in Germany. Its exterior was crafted by Tim Heywood and the interior was designed by Glen Pushelburg.
Radiant is around 110 meters long with a notable fueling capacity of 96,000 gallons. Its steel structure has an exterior made of aluminum and decks made of teak.
The luxurious boat has anchor stabilizers, a jacuzzi, elevator, cinema, beach club, helipad, gym and swimming pool. It can house 20 guests and 44 crew members.
8. Al Raya - $282 million
Al Raya is the new name of this 110-meter yacht that was formerly known as Ona. It was originally called Dilbar. The ownership of this vessel has changed quite a number of times in recent years.
It was commissioned by Alisher Usmanov, a Russian billionaire, as the second vessel in his Dilbar fleet. He later listed it for sale in 2016 when he procured a bigger vessel. Al Raya's current owners are the Bahrain Royal Family.
This boat was built by Lurssen and was the first yacht in the world to have particle filters in its engine exhausts.
Al Raya's key amenities include a glass cased jacuzzi, gym, spa, cinema, helipad, lounge with a bar and piano, and a conference room large enough for 12 people.
7. Al Said - $300 million
This 155-meter luxury megayacht was code-named Project Sunflower during its construction. It was built by Lurssen shipyard and had its exterior and interior designed by Espen Oeino and Redman Whiteley Dixon respectively.
The owner of this liner is the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman. Its salient features include accommodation for 65 guests and a cinema room that can fit 50 people.
6. Dubai - $350 million
This 162-meter long vessel is sixth among the world's largest luxury yachts. Dubai was constructed by two leading German firms, Lurssen and Blohn+Voss. It has an Andrew Winch exterior design and an interior that was crafted by Platinum Yachts, a design firm located in Dubai.
This superyacht belongs to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. He is also the owner of one of the most luxurious hotels in the world - the Burj Al Arab. Al Maktoum had an estimated net worth of $4 billion in 2019.
Dubai has 12 cabins and can accommodate 24 guests. It also has enough room for a number of crew members and support staff. Its salient features include a cinema, swimming pool, atrium, landing platform, submarine and dance floor. The expensive boat docks at the Sheikh's summer home next to the Palm Jumeirah Island.
5. Sailing Yacht A - $500 million
The owner of this gigantic vessel is a Russian business tycoon called Andrey Melnichenko. He commissioned it to be built by the German yard Nobiskrug. The exterior and interior designs were done by Philippe Starck. Building this sailing boat cost approximately $500 million.
Andrey Melnichenko is worth $13.8 billion according to Forbes. He is an industrialist whose wealth comes from Eurochem, which is a fertilizer producing company, and SEUK, a coal energy company. He also owns another luxury yacht called Motor Yacht A.
Sailing Yacht A's length is 143 meters and it has a capacity of 20 guests and 54 crew members. Unlike most vessels in this list, it has masts that hold its sails. These masts are more than 100 meters long. They are operated using a high tech digital system.
Among this sailing boat's most notable features is a garage that fits four vehicles, helipad, swimming pool with a retractable roof and an underwater observation pod. Specific details about A's interior decor are not known.
4. A+ - $527 million
Formerly known as Topaz, this liner measures 147 meters and was built by the Lürssen shipyard. Its exterior designs were created by Tim Heywood and the interior decor was done by a UK firm called Terence Disdale Design.
The owner of A+ is Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He is the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Minister of Presidential Affairs and a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi. Al Nahyan is reportedly worth $30 billion. He is also the owner of Manchester City FC.
A+ has eight decks and an exterior made of steel and aluminum. Its salient features include lifts, a swimming pool, gym, two jacuzzies, a helipad, conference theatre, and movie room. It also has a garage that holds a submarine, jet skis and inflatable boats.
Al Nahyan's boat has a capacity of 62 guests and 79 crew members. It has 29 guest cabins. This makes it one of the world's most voluminous yachts. The ship recently underwent a makeover and change of name, although there has been no news of a change of ownership.
3. Azzam - $627 million
The Private Department of the President of the U.A.E, led by Mubarak Saad Al Ahbabi, brought together a team to build a sleek and fast boat that would offer maximum privacy. To achieve this goal, Ahbabi oversaw the entire project directly.
Azzam's frame was built in Germany by Lürssen shipyard, its overall design was drawn by Italian design studio Nauta Yachts and the interior was crafted by French designer Christophe Leoni. It cost approximately $627 million to build.
So, who owns the biggest yacht in the world? This vessel was built for UAE's head of state, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. According to Forbes, Al-Nahyan is not only the richest emirate in the UAE but also one of the world's richest monarchs.
He controls 97.8 billion barrell reserves and runs one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds. Although his net worth remains unknown, his assets are reportedly worth $830 billion. The Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world, was named after him.
Azzam's design focused on maximizing interior space and having very minimal exterior features. Most of the ship's deck is closed with sealed verandas. The sundeck is also covered in glass. The reason for this is to offer guests maximum privacy.
A helipad on the ship's bow and lounging space on the main deck are the only features that are visible from exterior photography. Photos of the liner's interior have never been released. However, it is known that the Azzam has a sophisticated interior that offers maximum comfort.
The liner has huge turbines and engines that make it the fastest luxury motorboat. It can travel at an impressive speed of 30 knots.
2. Eclipse - $1.5 billion
The second most expensive yacht is Eclipse, which is currently worth $1.5 billion. It was originally built for $590 million in 2009 by Blohm+Voss, a German shipbuilding company. The boat's design was drawn by French architect Hermidas Atabeyki and its interior decor was done by Terence Disdale Design from the UK.
This vessel was built for Roman Abramovich, a Russian-Israeli billionaire. According to Forbes, Abramovich is worth $11.7 billion and is currently the richest man in Israel. His wealth comes from his investments in steel and smelting companies. He is also the owner of Chelsea FC.
At nearly 170 meters long, Eclipse is currently the world's second-largest luxury yacht. The exclusive features in this vessel are 11 visitors' cabins, two helipads, a gym, beach club, a pool that converts into a dance floor and 3 boats. The interior has soft metallic fabric and the decks are made of teak wood.
It can house approximately 70 crew members. Maintenance costs for this vessel run quite high. Abramovich is said to be parting with more than $60 million each year to keep this yacht running.
As far as protection is concerned, this Russian billionaire takes no chances. The bridge's vessel and its master bedroom have bullet-proof and armor plating. The 533 feet long vessel has a small submarine that can submerge approximately 50 meters underwater. Intruder and missile detection systems are also installed in it.
1. History Supreme - $3.9 billion
This giant sailing boat has broken the record as far as comfort and price are concerned. The liner is the world's most expensive yacht. The designer of this luxurious vessel is named Stuart Hughes. He is from the United Kingdom.
It was built for a Malaysian tycoon called Robert Kuok. According to Forbes, Kuok is the richest man in Malaysia with a net worth of $10.5 billion. His wealth comes from the Kuok Group, a conglomerate of businesses in the hotel and real estate industries. He is also the founder of Singapore's Shangri-La hotels.
What makes the History Supreme the most expensive yacht in the world? Hughes took 3 years to complete this massive work of art. It is 100 feet long. About 100,000 kilograms of solid platinum and gold were used to construct it.
The interior is more impressive than most 5-star hotels. The floors, deck, rails and dining areas have a golden lining. The bedroom has a platinum finish. A dinosaur skeleton sourced from Arizona provided bone shavings that were used to decorate the bedroom. Pieces of one bone from the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton are estimated to be worth $68,000.
Three salient features prove why this boat is the most expensive one to hit the seas to date; a diamond liquor cabinet, a diamond iPhone and a gold aquarium. The liquor cabinet has one of the rarest 18.5-carat diamonds. The aquarium is decked in 68 kilograms of gold. The iPhone is cased in 500 diamonds with 7.4 and 8-carat diamonds fitted over the "home button".
Although the History Supreme is currently the world's most expensive yacht, there are other vessels with impressive price tags. Others, like the 156 meter Dilbar, have world-class architecture and interior design but have not made it to this list as their price is unknown.
As time goes by, more costly and stylish liners will be built with sophisticated technology. The designers and builders of these vessels will continue to put their skills together to meet the ever-changing customer's requirements in order to create the most expensive yacht.