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Azzam: Taking Title of World’s Largest Yacht from Russia

Forget the world’s largest yachts, 2013 is awaiting a bigger, more luxurious mega yacht. The owner, a mystery billionaire, is sparing no expenses when it comes to building his 590 foot, 6 stories high ship – “Azzam”. When completed, Azzam will surpass in size and height the largest yacht to this date.

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Famously tight-lipped German yacht maker Lurssen has created the world’s largest yacht. It is set to launch some time in 2013 and is named Azzam, meaning ‘determination’ in Arabic, and it is enormous.

At a reported 590 feet long, it has dethroned the previous title holder by just under 50 feet. It boasts six stories and a state of the art water jet propulsion system that can push the vessel to speeds of up to 28 knots, unheard of for a ship of its size.

Mystery surrounds the details of the yacht as well as the person who commissioned its construction, however rumor has it that it is for Middle-Eastern royalty.

The owner of the now second largest yacht is Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, notorious for his decadent lifestyle and willingness to spend with wild abandon. The vessel remains the most expensive, though, with a price tag of around $1.2 billion. The Azzam costs a mere $500 million.

It seems as though the battle for the prestigious moniker of giant yacht king has been heating up for over a decade. Almost every year of the last 15, someone has commissioned a greater ship than the seas had ever known.

The available amenities become more extravagant, too. The 15 top yachts in the world are known to contain swimming pools, ballrooms, helicopter landing pads, and sometimes upwards of 80 rooms.

These insane boats are owned overwhelmingly by Middle-Eastern political and economic leaders. Seven of the ten largest yachts in the world hail from Middle-Eastern oil giants like Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

It is demonstrative of a stated desire by Middle-Eastern movers and shakers to make the area the capital of mega-yachts. There are increasing numbers of yacht shows and harbors capable of accommodating these giants popping up every year.

Outside of the Middle-East, however, most of the other top yacht owners come from a less than diverse set of backgrounds: basically American digerati tech icons and Russian business oligarchy.

For all the questions that exist surrounding the Azzam, it is almost certain that it will not sit long at the head of the list of opulent aquatic giants. It’s just a matter of time..and a lot of money.

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