Dubai Ruler Refits Yacht to Beat Abramovich's Eclipse
Just as we predicted in our latest story (dated Aug. 23) on Roman Abramovich's gigayacht Eclipse (above), it won't be the world's largest privately owned yacht for very much longer. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum is reportedly having his own floating palace, the Dubai, refitted to literally eclipse the Eclipse. As we noted in our previous story, at 531.5 ft. the Dubai is already only 18 inches shorter than the actual length of the Eclipse, which yachting experts Camper & Nicholsons finally pegged at 533 ft. Now the London Sunday Times reports that Sheikh Mohammed is planning to have the Dubai extended by at least two feet, and possibly as much as eight feet, easily beating the Eclipse to recapture the World's Largest title. The UAE's Platinum Yachts, which built the Dubai, is considering updates that could include a black box radar to be mounted jutting forward from under the prow. [continued]
That alone would make the yacht six inches longer than the Eclipse, the newspaper reports. It is also considering adding a 6 ft. swimming platform or "beach" to the Dubai's stern. "These beaches have become very fashionable among superyacht owners over the past couple of years," one shipping expert explained to the Times. "They are extensions, platforms for sunbathing or holding a party at water level so you can just slide into the waves. The Dubai has room for a beach, but the Eclipse does not. So the sheikh could reclaim his crown as ruler of the seas." Platinum did not respond to a request for comment, but a port official told the paper the Dubai was due to be refurbished next year when such cosmetic fixes could be added, noting, "We are very proud of the Dubai, but you have to keep making her better."