The Abu Dhabi Yacht Show — the capital’s first boat show devoted to hedonistic super-yachts — kicked off on Thursday, with some of fanciest pleasure craft commanding prices in excess of $70 million.
‘Among the floating palaces berthed across from the city’s national exhibition centre was the 90-metre-long “Dubawi” and the dagger-shaped “Wally Power,” which starred in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Comes. Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, opened the three-day show, together with Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The show highlights Abu Dhabi’s effort to position itself as the Monaco of the Gulf and a must-see destination for the region’s richest boat lovers. Abu Dhabi currently has four marinas, but plans are underway for an additional 13 to be built in the city or on islands nearby. One of the 20 vessels here was “Aviva,” 68 metres in length and a nominee for the Superyacht Awards in each of the past two years. Gulf Craft, a yacht builder based in Dubai, showcased its latest models — “Majesty 121,” at 37 metres, and its slightly smaller cousin, the 30-metre “Majesty 101.” Dubawi, built by Platinum Yacht of Dubai, was the biggest behemoth on display.