Azzam, the megayacht
Engineer Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi summoned the team, gave the exterior design job to Nauta Yachts, interior to Christophe Leoni, and Lürssen supplied technical engineering. The result: Azzam (Determined) is the world largest yacht, 180 meters long (590' 7"), with total power of 94000hp, and maximum speed of 30 knots. Her beam is 20.8 meters (68' 3"), and the maximum draft is 4.3 meters (14' 1"). It took four years from concept to construction, which is very good time for such a huge beauty.
So, the first question is: where are the docks big enough for her. The answer is Monaco and Antibes but there are rumors that her owner will take her to the Seychelles. Let's put Azzam size in perspective: she is longer than two football fields, longer than two city blocks in Manhattan (take a look at the picture). Her main salon is 95 feet long by 59 feet wide or - there is enough room to put a "normal" yacht in it. However, her relatively shallow draft means that she'll be visiting Mediterranean often.
To choose Lürssen to build Azzam was a good choice: a family-run German shipyard was established back in 1875 and is responsible for building some of the world's finest luxury yachts between 33 and 200 meters, and can claim to have produced the world's first motor yacht in 1886.
According to the builder, chief engineer wanted "a large luxury yacht with an innovative and timeless design that would be able to travel at high speed in warm and shallow waters, whilst providing luxurious and sophisticated accommodation to its guests." The first pictures are showing that he got what he wanted: Azzam is huge indeed but looks very elegant, with rich and vivid colors, and with 30 knots she is about 30 percent faster than most megayachts.
There is no picture of interior yet but Mr. Leoni - whose main business is not yachting - is said to be making a design influenced by French movement of the early 19th century, known as Empire, and that means there should be symmetrical decorative elements on furnishings and beautifully decorated walls. From what we can see now, the owner will be very pleased with Azzam and it will be very hard to top her, not because of money but because of imagination. ■
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