This wonder of the seas was built following clear and concise instructions from an undisclosed owner: it should be elegant, luxurious and huge but able to navigate at high speed, even in warm, shallow waters. With these premises in mind, Mubarak Saad Ahbabi took on the task of building the incomparable Azzam. Needless to say, the engineer did a flawless job to meet the owner’s requirements.
Despite its impressive dimensions: 590 feet in length and 68 feet wide, this five-level giant has a maximum draft of just 14 feet, which allows it to navigate in shallow waters. A set of 4 engines, two diesel and two running on gasoline, let the megayacht glide through the world’s oceans. Together, they produce the awesome force of 94,000 HP, which achieve a maximum speed of 30 knots (about 35 miles per hour). These are exceptional numbers considering its size and weight, and even more striking if we compare it with its peers, such as Eclipse, formerly the world’s largest yacht and property of Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich.
Azzam has broken several records, becoming the largest, faster, most powerful and expensive megayacht on the seas.
A billionaire Arab sheikh, who declined to reveal his identity, commissioned the amazing Azzam and the construction cost exceeded $600 million. On top of that, the annual maintenance is estimated at 10 percent of the construction cost, so presumably to keep the Azzam running would cost around $60 million every 12 months.
This spectacular engineering feat was carried out by the German shipyard Lürssen Vegesack, in the city of Bremen, under the directives of Nauta Yachts for its exterior design. The renowned designer Christophe Leoni was in charge of the decor and interior design. From the aesthetic point of view, the vessel stands out for its moderate, stylish, modern and elegant lines on the outside while, at the request of its owner, the interior was decorated in an imperial style. The dissemination of images or details about the interior features of the ship has not been allowed, something very common among owners of such vessels who prefer to keep confidential the private areas of their luxury superyachts.
However, according to the journal Industry Tap, the Azzam could be available for charter, although no lease figures have been published as of today. Given the high cost of maintenance of the ship, its luxury and comfort, it is likely that the weekly rental could easily exceed the $2.6 million commanded by its predecessor, the Eclipse.
Undoubtedly, Azzam has broken several records, becoming the largest, faster, most powerful and expensive megayacht on the seas, and seeing it in action incites the admiration and respect that only giants can generate. ■