One month later, after ownership was established, it was officially seized by authorities. Usmanov had tried to bury ownership by transferring Dilbar to his sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, and to a company in Malta. German officials ruled that the megayacht was still Usmanov’s, but they never decided what would happen to it once it was impounded.
Until a few days ago, Dilbar was in dry dock at the same shipyard. It’s been since refloated, and its protective covers have been removed. Amid speculation that it might be preparing to flee like Putin’s Scheherazade did a while back, Abendblatt is reporting that construction work has resumed for the first time since sanctions. No word yet on who’s footing the bill for said construction work, since technically (and at least temporarily) Usmanov no longer owns Dilbar, or what purpose it might serve.
According to Lurssen, the work is necessary for vague reasons that have to do with the ship’s integrity. “We are pleased to inform you that work is currently being carried out on the yacht Dilbar to ensure the safety of the ship, the shipyard and the environment,” a company spokesperson tells superyacht vlogger eSysman (at the 4.15-minute mark in the video below). “The current work has been reported to the responsible authorities in advance and has been checked and approved by them.”
This could be regular maintenance work, but if it is, it looks massive. This still leaves the bigger question unanswered: who’s paying for it? Maintenance for a boat amounts to about 10% of its value on a yearly basis, and with a 512-foot (156-meter) megayacht that costs $600 million minimum, that makes for a very hefty bill.