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First Look at Highly Secretive, Royally-Owned Superyacht Dubawi: An Art Deco Masterpiece
One man’s technicolor nightmare, another man’s dream superyacht. Few would imagine Stanley Kubrick and his 1980 masterpiece The Shining could ever have anything in common with a superyacht that’s just now being offered for sale on the public market after 30 years, yet here we are.

First Look at Highly Secretive, Royally-Owned Superyacht Dubawi: An Art Deco Masterpiece

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So brace yourself for a very trippy trip onboard Dubawi, the royally-owned gigantic superyacht designed as a 1920s Art Deco masterpiece doubling as the perfect family boat. On the condition you have at least $35 million to spare (for starters), which is what Dubawi is asking, as per the listing with Worth Avenue Yachts.

Dubawi was previously owned by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and listed for sale for the first time in its 30-year existence in May 2022. Before the Sheikh bought it and had it turned into a ginormous vacation boat for his family, it was previously named Mercury and served as a cruise liner for 20 years. That alone should give you an idea of the kind of size and amenities Dubawi offers, neither of which are easily appreciated at a simple glance from the outside.

Measuring 90.6 meters (300 feet) in total length, Dubawi offers a generous interior volume of 4,184 GT, which is more than what longer vessels offer. It was delivered in 1989 by Cantiere Navale Ferrari as a cruise ship and had the styling of one. Today, it only retains the exterior design common to cruise liners, with a stacked superstructure and vast amounts of exterior space, but it’s the interior that makes it a standout.

The Sheikh bought it in 2009 and commissioned it for a refit with UAE-based Platinum Yachts. Two years and many millions later, Dubawi was ready, offering accommodation for 44 guests in 22 custom, themed cabins (the master suite, eight VIPs, and 13 doubles) and no less than 71 crew in separate quarters. Photos of the interior have been released for the first time now since the ship is looking for a new owner, and they show a distinctive, bright, bold, and unashamed 1920s Art Deco styling that would please any vintage design lover – or Stanley Kubrick himself.

Each room is finished in a different color scheme, so you have a seemingly unlimited number of combinations and patterns, from bright spots of orange used for color-blocking to patterned mauves and electric purples and downright psychedelic motifs. Add mirrored ceilings and glazed surfaces, marble, and shiny chrome, and you get an overload of the senses whichever way you look – and that’s the feeling from the pictures only; experiencing the interior in person must be a whole trip. Granted, this type of styling is not for everyone, but even a hater would admire the guts behind this kind of visual outrageousness.

Styling aside, Dubawi is packed to cater even to the fanciest and most demanding guests. Amenities include hospital features, a cavernous nightclub (with dancefloor, lights, and state-of-the-art sound system, as one would expect of any nightclub), a beach club area with a swim platform and fountain, a pool, two main lounge areas, and formal and informal dining. The layout could be further customized, as per Boat International, to convert several rooms into a private cinema, a game room, or a children’s playroom.

The master suite sits on its own private deck, with a jacuzzi and panoramic views and an ensuite bathroom described by listing broker Mathieu Bardon as “larger than some yacht’s master cabins.” In non-billionaire-speak, that’s a bathroom you could not just sleep in but live in.

Dubawi is powered by twin MAN engines that take her to a top speed of 15 knots (15.5 mph/25 kph). That’s hardly impressive by today’s superyacht standards but then again, when you have this much luxury around you, what’s the rush?

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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