SUPERYACHTS are getting bigger and bigger. There are now almost 4,500 languishing in luxurious ports across the globe or being refitted to possess even more opulent features.
Surprisingly the world’s largest superyacht-owners are Arabs. Middle-eastern businessmen now easily outstrip American and European billionaires in the superyacht sweepstakes.
Today the world’s most expensive superyacht is thought to be that owned by the president of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whose family has around €150 billion to play with. His yacht, the Azzam, is almost 600 feet long, cost almost €500 million and naturally has a missile defence system.
Superyachts form a perfect luxury holding for the uber rich and are collectively worth more than their artworks, private jets and mansions. So it’s no surprise that superyacht selling and renting is developng into some of an artform itself.
One innovative new technique to separate the superrich from their fortunes is the use of virtual reality to show potential customers just how perfect a possible yacht can be. The technology is already in place for hotels, allowing clients to virtually visit rooms and get a feel for the place.
Until recently it’s proven much harder for yachts, but one international developer has made a breakthrough. Soon superyacht investors will be able to hit the high seas and take a whirl in a helicopter without even leaving their office suite. Various shipyards have taken note and we can expect to see virtual reality rooms become commonplace at exclusive harbours.