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The first of three megayachts conceptualised by the Lebanese designer Elie Saab were unveiled on the last day of the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show 2010.
Designed by Saab jointly with Weyves Couture and Oceanco, the 11-metre megayacht is as impressive in its dimensions as in the refinement of its design. It is characterised by its high ceiling, an innovation the designer has exclusively introduced to the yacht industry. "I always sought to represent my vision of modernity and elegance beyond the conventional limits of fashion. Designing a yacht and conceiving its art of living, constitutes a perfect opportunity to expand my brand's universe by creating the experience of luxury," said Saab of his design direction on the ES117 megayacht.
With a hull made of steel and an aluminium superstructure, the yacht exterior is a study in modernity and elegance. Highlighting the sense of space and refinement has been central to Saab's creative direction in the interiors of the ES117. Every detail has been put in place to showcase the exceptional quality of the materials used and the skill of the master craftsmen who have worked on the interior design concept.
The final design of the yacht reveals the minutiae of thought that has gone into providing the yacht-owner with every comfort and luxury imaginable.
Two private suites along two decks have been reserved for the owner, with 10 luxurious guest suites, a swimming pool, whirlpool, theatre, spa and gym available on board. A helicopter, submarine, car and water toys signed by Saab complete the exclusive couture lifestyle offering aboard the ES117.
Meanwhile, the world's biggest megayacht industry players have tipped the show as the next big thing after sector-leading Monaco and Fort Lauderdale events with high potential for builders and brokers of vessels of over 80 metres.
Powerful players in the megayacht and custom-built luxury superyacht business, including Blohm+Voss, Trinity Yachts, Feadship, Oceanco and Lürssen, were out in force at the show which concluded last night. Elite US builder of custom superyachts, Trinity Yachts announced its opening of a Middle East regional office on Yas Island, which is its first overseas operation outside its Mississippi base.
"We are very encouraged by Abu Dhabi, as it is building the infrastructure to turn this city into a real yachting destination," said Trinity's Vice-President William S Smith III. "Our move here is an indication of just how bullish we are with this market."
THE FLOATING ELECTRIC SOFA
While numerous golf carts and buggies toured the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show ferrying visitors and participants to and from the berthed superyachts, the most exciting transit vehicle in demand was a floating electric sofa.
The electric Sofa Boat is a 3.5 metre 'floating fun platform' – designed, developed and built in the UAE with a folding sun canopy covering the seating area, joystick steering, and a soft-foam bumper to allow the boat to manoeuvre among other craft in crowded marinas.
"I wanted to offer boats that were enjoyable to women and families – low noise, easy-to-handle craft that are perfect for quiet sundowners or a more glamorous arrival at a private yacht than in a tender," says Dr Martin Mai, Managing Director, Abra Marine, the boat's designer and manufacturer. "The boat is completely powered by electricity and has zero per cent carbon-dioxide emissions. It can be charged via an electric socket and has batteries that give it 12 hours of continuous power. We also have a solar-powered version in development," added Dr Mai.
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