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Most Expensive Yacht Purchased This Year for $627M by Abu Dhabi Ruler

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By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 10:58 AM

The most expensive yacht was purchased this year by the ruler of Abu Dhabi.

The $627 million yacht was bought by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, who has a net worth of $17.9 billion, CNBC reported.

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While little is known about the mega yacht known as the Azzam, it is reportedly built to surpass the $485 million Yacht Eclipse, owned by Russian Roman Abramovich.

The Eclipse is equipped with two helipads, two swimming pools, a cinema, a disco and a mini-submarine that can dive 150 feet to explore the ocean floor. The Eclipse also has bullet-proof glass and armor plating lining Abramovich's master bedroom, and the boat has its own missile defense system.

The Azzam is described as having a "sophisticated and luxurious interior in a turn of the century Empire style." It is also reportedly the world's fastest yacht. It is 300 feet long and has a top speed of 37 miles per hour, CNBC reported.

While yachts remain the most popular toys among the rich, the mega yacht business has faced a downturn as of late.

There were 169 deliveries of super yachts, yachts 98 feet and longer, in 2012. This is down from 261 in 2008, CNBC reported from research by the Yachting Index from Superyacht Times and Camper & Nicholsons.

The average size of yachts continues to increase, though, and most are delivered to the wealthy in Russia and the Middle East. Reports indicate that sales from the United States have not returned since highs in 2007 and 2008.

Wealth-X research indicates in June China's Dalian Wanda, the country's largest commercial property and entertainment mogul, bought British luxury yacht builder Sunseeker for $500 million. The Sunseeker brand is connected to James Bond films and celebrities like Simon Cowell and Michael Douglas.

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