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Saudi prince buys $485 million ‘flying palace’

The superjumbo will have a board room, a Turkish bath, a lift and a concert hall

Gulf News

Dubai: Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal will soon take delivery of the world’s first customised A380 superjumbo, dubbed “the flying palace” for its luxury.

Al Waleed, estimated to be worth around $21.3 billion (Dh78 billion), has reportedly paid $485 million for the world’s biggest private jet expected for delivery next year.

The A380 jumbo is believed to include four-poster beds, a Turkish bath, storage space for a Rolls-Royce, a boardroom, a concert hall, five suites with king-size beds, a prayer room featuring “computer generated prayer mats” which face Makkah and an elevator between floors on all three levels.

Airbus Middle East president Habib Fekih confirmed on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Dubai that the aircraft would be delivered to the Saudi billionaire next year. “The A380 is planned for next year, 2013,” he said.

This is currently the only A380 luxury business jet on order but Fekih said he expected interest to grow.