Saudi Prince sells The Flying Palace

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Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed and Princess Ameerah
Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed and Princess Ameerah. Photo courtesy-Chez Chiara/CC license

Media reports point out that Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has sold his yet to be delivered Airbus A380, popularly dubbed ‘the flying palace’.

Quoting the chief financial officer of his Kingdom Holding Company, reports suggest that, “it was sold in the second half of last year”. However, the selling price and details about buyer of the plane still remain undisclosed because of confidentiality agreements between the two parties.

In 2007, he had ordered the A380 double-decker at a price of USD 319 million. However, after the outfitting of aircraft, the superjumbo would have been worth more than USD 500 million. The A380 was to be converted into a luxury aircraft, with a layout that would have accommodated two Rolls-Royce cars and a number of horses. “The Flying Palace” was also slated to feature four-poster beds, lift on all three levels, a Turkish bath, boardroom, concert hall, five suites with king-size beds, and a prayer room featuring computer generated prayer mats which face Makkah.

A380 Airbus cabin First class compartments
A380 Airbus cabin First class compartments. Photo-Airbus

Prince Alwaleed is already a proud owner of a Boeing 747-400 for which he is reported to have paid an estimated USD 220 million. Some of this other assets include a Hawker jet, Airbus A321, and the New Kingdom 5KR yacht. Upon its completion in 2014, the New Kingdom 5KR will cost more than USD 500 million and be the third largest yacht in the world.

A380 Interior. Photo-Airbus

Prince Alwaleed, nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, has a personal wealth of around USD 21.3 billion. He owns a 95 percent stake in Kingdom Holding and is also the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup. Alwaleed also owns a share in major e-commerce and technology companies across the world, including News Corp, EuroDisney, Apple, Time Warner and Twitter. Some of his other famous investments include a 47.5 percent stake in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and full ownership of the George V hotel in Paris and the Savoy in London.

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