ABU DHABI // Hundreds of millions of dollars will be floating offshore this weekend when more than 30 gleaming, luxury yachts will cruise into the capital for the second Abu Dhabi Yacht Show at Yas Marina. Highlights of the three-day event which begins on Thursday include the 103-metre Loaloat Al Behar, once owned by the Sultan of Oman, and the sleek, 73-metre Silver Zwei. The 85-metre Alysia, with its helipad, swimming pool and steam rooms, appeared at the show last year with a US$100 million (Dh376m) price tag. It will return with the 90-metre Lauren L, which has equally lavish features.
To make the event carbon-neutral, organisers are pledging to buy credits to offset a percentage of the fuel the yachts use to reach Abu Dhabi. Organisers said that brokers sold three sumptuous super-yachts in 2009, but declined to disclose the sales prices. Yachts of this sort often begin at $60m. Franck Dailles, the group director of Informa yacht group which is arranging the show, expects more than 10,000 visitors and 140 exhibitors.
The yachts will range in length from 24m to more than 90m. Last year, Mr Dailles said, "was a very challenging time to launch the event. It was the real bottom of the crisis. But deals were still done. This year, the confidence is back and we hope to see more people and more yachts sold." @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org