The UAE certainly knows a thing or two about luxury, opulence and living the high life. Yet as we approach Jana, a breathtaking yacht moored in Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, one thing is clear: Jana is out of our league, and this may be the first and last time we ever get to experience such an expensive vessel.
This 46m yacht is a Feadship, the priciest of all yachts, and was built in Holland in 1986. But don’t let her age fool you – this 25-year-old is in her prime. The yacht has had numerous updates over the years, and
is perfect to a fault.
We meet Jana’s captain, Jacob Cremer, who has been with the yacht for three and a half years. When we ask who is lucky enough to own the heart of this mammoth lady, he responds with some hesitation: ‘I can’t really say. I wish I could. He’s a businessman from Kuwait who doesn’t actually use the yacht very often, so we can also charter it.’
As many as 50 people can be on board Jana while moored, but only 12 guests can travel during chartered trips, as well as the 10 crew members – this is down to safety issues, as well as the need to offer a high level of personalised, individual service.
The yacht has five bedrooms and six bathrooms spread across four levels, making excellent use of every inch of space on the vessel. And the bedrooms? Incredible: each sizeable room has its own large bathroom, a huge bed, and furnishings and linen of impeccable quality. It’s akin to staying in a floating five-star hotel.
The yacht is said to be worth around Dhs183 million, but Captain Cremer says this is just a rough estimate; when seeing her up close, it’s easy to see where the cash has been spent. The decor is classic, with an old-school charm; the fully stocked bar boasts a beautiful antique chess set and the yacht features timber panelling throughout. The lush cream carpets lend an air of elegance, and the interiors have been updated through the years to reflect current trends. In the formal dining rooms you’ll find heirloom silver, Baccarat lead crystal and exquisite custom-made porcelain china. For adventure enthusiasts, there are jet skis, kayaks and water skis on board, should you become tired of sunbathing or chilling in the Jacuzzi.
We’re really curious as to what sort of high-society people charter this boat, and the captain explains that he sees all sorts. ‘It’s mainly wealthy Europeans, wealthy retirees and families. This is not a party boat; this is a boat for people that enjoy luxury and style. People who like old, classic Mercedes cars would hire her.’
And the old girl has been around – around the world a couple of times, that is. Her favourite ports are in Eastern Europe, Italy, France and the Maldives. She has attended numerous Formula One grand prix events, and has been to the Cannes Film Festival more times than you’ve seen it on TV. ‘Tthe dinner parties thrown on Jana are superb,’ explains Captain Cremer. ‘We have an excellent full-time cook, and we’ve also set up long tables on the top deck, creating a space for groups to dine.’
The captain reveals that the yacht has seen her share of celebrities over the years, although he is not at liberty to name names. When we ask for some amusing anecdotes, he laughs. ‘No, the mature people that hire this yacht are in their pyjamas by 9pm.’ Seems that being this stylish and having this much fun really takes it out of you.
Hire the Jana from Dhs580,000 to Dhs725,000 a week, depending on destination; prices rise during special events. For more info, contact Yas Marina, www.cnmarinas.com/yas (02 657 5460).
Charter a yacht for a day
Al Wasl Cruising and Fishing
Prices start at Dhs600 per hour for a 33ft sports boat accommodating up to eight people – perfect for deep-sea fishing. The most expensive is an 85ft luxury yacht for Dhs3,200 per hour, which can accommodate up to 30 guests (that’s Dhs213 each for two hours).
Deira (04 295 9477).
Marine Concept Yacht Charter
Cruise for a minimum of two hours for Dhs1,700 on a 38ft GC Marine Adora with a group of up to 10 people, or go all out with the enormous 120ft Guy Couach yacht for (Dhs22,000) for a minimum of four hours (fuel excluded), with a capacity for 30 to 35 guests, eight sleeping (that’s Dhs628 each for 35 people). Hire it for a week for Dhs404,000.
Al Barsha Business Centre (055 960 3030).