What motivates a man to build a 282-foot yacht that is considered by some to be the most beautiful yacht every built? Obviously, you have to have tons of money. Adnan Khashoggi was an arms dealer with connections to the Saudi Royal family. His business grew enormously in the 1970s when the price of Arab oil soared. With money to spend the Arabs started buying and Khashoggi was the go-to-guy for arms and aircraft. He represented Northrop, Lockheed, Teledyne National, Chrysler and Raytheon. The money he made was enormous. From Lockheed alone, he made more than $100 million dollars. He invested in hotels restaurants, resorts and businesses all over the world.
He had the money, Kashoggi was believed to have been worth $4 billion dollars, but he also wanted a yacht to serve as a floating office where he did business in a grand style. It has been reported that at one point he was brokering as many as 15 deals at one time with various representatives all onboard at the same time. At one point he is said to have had three kings on the yacht at the same time. Khashoggi had the Nablia built in 1980 by yacht builder Benetti at a cost of $100 million. In today’s dollars that would be about $297 million. The yacht itself was designed by Jon Bannenberg with the interior decoration done by Luigi Sturchio. The ship is 282 feet long, has a beam of 43.5 ft, a draft of 15.5 ft and fuel capacity of 136,000 US gallons. She displaces 2,328 tons. She has a top speed of 20 knots and cruising speed of 17.5 knots. Propulsion is supplied by two 3,000 horsepower Nohab Polar engines. Cruising range is 8,500 miles. The lavish new yacht was named Nablia after Kashoggi's daughter. She has five decks, a disco, a cinema with seats for 12 and 2 double beds, 11 opulent suites, a helipad on top, a pool with a water jet. There are two Riva tenders, and a crew of 52. The yacht had an operating room and a morgue stocked with coffins. There are 150 telephones onboard. There is a disco club and a dining room that seats 65 people for dinner. There are three water-makers capable of producing fresh water from seawater. She had six huge refrigerators and a three-month food supply for 100 people. One of the 100 spaces included a television room, a massive master bedroom and two elevators. Rumor has it that Kashoggi provided hot and cold running ladies of the evening for clients.
Kashoggi loaned the Nablia out for the filming of the James Bond film Never Say Never Again. It severed as the villain’s mobile headquarters. Ironically, not unlike the use to which Kashoggi put it. Kashoggi is reported to have had a bodyguard nicknamed “Mr. Kill”. Kashoggi was flying high for a while then everything crashed. He took a loan of $50 million dollars on his yacht in the mid-1980s. He defaulted on the loan in 1987 and Nablia was bought by the Sultan of Brunei.
Soon after Donald Trump made a deal to buy the yacht for $30 million. Trump bought the yacht without ever going onboard. Not a bad deal for a $200 million dollar yacht. Oddly, Donald Trump seemed an unlikely yacht owner since he did not swim, stayed indoors and said at one point he never really liked yachts. However, his plan was to use it for business as did its previous owner. Trump ran a huge party on the yacht he renamed Trump Princess when it arrived from the Azores in New York on July 4th, 1988. The question is why would Donald Trump, who doesn’t even like boats, invest in the Nablia? It is believed that he was taken with the incredible level of quality and the opulent decorations. He said, “I was buying a great piece of art at a ridiculously low price.” Despite its beauty, when he bought it Trump spent $8.5 million to refit it at Amels in the Netherlands when the new name was painted on the stern along with lots of the Trump’s trademark gold decorations. Trump did not keep the yacht very long, in 1991 he sold it for $20 million, at a loss. Perhaps because he himself had gotten into financial trouble.
The newest owner is Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. The Trump Princess was renamed Kingdom 5KR. Prince Waleed bin Talal a Saudi is the nephew of the late Saudi Arabian King Abdullah. He is the richest person in Saudi Arabia. His net worth believed to be $21 billion dollars. He has a 95% stake in Kingdom Holding Company, hence the name Kingdom in the yacht’s name. And his lucky number (5), and his children's initials ("K" and "R"). He also has a $300 million-dollar stake in Twitter. And has investments in Fox Television, Radio, Newspapers, hotels and numerous other businesses around the world. His wife, Princess Ameerah al-Taweel from whom he was divorced in 2013, is recognized as one of the world’s most recognized philanthropists. He lives in a palace in Riyadh that boasts 400 rooms, three swimming pools, a lake, a Mosque and several buildings.
In 2017 Prince Al Waleed was among eleven Saudi princes and former senior officials arrested by Saudi Arabian Authorities. He was detained for 80 days in a luxury hotel he was released after paying a $6 billion dollar fine. The Prince now seems to be back in the good graces of his countries government. His still owns the incredible yacht Kingdom 5KR. Once again, the yacht is used as a floating office and hotel for visiting business contacts. She is docked at Jeddah when not out cruising to Monaco or other famous ports. As luxurious as she is, she may once again be sailing a new course. It may be that Kingdom 5KR will be doing charter work in the not too distant future. A new 590-foot custom motor yacht New Kingdom 5KR'is being built by Mariotti Yachts in Italy, she is scheduled to be delivered to her owner in 2020.