Friday, April 11, 2008

HM Gets a new toy

UPDATE: Prompted by the self serving whine-post linking here on the Sabla by Balqis, and for those who feel - like Balqis - that this post is some kind of unacceptable breach of HM's right to privacy, please take the time to check out the ultimate in hypocritical comments: while bitching about how much of an affront this post was, she was busy giving a day by day, blow by blow of HM's trip to Italy including pictures of HM and even more comments about, and pictures of, his yacht. LOL. What a total muppet. Enjoy!

Word is that His Majesty's new 'super-yacht', Al Said (renamed from its earlier working name Sunflower), will finally pull into port next week, following extensive post-commissioning work on the interior and shake down. Here's a pic.

You can see more at (believe it or not, these people exist) Its big. No, really really big. At 155metres (about 508 feet) long, based on length it will be (for a whle at least) the second biggest in the world, just behind Sheik Maktoum's Platinum/Golden Star. [But that one was a cast off from out-of-favour and too broke Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei]. Check out all the biggies here and drool.

The old Al Said, built in 1982 and a mere 104m (but is still ranked a reasonable 16th in the world by length) will be taken over by the Ministry of Tourism and turned into a super-luxury cruising boat for really wealthy tourists. Nice.


  1. Sweet. I wonder if HM will open it up for tours to the public sometimes? Like when he's not using it? I would kill to see the inside.

  2. Ohy Drag
    I'd be more interested in your cars
    Can you post pictures please ?

  3. Sub,

    HM hardly uses the old one, and doesn't give tours. Sometimes he does use it as a moble hotel in the Med, apparently. But I'll ask him.

    Balqis. My cars? Subs Cars? HMs cars? Doesn't sound like you're a potential member of I guess... I only wish my cars could match a 500 ft yacht. The yacht must have cost over 200 mln euro. Thats a lot of wheels baby.

  4. Your cars my sweet drag
    See you are doing a violence to H.M.
    He has the right to his privacy not cause he is the Sultan, but because he is a human being like me and you
    Moreover as you might have learned by now, in Arab-Islamic culture privacy is sacred
    If British Royals like this sort of things fine, up to them
    For whatever reason you posted this piece of news, you are not being fair
    Well is the same old story between me and you
    I do not agree with your way of blogging but we can agree to disagree :-)
    Take care

  5. I have to agree with Balqis in this.

  6. Hmmm. Balqis, and.. Amjad? Ok. I think you guys are a little.... paranoid? Obsessive Compulsive? Is Wizard of Oz complex an actual condition?

    The arrival of Al Said next week is just a fact I find interesting, its not like I'm showing some secret pics, taken of the Sultan's private life... nor would I.

    HM bought a yacht. Its big. Maybe back in 1982 the old Al Said was also considered really big (in fact, I could work that out....). His old one will be used by tourists. His new one will be visible to all. Just go to the Cornish.

    Follow the links, or just type Sultan of Oman Yacht into google... Its a matter of public record (he is listed as the owner on wiki's top 100 yacht list, for example, and the picture taken at public docks in Bremmen has a clear Khanjar on it). The 'news' for me was what it actually looks like, and that it finally arrives next week in port. I don't disagree with him getting a yacht. Do you? I've know for months he was getting a nice big new yacht. Its his money. Do you think there should be some vast conspiracy to pretend HM is not a yacht owner?

    Weird. Seriously weird. No wonder the press is soooo diluted. They're all afraid of offending you!

  7. Not a matter of offending
    You're free to chose your topics, is your blog
    But I dnt see the relevance of these news
    And on this you didn't have the testicles to throw one of your sarcastic comments like in other posts
    That's why I complained : cause I dnt understand why you published this
    Gossip, killing time, criticising , what ?
    Am used to see Albert of Monaco naked or know about William and Kate take and leave, but that's the essence of their ways to be royal
    H.M. gives himself to his people through facts and facts are that he sacrificed all his life to build this country
    Whether he has a boat or not as long as it dsnt come from official sources, that dsnt bother me
    The press is improving day after day if you monitor them constantly
    As always you like to be sensational
    Happy you, happy all

  8. This is an interesting exchange. Would the reaction be different if UD prefaced his post with a sentence like " Im a yacht lover, and excited to see the new yacht" and then went on to tell us about it. However, given his previous exposé style of writing, I can see how one can question the point of this post. I took it as an additional piece of information, so the next time Im in oman and driving in Muscat I will be able to point it out and admire it.

  9. Exactly
    The title arouse suspicion
    Dragon knows how to do things :P

  10. Hmmm. Maybe its just the subtleties of English. You know, its a play on sayings like 'The difference between men and boys is the size of their toys'. And it isn't something that anyone would actually consider a toy per se - its 508 feet long for god's sake.

    I think:
    - its news for many that HM has a new yacht at all.
    - its news that it arrives next week
    - its interesting to see what it looks like
    - its of interest to some that its currently the second longest motor yacht in the world.

    Not everything I blog about is super-top secret or scandalous. Its variety, its entertainment, its gossip, its stuff I think people might like to read, and that they can't read anywhere else or might not have found elsewhere.

    But I do know that some people might not be as OK as I am with it, so there is potentially an edge to the piece; I do like that.

    But I certainly don't think its 'doing violence to HM' Balqis. ROFLMAO. Thats hysterical hyperbole IMHO (but then that seems to be your default setting). And my testicles had nothing to do with the lack of sarcasm. Did you read the disclaimer?

  11. As if I dnt know you lol
    I do not complain about the topic [on this specific yes] but the way you tackle it
    Is the way which can be adopted from ppl who meet at the bar or at the coffee shop
    I dnt blog because I want to change the world, but I want the world to know that there is another opinion out of the official source but in order to do that I have to take my facts from official sources
    As I told you also in Sabla, you have this approach to the reality of life which is very superficial and that reflects also from the way you present your opinions
    Just that

  12. No Comment *sigh*
    Arab-Islamic country .. privacy .. etc .. hell .. 400 million .. Yacht .. Oman .. damn

  13. Nice to see what's going to be decorating the Corniche in a few days - thanks for keeping us, as always, in the know!

    And I'm truly mystified by an attitude that can compare paparazzi shots of Prince Albert with a snap of a 500 foot yacht in terms of "invasion of privacy".

  14. If you always go by your own parameters when you judge the culture and traditions of someone else, of course you cannot understand
    As pyr noted, the trick is in the title which says a lot on the message that drag wanted to give and which upset me or others probably
    I might have misunderstood but dnt think so ...

  15. Balqis, I suspect you don't really understand the subtlties and nuances of native english-speaking humour, sarcasm, irony; nor my blog. I'm shocked to the core.
    If you always go by your own parameters when you judge the culture and traditions of someone else, of course you cannot understand
    Exactly Balqis. I think you are in a situation best described as 'the pot calling the kettle black'...

    I certainly don't consider my opinions, nor my approach to life, to be superficial. My blog, sometimes, yes. Its just a blog. But I hope you don't spend your whole existence being so offended. It must get tedious. I also didn't realise an emigre Italian could be considered such a (self appointed) expert on the sensibilities of Arabic culture and privacy...

    AlexOverseas. Welcome back! I bet the boat's really nice inside. Glad you're equally mystified.

  16. Ya salaam drag
    This is like the inheritance
    You hear but dnt like to listen

  17. Ahaaa...

    I've returned.


    Sweeeeeeeet ride. I wish I had one.


    Undercover Dragon sir.... Thanks for getting back to more fun blogging topics such as this. The omani gas and oil thing was interesting... but.... I had a nice sleep last Tuesday...

    Thirdly, balqis, and to a lesser extent, Amjad.

    You guys, really.... whats the problem? The Sultan is a public figure, if he doesnt like a bit of honest curiosity in himself perhaps he should not have 1 million and 1 different pictures of himself hanging everywhere you look. Privacy is indeed a basic human right, but come on, if someone buys the worlds second biggest private yacht and then parks it in the countries biggest tourist area bay, well of course its going to draw attention to itself. Fair play on the Sultan for getting such a sweet boat, if anything it get's Oman's name out there a bit more and might even help to promote tourism some more.

    And Balqis, as for your poke at the British Royal family.... you act as if they have a choice in the matter. They dont. It's called paparazzi and is one of the more unfourtunate aspects of living in a truly free country, unlike here where there is quasi-censorship.

    And lastly.

    I wonder how many bedrooms that baby has..... :)

  18. Balqis,
    I listen, I just disagree with you. There's a difference.

    Lurker. Where'd you go? I'll try and arrange for some piccies from inside at some future point. Or perhaps it'll be in some Exclusive article in Halla! magazine...

  19. anon
    if you make money ALSO with your face on a mug then you have to pay consequences

  20. Balqis,

    You are a lunatic, next up you're going to start having a go at the people who run the photo's in The Week for invasion of privacy.

    If I made money by having my face on a mug, I'm sure I'd be well aware of the consequences before any face-on-mug printing took place. The Sultan's face is everywhere, and if you are especially lucky, you might get to see him with a pistol or even a whip. Because some of us are interested in his latest cool purchase, specifically a massive yacht, does not mean we are invading his privacy. Go and get yourself a clue.

  21. Not lunatic, I like to use brain sometimes
    When the week is around at some event I attend, i usually change position not to have my pic or if i see they are around, i let them understand i do not like and they respect this
    Not that am famous, am just a very private and shy person
    Royals of England are different than royals here : there, appearing on news with these sort of details is part of their job, part of their earning money
    Hence is part of their culture
    Here is different
    There is only one picture of H.M. in every office or public place, and sometimes they make big ones for celebrations but there's no will to make a show of him or of his private life
    Seriously, try to mingle with people who have different background than yours or read some book when you have time
    Is never too late to acquire knowledge and openmindness

  22. I must be bored because I'm back again...

    The publics obsession with the Royal family does not make it the Royals job, or way to make money. They are the ruling family of the UK (in this instance) much as the Sultan is the ruler here, except that the Sultans' power is absolute, whereas the Royal's is in practical terms, ceremonial.

    If the Sultan wanted to keep his boat a secret he wouldnt park it in full view of the Muttrah Corniche.

    You are right for saying leave that person alone and respect their privacy, but not really in this case, its not being kept a secret, so why shouldnt we comment on it?

    I dont need to talk to other people with different backgrounds to understand that. But I have lived in 6 different countries all over the world, and have interacted with lots of people from lots of different backgrounds. And I still think that its not an invasion of privacy to comment on a very big boat thats about to be parked just off the Corniche.

  23. Ladies, Ladies... Put down the handbags.

    I wonder if you would still have your panties in a bunch if The Week or the Tribune had published this same information? I wonder if Alex, and Lurker would have found the article half as interesting? I think not.

    In a microsim, we have demonstrated how an individual's perception of news is highly dependent on the individual's perception of the news source.

    Isn't that awesome?

    This is not an invasion of privacy, because we can expect to see some coverage in the mainstream media here next week

    The Local media will be covering the ship's arrival because A) it's cool B) It's one more source of free international media coverage for a country trying to market itself as a tourist destination C)it's the second biggest boat in the whole freaking world D) It's ours!!! right here in Oman!

    Balqis- I don't know who appointed you spokesman for the "Omani Perception" or "Arab Mentality" or "Local Culture" But you certainly don't speak for me, or many of the other Arabs or Muslims I know.

    If you want to be taken seriously, start making intellegent, researched comments that stick to the topic at hand. You do a real disservice to some hardworking bloggers with your la-di-da replies and excessive familiarity towards people who are effectively total strangers.

    Also... Stop w/ tha txt msg style writing b-cus its 2 annoying.

    Dragon, sorry for the hijack and the flame.

  24. This blog is like a high brow version of "Ok!" it!

    Have you seen the American-Omani princess? A statuesque 6'2" blonde, she towers over her husband.... Can be seen opening a school near you.

  25. Thanks for the nice post Dragon, I enjoyed it and I actually never knew H.M had a yacht even. I would be more interested in seeing Prince Talal's yacht though, looks very cool.

    Its just a shame all the bickering in comments section.

  26. I never speak in the name of the Arabs because am not one, but am living here
    I don't know who you are, but I was not figuring you are Arab cause you don't give that idea : sorry to have stolen your identity
    I never claimed to speak in the name of the Omani community of bloggers
    I speak for myself
    And I will be commenting on the boat when I read about it on the local newspapers
    That was my main point, in case you still missing it or pretending to do so
    And please save me from your personal attacks madame Suburban

  27. Princess? damn how some jerks come to this country and out of ignorance, they spit shit, damn just damn

  28. Dragon, Suburban,

    Its not lunacy as the gracious lady pointed out but sycophancy. If you dont like what you read - suggest you stick to the Observer. Lots of sycophancy there. You'l love it.

    BTW, Dragon the old toy was not named Al Said. It is 'Fulk al Salama'

  29. It is sad how people who have a sense of victimization, or who want to identify with a victimized group from outside, resort to charges of insensitivity, ignorance, or misunderstanding to defend themselves. In doing so, they avoid the unsavory prospect of having to think logically through their points of view. Since they never take up this process of introspection, they never have to come to terms with the absurdity of their intellectual foundation. Writ large, this cripples any sort of self-correction and forward progress, epsecially when the members of a group that attempt such introspection are shouted down by those who reject it.

  30. Lurker/Balqis. Nice. Like arguing with a trained parrot. But I'm glad you have nothing better to do, even tho you gave up waaaaaay early man.

    Sub, no problem. Are you a scientist? Brilliant observation. The medium IS the message indeed. And the way this comment section is going, hardly a hijack.

    Navcity. Welcome back. A bit of a non-sequitor (?sp), but hey, why not? And she's reasonably hot too. Photo's please. If they're taken in public, I'll pass them on to Balqis to post on her blog.

    Ali. Afwan. And yeah. It looks likes the bat-boat. And fast, even in the photo realisation. A lot of the new ones have a submarine built in. That doesn't seem a part of HM's new one. Bickering? Well, I don't mind, as long as there's information, and debate about interpretation. Its the 'stuck record' approach of Balqis and the toddler smear-my-own-excrement of anon angry-boy that makes me sigh.

    BY THE WAY, HAVE YOU ALL NOTICED YOU CAN POST ANONYMOUSLY BUT JUST TYPE A GOD-DAMN NICKNAME? HOW HARD IS THAT?!?!?!?!? Yep. And I didn't know that - will check. Wiki and the yachy-spotters both list the old one as Al Said.

    Wow. You win the award for the most post-modernist philosophical comment so far on this blog ever. Please pick a name and come back more often and type stuff like that. I mean, I had to read it twice because I wanted to, rather than Balqis' comments that I have to read more than twice in a futile but well meant intention to discern any fragment of meaning. Or angry boy's comments that make me regret being unable to 'unread' something, you know?

    Khalid. No chairs. OK? And you've been watching too much trash TV. Isn't there a sport you should be doing something healthy with? But, Oh, Next week, 'When wife no.1 meets secret wife no.2 at the funeral! LIVE!!!!!

    OK. Thanks guys. More to come tomorrow....

  31. One last - I always thought the Fulq al-Salama was - still is? - the tender boat that accompanies the yacht - the sort of military/cargo looking one also docked in Mutrah harbor.

    And, if we're dishing in a mild sort of way, I heard that the blonde Sayyida is a former yankee beauty queen. Or an air hostess...

  32. "It is sad how people who have a sense of victimization, or who want to identify with a victimized group from outside, resort to charges of insensitivity, ignorance, or misunderstanding to defend themselves."

    Cut the crap. When are you leaving my country?

  33. You prove my point. Attack me with logic and knowledge.

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Knowledge: why are you in this country?

    Logic: Out

  36. Ooooh!

    Record breaking bickering, uh, I mean, comments section :)

    I wonder if we can eek this baby out to 40 comments....

    Balqis your 2nd comment in this thread gave me the impression that you, and others muslims, were somewhat insulted by our interest in probably the worlds second biggest toy that is going to be right here in sunny Muscat.

    Suburban... too true about those damn white cars, you made me laugh ;)But what can we do about the grinning suicidal maniacs that frequent both the airport and Wadi-Adai to Hammriya turn?

    Undercover... keep it up! I need more scandal! :) I overheard a conversation about Blue City today, and it was referred to as the Blue Circus! Perhaps you could refer to the project with that name from now on (until they sort it out/kill it)?

  37. "gave me the impression that you, and others muslims, were somewhat insulted by our interest in probably the worlds second biggest toy that is going to be right here in sunny Muscat."

    You christians -or whatever hell- are somewhat crazy? how does that sound? I don't know, but these people must have something wrong with their minds.

  38. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  39. Let us look at this in a different way. HM is the Head of State and Head of Government of a nation which has both a proud seafaring history and a contemporary program of economic development. What better way to showcase both aspects of Oman's identity than through a proud yacht, which rivals that of the region's other powers. This serves not only as a private vessel of HM, but also as a symbol of national pride. Furthermore, if HM receives high-level guests aboard the vessel, as I imagine he would, what better way to show them that Oman has both economic clout and a proud history.

    If the yacht is considered in this way, why would it be a subject that should not be discussed in this forum? Or am I looking at the acquisition in a different light than others?

  40. Contratulations! Biggest comments so far, by far!

    I will try and get pics of the interior, or at least some descriptions. (Tasteful ones of course Balqis, nothing from the bedrooms etc).

  41. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. Sorry Lurker and Junkie.

    Got a tip off from a buddy close to internal security and had to remove the comments that were possible to mis-interpret.

    This blog must stay within the law, especially the really important ones, if you know what I mean.

  44. UD, Thanks for the post, and the subsequent comments, though I'm sure it was not your intention to have 45 (I think) comments. I am away from home and this sure cheered me up. I thought this URL may make you chuckle.. it has a comment aboutg HMs ship..

  45. Ooopss.. its a long blog from a couple of tourists in Oman for 24 hrs.. you may not want to sift through x lines of what they did.. it was a comment they made about HMs yacht used to ferry his many multicoloured Mercs .. ohmi. I had to chuckle.


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...