Qatar 2022: $480,000-per-week yacht plays host to super rich

Doha, Qatar

It has been called the ‘Arab Riviera’, where the roads are not good and it is lined with luxury hotels that offer spectacular views across the sea. Welcome to ‘The Pearl.’

Work on this artificial island – now one of the most exclusive areas of Doha – began in 2004 and was named after the traditional practice of pearl diving which was an important industry in the area before the discovery of oil.

People dressed in designer clothes walk their chi-chi dogs along the goal while others relax on the man-made beaches which sit near a beautiful harbor with sparkling boats.

Most of the cruise ships have a permanent berth in the area but some have arrived to provide luxury accommodation to soccer fans looking for the ultimate World Cup experience.

The Saluzi, noted for its striking graffiti style design, is a one of a kind superyacht.

He arrived in Doha on November 24 and his army of 35 personnel was busy preparing for their first, secret, signing of the competition as CNN was invited on board for a tour.

Staying on the Saluzi costs almost $500,000 per week and once you step aboard, you are enveloped in luxury.

Guests are invited to exchange their shoes for fluffy white slippers and are greeted with drinks by scantily clad staff who are on hand to look after customers and make sure they are happy.

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From jacuzzis to personal pianos, this is a floating space with three floors to sleep, play and work across.
Many of the outdoor areas have hot tubs and guests can even play golf on the back of the boat – there is a green for avid golfers, which is complete with loose balls that turn into fish food when they hit the water.

There are also diving instructors, pools and poker tables – you will never be bored on Saluzi.

“We can accommodate 32 guests but we are not full,” Saluzi captain Asparuh Chorbadzhiev told CNN.

“When people like privacy, they can only use one or two cabins, but they can also bring a lot of support staff with them.”

Chorbadzhiev, who has been working and living at sea for almost 40 years, will not reveal who will stay on the ship during Qatar 2022 but said that his guests are usually celebrities or very rich businessmen.

The captain is clearly proud of ‘Saluzi’ and loves to reveal many hidden secrets; from its new lamps which visitors turn on and off with a remote control device, which is shaped like a gun, to the artwork that decorates the entrance walls.

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The exclusive pictures of the interior of the boat match the picture of the outside. All designs are inspired by the name of the ship, which is derived from the famous Chinese war horse.

Each of the bedrooms is designed in a unique style.

A fully equipped studio sits opposite the luxurious spa, complete with a massage bed which has the ability to pour wine over your body as you relax. This ship even has a hair salon.

There are a total of 16 cabins on the Saluzi, including VIP rooms equipped with a balcony. There is also a study, a cinema room and an area for gastronomic dining. The ship has also been known to host karaoke parties, according to Chorbadzhiev.

All meals are prepared by the crew. The boat is also immaculately clean. He leaves a room and a group of people suddenly appear to restore him to his pristine state.

“It is a world class ship. He is always in the Mediterranean every summer,” said Chorbadzhiev.

“Then, in the winter, we can go to the West Coast or places like Seychelles, Maldives, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong or in the Gulf region like here.”

The yacht was recently in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One Grand Prix, but was delayed in arriving in Qatar because of the documents required to obtain a visa to enter the country, according to Chorbadzhiev.

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There are many outdoor areas to relax.

A fully functioning spa is located in the large truck.

While in Abu Dhabi for the grand prize, the cruise ship entertained the crowd watching the race from its decks which overlook a portion of the track.

Now in Doha, visitors can arrange limousines that take them to the World Stadiums for the matches. Visitors can also request to take a boat out on the water to see the city from afar.

According to BOAT Pro’s Global Fleet Tracker, more than 20 superyachts have entered Qatari waters since the start of the competition, including yachts such as Al Lusail and Alaiya, which are based around Doha.

The Superyacht World Cup accommodation offers something very different to some of the other accommodation available to guests in town during the competition.

From cabins in the desert to portacabins on the edge of Doha, World Cup organizers have had to be innovative in providing accommodation options to fans with an influx of an estimated 1.5 million people who live in a country smaller than Connecticut.

CNN visited one of the fan villages as fans began to arrive ahead of the match.


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