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Adnan Khashoggi, Saudi owner of Bond yacht dies aged 81

Adnan Khashoggi, Saudi owner of Bond yacht dies aged 81

While many of Bonds vehicles came from famous manufacturers and have been modified to suit his needs, there was one yacht lent to Irvin Kershner’s rival Bond film ‘Never Say Never Again’ which has a different story

Built in 1980 by Italian yacht builder Benetti at a cost of $291million (2016 equivalent), the 86 meter long Nabila had a starring role in Sean Connery’s final outing as agent 007. The original owner of the luxury yacht was Saudi billionaire and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi who died today aged 81. He had famously made the news after being implicated in the 1985-87 Iran–Contra affair as a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange.

Named after his daughter Nabila, the yacht was once the largest in the world. At the time of delivery to Khashoggi it featured five decks with 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 on top in front of the heliport, 2 Riva tenders, a crew of 48, a top speed of 20 knots, and cruising speed of 17.5 knots. Propulsion was supplied by two 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) Nohab Polar engines. Needless to say, it naturally also had a garage for Khashoggis Rolls Royce Phantom V.

In the 1983 rival and unofficial James Bond film Never Say Never Again’, the Nabila was renamed to “Flying Saucer” which was a translation of the Italian “Disco Volante” in Ian Flemings novel Thunderball’ and the 1965 film of the same name. As in novel and original film, the yacht served as the mobile headquarters of villain Largo (Klaus-Maria Brandauer) whose first name had been changed to Maximilian.

Villain Largo (Klaus-Maria Brandauer), Bond-Girl Domino (Kim Basinger) and Bond (Sean Connery) having lunch onboard the “Flying Saucer”

When Khashoggi was forced to sell the Nabila due to financial problems, the Sultan of Brunei acquired it in 1988 and in turn sold it to Donald Trump for $29 million. After a refit, Trump renamed it Trump Princess. Having run into financial difficulties himself in 1991, Trump sold the yacht to Saudi business magnate and philantropist Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal for $20 million who renamed it to “Kingdom 5KR”.

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