Saddam Hussein’s yacht on sale for £17m
BY Peter Allen  /  19/12/2007

A super-yacht which was built for Saddam Hussein is on sale for £17
million. The floating palace, originally named Qadissiyat Saddam,
after a famous Arab victory over the Persians in 637 AD, was made by
Danish shipbuilders in 1981. The yacht was meant to be the sister ship
of Al Mansur (“The Victor”), another of the executed Iraqi dictator’s
vessels, but it was never delivered to Iraq.

Al Mansur was bombed by Anglo-American forces during the Iraq War of
2003, but Qadissiyat Saddam remained out of harm’s way. The yacht, now
renamed Ocean Breeze and moored off Nice, is an astonishing testament
to the playboy lifestyle enjoyed by Saddam and his entourage.

The 270ft vessel is full of customised fittings ordered by the Iraqi
leader from builders Helsingor Vaerft. It is decorated throughout with
fine mahogany, gold, silver and marble, and was described by its
builders as “lavish in every detail and very Arabic in style”. The
décor included Arabesque arches, dark wood carvings, deep-pile
carpets, and loose rugs woven in Islam’s holiest cities.

Aside from the typically Muslim features, including prayer rooms and
ornate fountains, the specification was much the same as super-yachts
owned by millionaires the world over. There are bathrooms with gold
taps, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, hi-tech entertainment suites and games
parlours, including table tennis and pool tables, and flat-screen TVs
in almost every cabin. With banquets in mind, there is silverware for
200 people. But as the yacht was intended for Saddam’s private use, it
can sleep only a relatively modest 28 people. There is a helicopter
pad and a health clinic, complete with a mini-operating theatre.

Security measures include a secret passage which would have allowed
Saddam to get to a fast boat in case of trouble. A mini-submarine pod
is also connected to the passage. The vessel’s 35-man crew was on
standby 24 hours a day, all year round. It has storage for heavy
machine-guns and surface-to-air missiles. All of the glass on board is

When the yacht was built, all of the workers involved were sworn to
secrecy, signing gagging orders. Many suspect that Saddam, who had
close links with the Saudi regime, kept Qadissiyat Saddam in Saudi
Arabia for safety, in case anything happened to its sister yacht.

Broker Burgess London is inviting offers around £17 million for Ocean

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