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Saudi prince buys USD 485 mn 'flying palace'

Posted on Dec 17, 07:52AM | IANS

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will soon take delivery of the world's first customised A380 superjumbo, dubbed "the flying palace" for its luxury.

Alwaleed, estimated to be worth around USD 21.3 billion, has reportedly paid USD 485 million for the world's biggest private jet expected for delivery next year.

The A380 jumbo is believed to include four-poster beds, a Turkish bath, storage space for a Rolls-Royce, a boardroom, a concert hall, five suites with king-size beds, a prayer room featuring "computer generated prayer mats" which face Makkah and a lift between floors on all three levels.

Airbus Middle East president Habib Fekih confirmed on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Dubai that the aircraft would be delivered to the Saudi billionaire next year. "The A380 is planned for next year 2013," he said.

This is currently the only A380 luxury business jet on order but Fekih said he expected interest to grow.