- FLYING PALACE & PRINCE
AL-WALEED BIN TALAL
Saudi prince (Al-Waleed bin Talal) buys world's first 'Flying Palace'
Prince Al-Waleed signs on the dotted line to purchase his Airbus 380 at the Dubai air show
Inside the world's biggest private jet with 4-poster beds, Turkish bath... and a place to park the Rolls
In a space normally given to 600 passengers, the owner and his guests will enjoy five-star treatment from the moment of arrival. After driving up to his plane, he will have the car parked in the onboard garage.
A lift drops to the tarmac and a red carpet unfurls, with downlights to 'give the impression of turning up at the Oscars', according to Design Q's co-founder Gary Doy. The belly of the A380 has been turned into a relaxation zone, including a Turkish bath lined with marble only two millimetres thick to keep the weight down.
Next door is a wellbeing room, with the floor and walls turned into a giant screen showing the ground down below. Guests can stand on a 'magic carpet' and watch the journey, a scented breeze blowing into the room.
If work really is unavoidable, the boardroom is on hand with iTouch screens and live share prices projected on to the tables. For conference calls, a business partner on the ground can be virtually projected on to the table to 'join' a meeting.
The five suites which form the owner's private quarters have king- size beds, entertainment systems and a prayer room featuring computergenerated prayer mats which always face Mecca . A lift shuttles between the plane's three floors, from the private quarters upstairs, down to the concert hall, featuring a baby grand piano and seating for ten, and to the garage below.
There are around 20 'sleepers' - the equivalent of First Class seats - for extra guests. According to the designers, the style is elegant curves and swirls of Arabic writing.
AND NOW THE LATEST NEWS!
Al-Waleed Spends $176 Million to Outfit His A380
After dropping close to $320 million on his new Airbus A380 jet, Prince Al-Waleed of Saudi Arabia is spending another $176 million on ultra-lavish modifications, including a $60 million gold leaf paintjob. An unnamed German company is customizing the interior of the plane to include:
· A lounge to seat a traveling entourage of 25 trusted aides; · A marble-paneled dining room with seating for 14; · A bar with curtains to mimic tents of the Arabian Desert; · A fiber-optic mosaic that will depict a shifting desert scene; · A movie theatre with plush leather seats the color of sand dunes; · A series of bedrooms linked to stewardesses by intercom; · A gym with Nautilus equipment and running machines; and · A large silk bed designed to resemble a Bedouin tent that will be the centerpiece of the plane’s interior.
Reports speak of the decor as being “Lawrence of Arabia meets Star Wars.” Al-Waleed’s A380 will be completed in two years, and in the meantime he will cruise in his Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.
PRINCE AL-WALEED BIN TALAL
Al-Waleed bin Talal was born to Talal ibn Abd al-Aziz, son of the founding King of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and Princess Mona Al-Solh, Daughter of Lebanon's first Prime Minister. He is Prince Talal's second son.
Al-Waleed completed a bachelor of science degree in business administration at Menlo College in 1979 and masters in social science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, in 1985. He was also awarded an honorary PhD from the University of Exeter. Prince Waleed's children are: Prince Khaled and Princess Reem who are from his first wife, Princess Dalal bint Saud bin Abdul Aziz. And Prince Najem and Princess Mona who are from Princess Deborah of Saudi Arabia, whom is one of Waleed bin Talal's current wives. Despite being the nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, he has stayed outside of the core of political power in Saudi Arabia , and instead built a large international corporation called the Kingdom Holding Company, through which he makes his investments.
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