The yacht was built in 1980 by the yacht builder Benetti at a cost of $100 million (This is equivalent to $260,379,645 in 2009) and designed by Jon Bannenberg. Its original interior was designed by Luigi Sturchio.
It was originally built as Nabila for Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi (named for his daughter). At the time of its construction it was one of the largest yachts in the world but is now ranked down at 65th largest and continues to fall down the rankings.
During its days as Nabila, it was featured in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again, in which it was seen as Flying Saucer (translated from Italian Disco Volante in the source novel, Thunderball), the villain's superyacht mobile HQ. It was also the inspiration for a track, "Khashoggi's Ship", on the 1989 album by rock band Queen, The Miracle.
When it was delivered it had five decks, a disco, a cinema with seats for 12 and 2 double beds, 11 opulent suites, a helipad on top (its funnels are sloped outward to avoid interference with the helicopters), 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.
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