London, Dec 17: A 270 feet super-yacht, which was built for Saddam Hussein, is on sale for 17 million pounds in Paris. Built by Danish shipbuilders for the late Iraqi dictator in 1981, this yacht was originally named “Qadissiyat Saddam", after a famous Arab victory over the Persians in 637 AD.
Now renamed “Ocean Breeze", this yacht is truly a floating palace, with a host of features that is a trademark of the luxuriant lifestyle of Saddam Hussein. 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.
Apart from that, 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 decor included Arabesque arches, dark wood carvings, deep-pile carpets, and loose rugs woven in Islam's holiest cities. Security measures include a secret emergency escape 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, with all of the glass on board being bulletproof.
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.