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Dubai court rejects appeal over ownership of superyacht LUNA

By Katia Damborsky   29 August 2018

A Sharia court in Dubai has ruled against the owner of 155m/377ft ​ motor yacht LUNA, instead awarding ownership to his ex-wife.

Perhaps the pivotal point of contention in the costliest divorce in UK history, the ownership of luxury yacht LUNA was debated in a Sharia court in the United Arab Emirates last week. 

It follows an appeal to unfreeze the vessel submitted by Farkhad Akhmedov, an Azerbaijan-born oil tycoon who considers the £350 million superyacht to be the prize asset in a legal battle between himself and ex-wife, Tatiana Akhmedova. 

Upholding a past order made by the London High Court, the appeal to unfreeze LUNA was rejected and Akhmedova now retains ownership of the luxury yacht.

This ruling is the latest in a chain of events that saw the pair legally divorce in late 2015, when Akhmedova was awarded 41.5% of her ex-husband’s marital assets.

The £453 million payout was one of the largest ever seen in a British courtroom- but Akhmedov described the judgement as ‘toilet paper’ and has allegedly not paid his ex-wife any of the sum to date.

Owing to his alleged lack of co-operation since this initial ruling, superyacht LUNA was impounded in Dubai in 2017, and earlier this year ownership was transferred to Akhmedova in a UK court hearing.

However, Akhmedov claimed that the UK order couldn’t be imposed in the UEA, and had the case heard in front of a Sharia court in Dubai earlier this year.

In a surprising turn of events, the Dubai civil court overturned Akhmedov’s appeal to unfreeze the vessel.

Akhemdov now has ten days to appeal this decision. 

The £350 million superyacht was impounded in Dubai in 2017.

The journey up to this point hasn’t been smooth sailing and is likely to continue in much the same way. Akhmedov maintains that the UK’s judgement is part of a wider, politically motivated agenda and continues to dispute the ruling in Tatiana's favour.

In the past, Akhmedov has claimed that he and his wife were legally divorced in Russia in 2000 and therefore any rulings made in the UK held no ground. 

Luxury yacht LUNA came into the picture in 2014, when she was bought by the oligarch from friend and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich. She is known as the world’s largest expedition yacht, boasting nine decks after an additional one was added in a £50m refit in 2016.

At 115m, she is home to the largest swimming pool on any superyacht in the world, as well as two helipads, a spa, gym and a dance floor. A beach club, a jacuzzi and a tender garage to house a vast array of water toys are among her superb repertoire of amenities.

LUNA is at the very height of luxury, with interiors the exude sophistication and a host of facilities to ensure the most comfortable and enjoyable experience on board.

Superyacht LUNA is known as the world’s largest expedition yacht, boasting nine decks after an additional one was added in a £50m refit in 2016.

Although the fate of this stunning luxury yacht still remains unclear, it should now be handed over to Akhmedova. In a statement, she has said she's already received a lot of interest in the yacht and a sale is expected to happen swiftly.

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