The gold piano, sir? All yours for just Dh4.8million

Dubai's Galaxy Piano, which counts Alicia Keys among its customers, has produced what it claims to be the world's most expensive piano.

15 - March - 2013, ADNEC, Abu Dhabi

Galaxy Piano, a symbol of luxury and style, enhancing lifestyle in hundreds of deluxe hotels, high end shopping destinations and affluent homes in every corner of the globe. Assembled in Dubai, Galaxy Piano combines the age-old traditions of German piano workmanship and modern technology. Fatima Al Marzooqi/The National.
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It counts the American singer songwriter Alicia Keys among its customers and has produced what it claims to be the world's most expensive piano.

But chances are you have never heard of Dubai-based Galaxy Piano, which exports 90 per cent of its products abroad.

"The pianos are not really made in Dubai," said Mark Murphy, the sales and marketing director. "They're assembled in Dubai because the parts come from Germany like the soundboard, like the strings, like the keys."

The company, which is taking part in the Luxury Gift Show at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre that ends today, chose to base itself in the Emirates to take advantage of the country's tax-free status and good transport links.

"You know how easy it is to fly around the world with Emirates and Etihad," said Mr Murphy. "We have special flight case for the pianos and we put them in a plane and within three days they are in New York or Las Vegas or Tokyo or London. "

The company has sold about 250 pianos since it was founded five years ago - 80 of them in the past year alone.

The vast majority of its customers are celebrities and VIPs, according to Mr Murphy.

Galaxy Piano specialises in acrylic glass designs, but also makes wooden pianos and has produced a 24-carat gold plated fibreglass version complete with a gold-plated Pegasus figure.

"It's the most expensive piano in the world," says Mr Murphy. It costs €1 million [Dh4.8m]. With this piano we can open and close the cover automatically. It's the only piano in the world with curved keys. We have had a few inquiries. We will sell it in the next month. I am sure of it."

The pianos, which usually cost Dh350,000 to Dh1m and include an automatic playing system controlled by iPad, play well, he said.

But that is not the only reason people buy them. A number of its customers cannot even play the piano. "We see ourselves as a luxury item. We don't see us as only a musical instrument," said Mr Murphy.