Russian oligarch's Dh1.8 billion superyacht could sail away from UAE after court ruling

The luxury vessel is at the centre of a long-running legal dispute between Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov and his ex-wife Tatiana

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A Dh1.8 billion superyacht held in Dubai for more than a year, as part of the UK's biggest ever divorce case, could soon be sailing out of the UAE following the latest chapter in a long-running legal battle.

Dubai's Personal Status court has ruled that the 115-metre vessel — which has been docked in the emirate for more than a year due to a legal fight between the Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov and his ex-wife Tatiana — must be released.

Last November, the court overruled DIFC Court's decision to uphold a freezing order on the boat.
The superyacht was seized by Dubai authorities on February 8 last year and moved from the emirate's dry dock to the open waters of Rashid Port, where it has remained ever since.

Tatiana Akhmedova arrives at court which is considering legal issues in the divorce case against Russian billionaire businessman Farkhad Akhmedov, at a Court of Appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London Thursday Feb. 1, 2018.  Akhmedova was awarded Pounds 453 million (US 645 million dlrs) in divorce settlement, but according to her legal team no payment has yet been made. (Rick Findler/PA via AP)
Tatiana Akhmedova. Rick Findler / PA via AP

The vessel, MV Luna, which previously belonged to Roman Abramovich, was seized as part of the dispute between the tycoon and ex-wife in a £453 million divorce payment ordered in 2016 by the English High Court.
The legal proceedings were taking place at DIFC courts but were moved to Dubai's Sharia Court (Personal Status Court) to be dealt with as a matrimonial matter.
Ms Akhmedov filed her proceedings in London in 2012, just days after her oil and gas tycoon ex-husband had added to his fortune with the billion pound sale of his oil and gas assets in Russia.

Mr Akhmedov is petitioning against an English high court decision to grant his former wife ownership of the yacht under the terms of their divorce settlement.