Are you a luxury toys lover? Then, this is the perfect article for you! The new status symbols of the super-rich are incredible and surprising and we will reveal everything. From Mark Zuckerberg’s A.I. butlers to Dubai’s custom-built islands, this is the surprising world of the super-rich and their super luxury toys.
Migaloo’s Private Submersible Yachts offer everything an ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) would expect from a regular yacht — on-deck swimming pools, helipads, VIP suites — and a little something extra. If the seas become choppy, or a drone looms overhead, you can slip beneath the waves and out of sight. ‘Explore and travel with total privacy,’ promises the marketing material. The brochure makes no mention of any missile-launchers but it does proudly display a quote: ‘Perfect for any Bond villain.’
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The problem with a regular island is that it’s stuck with nature’s design. But what if you could dream up your own from scratch, a bit like, well, God? This is precisely what a company called Dutch Docklands promises with its customisable islands, Amillarah, in the Maldives. Prices start at £6.75m. ‘Buyers are able to customise the size, shape and style of their residence,’ promises Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate, which is engineering the islands with Dutch Docklands. Further islands are planned off Dubai and Miami.
Supersonic air travel is a possibility once more — at a price. Last year, the Aerion Corporation (funded by Texan billionaire Robert Bass and Airbus) took its first order for its £82m AS2 supersonic private jets. Designed to carry up to 12 passengers at one and a half times the speed of sound it will cut flight times from London to New York to less than three hours. The first 20 planes have been purchased on-spec by FlexJet, a company that leases part-ownership of business jets. If all goes to plan, they will be in service by 2023.
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If time is money then what price is a millenium-old tree? In Spain, ancient olive trees have withstood the country’s turbulent history, and have attracted a rich cultural significance; now the globe’s wealthy have started to snap them up like garden furniture for as much as £30,000. The thick, gnarled species, which are more than 1,000 years old, have become a big hit as luxury ornaments for wealthy collectors from Europe to the US and the UAE. ‘I no longer need to get on a plane [to see them],’ one collector said, ‘I can stay at home and enjoy my olive trees. It’s better for the environment.’ Not everyone agrees — there’s a change.org petition to stop the practice, which has attracted more than 153,460 signatures. Even you can build your own bespoke forest. Companies such as Ruskins Trees will plant ready-matured heritage arbours for you. Choices include Yews, £35,000, American Sweet Gums, £25,000, and Scots Pines, £6,000.
Mark Zuckerberg’s 2016 New Year’s resolution stated that he would construct and program a robotic butler. ‘I’ll start teaching it to understand my voice to control everything in our home — music, lights, temperature and so on,’ he disclosed. And at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Segway, Intel and the Chinese company Ninebot revealed a robot-butler that can answer your door (you can also take his head off and use him as a hoverboard). Zuckerberg’s vision can’t be far away.
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