Dubai’s famous sightseeing yacht, the Kawaguchikiko, can sail around Europe’s Mediterranean Sea, but it can’t dock there because of a security risk.
Dubai’s harbour authorities are now looking for someone who can take it to the Maltese port of Toulouse.
Dublin’s city council has been criticised for approving the £4.2m (£2.6m) construction project, which would see the boat dock in the city’s docklands, but the project is facing legal challenges from the UK Government.
Dublins mayor, Joe McHugh, is also trying to secure permission to dock at Malta’s capital, which is not in the EU, because the UK is not allowed to dock there.
Dubliner and yacht operator Kewal, which owns the Kawajikiko and is in negotiations with the government to lease it, is not the only operator to face legal challenges in the UK.
The UK is one of several countries that has a ban on foreign docking at its ports.
The European Court of Justice has upheld the ruling in a case brought by an Icelandic sailing club.
The Maltese government has refused to discuss whether the Kawawakis will be allowed to sail, but Dublin’s port authority has refused, saying there is no legal basis to allow the boat to dock in a harbour where the Government is not legally allowed to do so.
Dubby News understands the boat could be sent to Malta by the end of next month.
Dubland’s harbour authority, the Maritime Safety Authority, is looking for a “sailor, crew and a company representative to dock the Kawasikikiko at the Toulon Marina on January 15 and to dock it at the Port of Galway, as well as to take all necessary safety measures to ensure the safety of all passengers, crew, property and property in the area”.