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147,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dubai company buys the Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner for $100 million
18 June 2007

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The QE2, the majestic ocean liner that has carried millions of people across the Atlantic during its 40-year history, has been sold to a Dubai-owned company for $100 million, the company said Monday.

State-owned Istithmar said it plans to turn the giant passenger ship into a first-class floating hotel, retail and entertainment destination, berthed off Dubai's manmade Palm Jumeirah island.

The aging vessel, bought from the Cunard Line division Carnival Corp., will end its days as a tourist attraction, opening to the public in the beginning of 2009, Istithmar said in an e-mailed statement. Istithmar is a division of Dubai World, a government-owned holding company that also owns Nakheel, the developer of Palm Jumeirah.

"We are delighted that when her legendary career as an ocean liner ends there will continue to be a permanent home for her that will enable future generations to continue to experience fully both the ship and her history," Cunard's president, Carol Marlow, said in the statement.

Launched in 1967 by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, the QE2 became the longest-serving ship in Cunard's 168-year history. The vessel has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers, Istithmar said.

"QE2 at The Palm Jumeirah will become one of the must-see experiences of Dubai and of the Middle East. We are investing in creating a truly global tourism destination," Dubai World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said in the statement.

Istithmar said its refurbishment program will recreate QE2's original interior decor and fittings.

8,667 Posts
I REALLY want to sail on that ocean liner once before it docks permanently. They don't make ocean liners like that nowadays. It's the last of its kind, part of an era gone by. Sad to hear that it will no longer be in service by 2009. :(

147,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QE2 ocean liner sets sail for retirement in Dubai

NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - British queens typically don't retire to Dubai, but the Queen Elizabeth 2, arguably the world's most famous ocean liner, has never been typical.

The 40-year-old Cunard ship sailed out of New York harbor for the last time this week accompanied by the far larger Queen Mary 2 en route to Dubai where she will live out her years as a hotel.

"She will always be remembered as the best loved ship in the world and we are delighted that she will be cherished by future generations of travelers at her new home in Dubai," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.

"Her mantle as flagship of the British merchant fleet has proudly been bestowed upon Queen Mary 2, a ship recognized as the grandest ocean liner ever built and surely destined to continue Cunard's legacy," she added.

The QE2, which bridged the period between the heyday of opulent luxury liners like the Queen Mary and the more recent trend toward bigger, more democratic megaships, has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.

Among them were Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope and Paul Newman and British royalty including Queen Elizabeth II, her son Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. Many of those on board for the final trip were veteran QE2 passengers.

The QE2, which also served as a hospital ship transporting injured troops during the 1982 Falkland War, will complete service in November.

The Queen Mary has enjoyed a similar "afterlife" as a hotel and tourist attraction based in Long Beach, California.

Cunard expects to debut yet another Queen in 2010 when the Queen Elizabeth is slated for completion.

147,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Britain's cruise ship QE2 arrives to Dubai to become a floating hotel off Palm island
26 November 2008

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Britain's most famous luxury cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2, arrived in Dubai on Wednesday where it will turn into a floating hotel moored off an artificial palm-shaped island.

More than 60 naval vessels and private boats, led by a mega-yacht owned by Dubai's ruler, met the 70,000 ton ship in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday. In the city's Rashid port, the legendary cruise ship was greeted by a police marching band and fireworks.

In 40 years at sea, the luxury liner has traveled 6 million miles, carried 2.5 million passengers and crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times.

"For QE2, we believe that life really does begin at 40," said Manfred Ursprunger, the chief executive of Nakheel's QE2 Enterprises, which is in charge of the ship's transformation.

Ursprunger said it will take two to three years to redesign the ship and make it into a hotel with dozens of rooms, several restaurants, a performance theater and a spa.

Some of the cruiser's famous quarters, like The Queen's Room, The Captain's Quarters and The Bridge will be preserved in their original form.

The ship's owner, Cunard, sold QE2 last year to state-run conglomerate Dubai World for about $100 million.

Nakheel, a Dubai-based developer and part of Dubai World, plans to dock QE2 along Dubai's artificial palm-shaped island.

Queen Elizabeth II launched the QE2 in 1967 and it went into service two years later. In 1982, it was requisitioned as a troop carrier for the Falklands War that Britain fought against Argentina.

QE2 left Southampton, U.K. on Nov. 11 for her last journey to Dubai. It sailed for 16 days to its retirement spot in the Gulf via Lisbon, Rome and the Egyptian port of Alexandria.

On Thursday, Cunard will formally handover the ship's ownership to Nakheel.

147,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QE2 may leave Dubai and open as hotel
12 July 2009
Agence France Presse

Iconic cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 may leave Dubai and take to the high seas again in order to operate as a floating hotel in other ports, the luxury liner's cash-strapped owners said on Sunday.

Giant property developer Nakheel, which had planned to tug QE2 to a special pier on its man-made Palm Island, said it "has been investigating opening QE2 to visitors as a stationary hotel before work on her refurbishment begins."

"In addition to alternative locations in Dubai, other ports in the Middle East and Africa have also expressed an interest in hosting this impressive maritime icon," Nakheel told AFP in an emailed statement.

Dubai was scheduled to be the final stop for the QE2 which received a royal welcome when it arrived in the city state in November. Nakheel then said that the boat would be refitted within three years as a luxury hotel.

South African media reported last week that Nakheel's parent firm Dubai World is looking into moving QE2 to South Africa to berth it as a floating hotel at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront.

Dubai World bought the QE2 for about 50 million pounds (81 million dollars) from US cruise operator Cunard in 2007, when the economy of Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates was growing at a breakneck speed.

But Dubai was hit hard as the global financial crisis brought the rapid growth in its property sector to a standstill, forcing the government to help the debt-ridden Nakheel.

The company cut 500 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce, only a few days after taking control of the QE2 in November. It has reportedly cut 400 more jobs recently.

Launched by her British namesake in September 1967, the QE2 was Cunard's longest-serving ship. The 963-feet- (294-metre) craft can carry up to 1,778 passengers and more than 1,000 crew.

She has travelled 5.5 million nautical miles -- the equivalent of to the moon and back 13 times -- and has undertaken 25 world cruises, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and carried more than two million passengers.

31,579 Posts

QE2 to sail for Cape Town, Nakheel confirms

Nakheel confirmed on Monday that the historic QE2 cruise liner, which Dubai bought for $100 million in 2007 and planned to use as a floating hotel off the Palm Jumeirah man-made island, will sail to Cape Town in major U-turn in the plans for the ship.

“After months of feasibility studies, it is clear that Cape Town, with ready-made berthing facilities, provides the best opportunity for us to open QE2 to visitors as quickly as possible,” Manfred Ursprunger, chief executive officer of QE2 Enterprises at Nakheel Hotels, said in a statement released to Maktoob Business.

The Queen Elizabeth 2 has been linked with a temporary berth in Cape Town harbour for weeks after Nakheel, part of state-owned conglomerate Dubai World, said it was considering berthing the iconic cruise liner outside Dubai.

South African media reported Nakheel had approached tourism authorities to berth the QE2 at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, also owned by Dubai World.

Nakheel said it will provide details about the ship’s sailing to Cape Town after it has finalised the plan with the concerned authorities in South Africa.

“Cape Town will provide an exciting environment to experience the legendary QE2 over the next 18 months alongside the rich culture of South Africa and the incredible array of activities, entertainments and excursions available there,” Ursprunger said.

Nakheel said the forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup “makes a sensible business case” for moving the ship there.

Any deal still needs the approval of South Africa’s National Ports Authority and Transnet, the country’s major ports company.

Nakheel had planned to turn the QE2 into a floating hotel, but has been left untouched at Port Rashid since its arrival last November.

Berthing the QE2 in Cape Town for the World Cup could generate some much needed cash for Nakheel, which has been hit hard by the collapse of Dubai’s real estate market.

The company itself has put some of its projects, including the Trump Tower, on hold and has retrenched hundreds of staff amid a slump in property sales.

The company is at the centre of growing concerns over the emirate's ability to repay billions of dollars in debt and is entangled in a growing number of disputes over unpaid bills to foreign contractors.

The maturity of a $3.5 billion bond in December, and how to refinance it, is also weighing heavily on the minds of analysts rating Dubai's government-owned companies.

One of the world’s most famous ships, the QE2 had crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times in its 40 years of service and carried more than 2.5 million passengers before arriving in Dubai.

6,453 Posts
The QE2 was never sent to Capetown and remains in Dubai :)

Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Elizabeth meet in Dubai

Cunrads two majestic cruise liners seen together at Dubai's Port Rashid Cruise Terminal

Cunard’s new Queen Elizabeth met her predecessor the Queen Elizabeth 2 in Dubai

Peter Shanks, President and Managing director for Cunard was in Dubai to witness yet another Cunard Royal Rendezvous "From the outside she looks exactly as we had left her two years ago," Shanks said.

He also noted “She has a small crew onboard to keep things going and I understand that she has been well kept on the inside despite the very high temperatures in Dubai. Given the tough economic situation in Dubai they have not yet commenced their extensive plans for the ship and we all wait to hear what lies ahead for QE2.”

The Queen Elizabeth was visiting Dubai as part of her maiden World Voyage, which has taken her from Southampton to New York to Sydney.

Shanks noted the two Queens exchanged salutations via their ship whistles, and "it was lovely for us to hear the famous QE2 whistle again."

Cunard sold the QE2 in 2008 to a Dubai owned conglomerate that had planned to turn it into a floating hotel and tourist attraction.

Cunard has long been a first class luxury cruise line and the fascination and pride still felt within their past ships is evident. Even though the QE2 and the original Queen Mary are no longer owned by Cunard it seems they will forever be part of the “Cunard family”

6,453 Posts
Cool video here:

On board QE2 cruise liner moored in Dubai - courtesy of the BBC
Click to watch

MONACO _ Côte d'Azur
19,388 Posts
Tickets go on sale for New Year bash on QE2 in Dubai

Priced at Dh3,000, limited number of tickets will be sold for party featuring VIPs, royals and dignitaries

By Staff | Published Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sale of limited number of tickets for an exclusive and high-profile New Year party on ultra-luxury ship Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) in Dubai has begun, sources told Emirates 24l7.

Ticket – which went on sale on Sunday night – has been priced at Dh3,000 and can be bought online.

The ultra-luxury ship will remain anchored during the party, said a spokesperson of Dubai World – the owner of QE2. This is the first time she has been opened to the public for such an event. The ship is docked in Dubai since it was by Dubai World’s subsidiary Nakheel few years ago for £50 million.

However, sources refused to reveal the numbers of tickets to be sold for the “Invitation only” New Year party which will feature around 1,000 people including VIPs, Royals and foreign and local dignitaries, a Dubai World spokesperson told Emirates 24l7 earlier.

"For a limited number of guests, the QE2 black tie event is being designed as one of the most exclusive New Year celebrations in the world. However, a limited number of exclusive tickets will go on sale this week to the general public. A percentage of proceeds from ticket sales will be passed on to a local charity," said the press statement.

From gourmet food, captivating entertainers, magnificent laser and firework displays, an exceptional line up of international acts (including The Gypsies, Drury Lane, and many more), to royals, dignitaries, celebrities and VIPs, the event aims to treat guests to a unique, luxurious experience and the most stylish way to ring in the New Year of 2012.

MONACO _ Côte d'Azur
19,388 Posts
Confirmed: Pam and Lohan to attend QE2 bash

Revealed: QE2 Dubai New Year bash celebrity guest list

By Ajanta Paul | Published Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The luxury vessel Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is all set to host the biggest New Year party in town.

The red carpet is all rolled out for the who’s who not just in Dubai but from the world across.

‘Mean Girls’ actress Lindsay Lohan; Hollywood actor Liam Cunningham, former ‘Baywatch’ star Pamela Anderson; US sitcom and film star Lamman Rucker; Former England cricketer Allan Lamb; English model, socialite and aristocrat Lady Victoria Hervey, are just some of the VIP and celebrity attendees who will grace the occasion.

If sources are to be believed Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will join them and take the red carpet to attend the QE2 bash.

MONACO _ Côte d'Azur
19,388 Posts
Queen Elizabeth 2 bash marks a new chapter

Three years after docking in Dubai, cruiseliner-turned-floating-hotel opens to patrons with a grand celebration

By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter | Published: 00:00 December 31, 2011

The Queen Elizabeth 2 docked at Port Rashid will host royalty, dignitaries, celebrities and other VIPs at tonight’s New Year celebration from 8pm to 3am. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Prepare to be mesmerised tonight as the UAE bids farewell to 2011 and welcomes the New Year in timeless elegance on board the Queen Elizabth 2 (QE2) in Port Rashid.

The ultra-luxury ship is opening its doors once again to its royal patrons three years after it docked in Dubai in 2008. The black-tie event was billed as an invitation-only soiree although some tickets went on general sale.Royalty, dignitaries, celebrities and VIPs, are expected to attend from 8pm until 3am.

"Her historic decks will once more come alive with a glittering event for the famous and the fabulous, reliving her glamorous days as one of the most loved cruise ships in the world," QE2 spokesperson Leili Gerami said.

MONACO _ Côte d'Azur
19,388 Posts
Queen Elizabeth 2 set to host lavish parties

Owners of the cruise ship have received requests from all over the world

By Kevin Scott, Staff Reporter | Published: 00:00 January 11, 2012

The QE2, which has sat idle at Dubai’s Port Rashid since arriving amid much fanfare in November 2008, threw open its doors for a glitzy event on New Year’s Eve. The
Queen Elizabeth 2 docked at Dubai Maritime City, overlooking the Dubai creek. In the short term, the world’s most famous cruise ship is set to forge a path as a unique
events destination with requests flooding in from across the world. Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News Archive - Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News

A view of the interrior if the QE2. Istithmar World, the current owners of the QE2, originally planned to turn the vessel into a floating hotel, but those plans were soon postponed amid a difficult economic climate worldwide. Image Credit: Kevin Scott/Gulf News

Dubai: The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) cruise ship is preparing to host a series of extravagant parties in the coming months after being inundated with requests from international celebrities, a spokesperson for the ship told Gulf News.

The QE2, which has sat idle at Dubai's Port Rashid since arriving amid much fanfare in November 2008, threw open its doors for a glitzy event on New Year's Eve.

Istithmar World, the current owners of the QE2, originally planned to turn the vessel into a floating hotel, but those plans were soon postponed amid a difficult economic climate worldwide.

In the short term the world's most famous cruise ship is set to become a unique events destination, with requests flooding in from across the world from people looking to book birthday parties, weddings and corporate functions.

6,453 Posts
Queen Elizabeth II converted into floating hotel

Queen Elizabeth Curise expected to attract 500,000 tourist per year
By zaher bitar, Staff Reporter
Published: 00:00 July 3, 2012

Dubai: The emirate added another iconic tourist destination to the list by converting the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship into a floating hotel at Rashid Port turning the whole area into an entertainment port village in 18 months, Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Chairman, Istithmar World, said.

He said: “The vessel will be moored next to the original cruise terminal at Port Rashid and converted into a 300 room luxury hotel, with top quality lifestyle facilities, while the terminal itself will be developed into a maritime museum.

“The QE2 will be at the heart of Dubai in its permanent position at Port Rashid and contribute to the growth of Dubai as the city continues to develop and expand as a top tourist destination. The vessel is truly iconic and has a huge following around the world. Our vision is to enhance the facilities on board but retain the very strong sense of history that is a fundamental part of her attraction.”


Dear Donald, Yours Ever
54,964 Posts

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - After more than four years sitting idle in a Dubai port, the storied passenger liner Queen Elizabeth 2 is bound again for the high seas as part of deal to convert the vessel into a luxury hotel in Asia, officials said Thursday.

The precise destination of the QE2 was not disclosed. But a map noted its planned voyage ending in China, raising speculation of seaports such as Shanghai or Hong Kong.

"We promise to take good care of her," said Daniel Chui, managing director of the Oceanic Group, a Singapore-based maritime firm leading the renovation of the vessel into a 500-room hotel.

The deal marks the latest twist in the fate of the QE2, which has been docked in Dubai since it was purchased by the state investment company Istithmar World in 2007 for $100 million at the height of the city's boom era. In July, plans were announced to keep the vessel in Dubai as a hotel and hub of a seafaring center.

But Dubai's economic rebound has been spotty and officials have already pledged huge investments into new entertainment and retail projects, including theme parks and a planned mall to outshine the Dubai Mall that's now billed as the world's largest.

It's also another sign of the expanding economic influence of China, which has a fast-growing tourism sector that already includes a host of themed resorts such as a recreation of a Swiss alpine village.

There is no firm timetable for the QE2's journey east. First, it will undergoing full checks for seaworthiness in Dubai that could take up to three months, said Khamis Juma Buamin, chairman of shipyard operator Drydocks World.

The interior of the ship has been meticulously maintained since its last voyage in late 2008 and Dubai will retain ownership of the vessel after its conversion to a hotel. Buamin said technicians will now do any needed upgrades to the hull, engine and other systems. He gave no cost estimate, but noted it will be "a lot" to get the more than 45-year-old ship ready for the seas.

"Once we are finished with it, she'll be 18 years old again," Buamin told reporters.

After that, millions will be spent to restore the rest of the ship to its "glory days," said Chui.

The ship's fate has been the subject of intense speculation since its arrival in Dubai in November 2008. Officials had long avoided addressing questions about its future, even as it sat unused and suggestions swirled that it could be moved to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup or sold for scrap.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched the QE2 in 1967. Since it went into service in 1969, the ship has made at least 26 round-the-world voyages.

Dubai officials also leave open the possibly that the ship could one day return.

"It's a global ship," said Buamin. "This ship may come back to Dubai. This is what ships do. Ships have to travel."

Like many aging celebrities, the MS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) cruise liner has had a rough time adjusting to retirement.

Following years of uncertainty, Dubai officials have announced the famed vessel will be refurbished and sent to Asia, where it will be moored as a five-star, 500-room hotel.

No actual destination has been announced and officials aren’t talking, though the landing page of the QE2 hotel website shows a panoramic shot of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, fueling speculation the ship will eventually end up there.

“A number of Asian cities have expressed interest in securing this historic attraction,” according to a statement from Drydocks World Dubai, part of a consortium handling the refurbishment.

“We have firmed up with an international tourist city in the Far East as her first destination," said the statement. "The chosen city shares the passion of the partnership for preserving the history and reputation of this great ship that holds a special place in the collective memory of the many a million passengers that have sailed on her during nearly 40 years of service."

According to government-owned Drydocks, Oceanic Group -- which has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and China -- will manage refurbishment of the 294-meter ship.

"The renovations and upgrades planned will respect and safeguard the immense heritage embodied in her fine lines and luxurious fittings," the group added.

It will be interesting to see how that heritage is respected given the new ship is set to include a luxury shopping mall, three Michelin-starred restaurants and convention and meeting facilities. In addition, there will be an onboard maritime museum displaying QE2 memorabilia.

QE2 history

Prior to the QE2's retirement in November 2008, the former Cunard luxury liner serviced the trans-Atlantic route between Southampton, UK, and New York.

The ship carried 2.5 million passengers and completed 806 trans-Atlantic crossings during 39 years of service for Cunard.

In 1982, the ship was put to use in the Falklands War, refitted with dorms, helicopter pads and fuel pads to transport 3,000 troops to the south Atlantic.

It wasn't until the ship's retirement that sailing really got rough. Thursday’s luxury hotel announcement follows several years of uncertainty for the QE2, which was bought by Dubai World from Cunard in 2007 for close to US$100 million.

At the time, Dubai’s economy was booming and officials there announced that the QE2 would be docked at the Palm Jumeirah man-made island as a luxury floating hotel.

Then came the financial crisis and those ideas were shelved, leading to a series of rumors that the ship would be re-sold (which never happened.)

A 2009 bid to send the historic ship to Cape Town to be used as a hotel during the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa fizzled. Cape Town refused the ship permission to berth.

After a stream of other reports, including failed bids to send her back to England, comes this week’s confirmation that the QE2 will be headed for Asia, much to the relief of maritime history buffs who feared it would end up in the scrap yard.

No opening date has been announced, though Drydocks said the 500-room luxury accommodation would be managed by an international hotel brand.
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