QE2 sold off to Dubai World
Cunard Line today announced the sale of QE2 to Dubai World, in a US$100 million deal that will turn the liner into a floating hotel at The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
QE2 will be delivered to Dubai World in November 2008, to be refurbished and adapted for its new role.
From 2009, the vessel will be berthed at a specially-constructed pier at The Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest man-made island, to create a luxury floating hotel, retail and entertainment destination.
The ship, which was launched in September 1967, 40 years ago this year, is the longest-serving ship in Cunard's 168-year history, and was its longest-serving flagship.
Since entering service in 1969, the ship has undertaken 25 world cruises, has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.
QE2 has been purchased by Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. Nakheel, developer of The Palm Jumeirah, is also a Dubai World company.
Carol Marlow, President and Managing Director of Cunard, said:
"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".
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai World, said:
"QE2 is without a doubt one of the wonders of the maritime world, and is easily the most famous serving liner in the world today. I am delighted we will be able to create a home for her on the newest wonder of the world, The Palm Jumeirah.
"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 is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2. She is coming to a home where she will be cherished".
Istithmar said its refurbishment program will aim to recreate QE2's original interior decor and fittings. QE2 at The Palm Jumeirah will also include a museum celebrating the rich history of the ship.