There will be many readers who, for the last decade, have followed the fortunes of the Queen Elizabeth 2.
It is fair to speculate that the majority, as nil positive activity was reported related to the progression of previously announced plans for the vessel, would have assumed that the final chapter would have been the news that this iconic vessel was heading for a ship breaker’s yard. However, that is not to be.
Notwithstanding the years of disappointment and false promise, the former Cunard liner has come back to life in a dry dock in Dubai and is now on her permanent berth in Port Rashid, ready to make a come-back as a floating hotel. The first guests were due to be accommodated in early May.
The liner, perhaps the most famous of her kind, certainly during her era, was, as many will recall, withdrawn from liner and cruise ship duty by Cunard in 2008. After being sold, she was moved shortly, thereafter, to Dubai, with the promise of becoming an equally famous and popular tourist attraction. Instead, the world economy went into a downward tumble and, with it, the hopes of seeing QE2 refurbished and turned into a floating hotel in this magical Arabian Gulf city, came to nothing.
Now, however, without the publicity and fanfare that accompanied her move to Dubai ten years ago, and without the several false rays of hope, QE2 has already undergone refurbishment which included the removal of her propellers and the fine old ship is ready to take her place as one of THE places to visit when in Dubai.
Will she sail again? That is highly unlikely, certainly that doesn’t appear to be the owner’s intention after having removed the propellers – we understand they will be placed on prominent display on the quayside. In addition, all underwater openings such as bow thrusters and stabilisers have been welded shut.