By Andy Sambidge
UK media reports suggest plans to convert world famous liner into luxury hotel have been dropped
The world famous liner QE2, which has been moored in Dubai since 2008, is reportedly to be sold for scrap to a Chinese firm.
UK media said on Monday that plans to turn it into a floating hotel have been abandoned.
In July, owner Istithmar said it planned to relaunch the iconic QE2 as a 300-room luxury floating hotel, as part of plans to transform its current home at Port Rashid.
The 293m-long vessel was bought from Cunard for around $100m in June 2007 by the Dubai-based investment company.
But UK media have reported that a Chinese crew of 20 has boarded the ship, leading to fears that it is to be sold for scrap.
The report comes a month after a British consortium proposed moving the QE2 to London and converting it into a floating hotel outside the O2 Arena.
Roger Murray of QE2 London told the newspaper: “We have been told the ship is going to be put into a dry dock before being taken to an unknown destination in the Far East.
“That is a tragedy because it almost certainly means the QE2 is being sold as scrap. Our investors were going to give £20m for the ship itself plus £60m for renovation and the cost of bringing the ship back to Britain.
“But the ship could raise as much as £20m as dead weight scrap and the Chinese cash would be immediate.”
QE2 online discussion boards have been busy over the past 24 hours, with enthusiasts bemoaning the possibility that the liner could be scrapped and saying the ship should be returned to the UK.
The QE2 was launched in 1969 by the Queen, making its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. It was operated for nearly 30 years by Cunard, and was used to carry troops to the south Atlantic during the Falklands War.
It was retired in 2008 and made its last voyage to Dubai that year.
Bought in a blaze of glory and bling publicity.
Sat around for 5 years, nothing done with it.
Sold for scrap.
Surely this "rumour" could be confirmed by either one of the leading newspapers..! It's definitely worthier news than the building of again a new district - or the destruction of another part of Dubai!
Such an iconic vessel and piece of marine history should not be sent for scrap
That's a lot of Scrap.
simple, buy back at same value and keep the junk in London. Any takers? or it goes to undertakers. Already lost lot of time and money on this.
but that piece of history belongs to UK and they manage to sold it to Dubai for a very hefty price.
Now that was a bad decision for Dubai and it is better we scrap it instead of just keepin it harboured for nothing.
Clearly there are those strongly opposed and those strongly in support of saving QE2 when one scans the rants across all the blogs and websites.
What is clear though, is that an awful lot of folk have a 'less than hopeless' understanding of history, whether it's maritime related or not, and one assumes that by posting their self-righteous retorts against saving her -with nothing to back up what they say - in their minds they elevate themselves to some higher moral authority.
What is also clear is that Dubai World/Istithmar have failed dismally in doing anything good with QE2 in the 4 years they have owned her.