By ASC Staff
Reports suggest the former Cunard ocean liner will have more secure future as part of redevelopment
Mina Rashid, also known as Port Rashid, the principle cruise port of the UAE and wider Middle East, is to be converted into a marina for luxury yachts, according to a recent announcement by DP World.
The announcement was made by Mohammed Al Mannaei, Director - Mina Rashid DP World, which operates Mina Rashid, the role of which as a cruise port will not be affected, Al Mannaei added.
The new 'Port Rashid Marina' project is a response to an increased demand for luxury yachts, the first phase of which will be completed in 2018.
The first phase of the marina will have a capacity of more than 400 boats and sailing yachts with lengths in the range of 15 to 35 metres. The second phase will be for luxury yachts berth with length of more than 100 metres.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World, said the marina would enhance Port Rashid as a major destination for luxury holidays and marine tourism.
The redeveloped port will also be the permanent home of the former Cunard ocean liner QE2, according to Cruise Arabia & Africa, which quotes a DP World official as saying the ship is planned to be a ‘centrepiece backdrop’.
The redeveloped Mina Rashid will include mixed-use residential and retail space. DP World has not commented officially on the role of QE2, but a video released in January this year, promoting the redevelopment of Port Rashid, showed a rendering of QE2 in the background of several panning shots, suggesting the former ocean liner is intended to form a part of the development as a floating hotel.
Sulayem last year confirmed that the former Cunard Line ocean liner would not be scrapped.
“There is a new plan for QE2, I cannot say what it is yet, but I can tell you that these reports that she is to be scrapped are absolutely untrue. QE2 will not be scrapped,” he said.
QE2 was moved from her holding dock in Drydocks World, where she had been in cold lay-up for several years, to the old Dubai Cruise Terminal (Terminal 1) in Port Rashid toward the end of last year.
There have been reports of light refit work taking place aboard the ship, with her exterior paint refreshed and shore side power supplied to the vessel for ongoing interior work.