This news breaks my heart so deeply , I am in a state of mourning as this was a ship I deeply loved and had the chance to visit back in 2008 for the final time. I knew and had a feeling I would never see her again and this would be the final goodbye. I am deeply saddened on how we as a industry could have allowed this to happen and for a crime of such magnitude occur in saving our history and national treasures.
The report by the daily mail is that QE2 is set to be sold as scrap to the Chinese for £20m ,
the move follows the failure of a after a last minute bid to bring it back to the famous cruise liner back to Britain as a five-star floating hotel.
The iconic ocean liner – which also served as a troop carrier during the Falklands War – has been moored in a commercial port in Dubai since it was sold for £64m $100million (£64million) five years ago in 2008.
Dubai had originally planned to convert the QE2 into a 1,000 room luxury hotel at the tip of the famous man made Palm Jumeirah island.
But the emirate was hit hard by the credit crunch and the liner has remained in less exotic Port Rashid for the last five years with running costs of £650,000 a month.
QE2 left British waters for the final time on November 11 2008 amid fanfare , tears & fireworks, destined to become a beacon of modern accommodation in a gilded corner of the Middle East.
It had been revealed in July 2012 that the vessel will remain moored in Dubai’s Port Rashid – an un-glamorous cargo harbor – as more modest plans are adopted for its use as a tourist magnet until further notice as the palms development project was scrapped.
The ship’s operator has admitted that plans to convert the cruiser into a five-star floating hotel, positioned at the tip of the emirate’s famous man-made Palm Jumeirah island, became unforeseeable after the debt crunch that struck Dubai in 2008.
Istithmar, part of Dubai World – the state conglomerate that was at the centre of Dubai’s 2009 financial meltdown – recently lost control of upscale retailer Barneys New York as part of a deal with creditors.
‘Unfortunately, we had many ambitious plans, but they didn’t work,’ said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of both Istithmar and port operator DP World.
And the chairman is adamant that visitors want to see the QE2 as it originally looked.
“There have been many grand ideas , there were plans of renovating it in such a way that it becomes something totally different than what it used to be , but we realised soon that a lot of people like the ship as it was.” he said.
Rather than face a glorious renovation – which promised to rejuvenate the ship into a lavish 1,000-room hideaway – the vessel will now boast just 300 rooms, with many of its original fittings remaining.
However all these promises and ideas never came to fruition , The QE2 has remained in Dubai docked at port Rashid for over 4 years idle , in 2009 she was towed to a local dry dock and given a brand new paint job as well as repairs to the ship and then later towed back to Port Rashid where she sat moored and closed off to the public and any visitors from other cruise liners docked there.
Many passengers and visitors to Dubai posted photographs of QE2’s cvurrent state in Dubai and could be easily seen by cruise ship webcams as well , it seemed very strange that the former flagship of the Cunard fleet for over 40 + years would be left to rot in a place like Dubai , whats shocking is that the ship was in perfect conditon when it arrived and could easily had been open to tourists and generated plenty of income .
Instead QE2’s new owners kept the ship closed off to the public , the only man who was granted full access to the ship was a man by the name of Rob Lightbody who did a full tour of the ship as well as a documentary of his time on QE2 where he was able to get a first hand look at the condition of the ship and the skeleton crew taking care of her.
In 2011 Global Event Management organized a lavish New Years eve party held on board the QE2 as she was docked in Port Rashid , the red carpet was rolled out for the who’s who not just in Dubai but from the world across , This was the first time QE2 has been opened to the public for such an event since it came to Dubai in 2008.
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 1,000 VIP and celebrity attendees , Royals, dignitaries, and VIPs whom attended.
That was in 2011-2012 , since then the world has waited and heard not a peep or development from Dubai , from the looks of it the whole project was in post development hell and spiraled into what is seen as the most controversial project in Dubai’s saga of collapsed projects in the economic collapse , you can say QE2 is a victim of the depression but in the eyes of the travel world there is no excuse for this to have happened.
Why is it all doom and gloom all of a sudden? The owners in Dubai have told us nothing as its their way we are told. We all accept the fact there is no news coming from them and are happy to accept that. Other than tiny bits of news filtering out. Everyone is sworn to this secrecy lark. Cunard wont say anything as its nothing to do with them, they only sold the ship and tied her up in so much red tape that frankly there is little anybody can do or not do to QE2 that makes any idea remotely unworkable.
Dubai well they are a law unto themselves and that wont change. V ships we are always being told are looking after her, yet now she wont sail anywhere under her own power, yet in 2009 she was able to do this? What about the recent press release that was issued by her owners about her new chapter?
For 4 years going on 5 years the public has been lied to , misled , deceived and fooled into believing what ever news came out of Dubai in reference to QE2.
QE2 had many possibilities being a permanent monument in the UK , the truth of the matter was that the announcement of her sale was not made public until June of 2007 when Cunard Line , subsidiary of Carnival Corp announced that QE2 would be retired and she’s been sold to Dubai to become a floating hotel.
The public never got a fair trial on the the ship
Carol Marlowe in many interviews said ” She will be preserved as a historical vessel.”
Earlier this month, a British consortium presented Dubai with a £70m bid to bring the QE2 to London and convert into a five star hotel moored opposite the O2 Arena.
The QE2 London bid had the support of George Osborne and Boris Johnson and claimed it could have brought up to 2,000 jobs to London.
However a Chinese crew of around 20 boarded the QE2 last Friday leading to fears it has already been sold as scrap.
They replaced a crew of around 40 who had been maintaining the QE2 in Port Rashid for the last four years.
Roger Murray of QE2 London said: ‘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.’
Over the many months , we’ve heard nothing but rumors
the real question is will we ever know the truth did Carnival Corp just sell off QE2 for the sake of it without giving the public a fair hearing on what should be done with her? Did her new owners in Dubai
refuse to admit they made a giant mistake?
The real question is how do you ask a man to be the last man to step off QE2 and tell him to keep his moth shut about the mistakes his employers made on the matter.
What will happen to QE2 in 2013 and will she survive the next decade as she has for over 44+ years ?
The world awaits as the worlds most famous ship hangs by a thread as many old liners have meet the beaches of Alang and the scrapyards in China.